Alex Colville Cheated on His Wife … With Atlantic Canada

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Another major exhibit opens at the AGO this weekend in a big year booked for the Gallery. Ending the year last year was David Bowie, starting this year was the Guggenheim Collection and selected works from it, and ending this year will be Michelangelo. The current exhibit extensively features the work of the Canadian great, Alex Colville. Living in Toronto, we often times forget (or even don’t know) the landscape and characteristics of a country, much contrasted to life in the country’s biggest city, and this exhibit allows an accurate, simple and beautiful transportation to daily life in Atlantic Canada. Prominently featured is New Brunswick, where Colville studied, worked, married and lived. The exhibit even includes pieces that are part of Mount Allison University’s permanent collection, which are on loan currently to the AGO. 

Colville’s pieces have the ability to display a slice of everyday life, however also leave to the view a number of questions and interpretations on what has just happened, what will happen and the story behind the scene in the paintings. The exhibit begins in his early career as well as featuring some works by others that were inspired by him (Included an impressively sized piece on loan from Winnipeg created for Canada’s centennial). After his graduation from Mt. A, Colville enlisted and was sent over to Germany, viewing the aftereffects of the war and the brutality of the concentration camps firsthand, portrayed in a few of his works. After the war, he went on to lead a rich artistic career as well as family life, having four children with his lifelong love. The exhibit is exceptionally well done and gives great credit to the artist in Canada, successfully displaying Colville’s story but also transporting us to a piece of Canada, one that we can’t see on a daily basis. Watch out Porter Airlines, your flight to NB and Halifax might start getting a little
bit more in demand!

The exhibit open to the public tomorrow and runs until January 3, 2015 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. 

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