Jock MacDonald (1897-1960)

Abstract Composition
Abstract Composition, 1960
oil on canvas, 28" × 22"
Plato's Cave
Plato's Cave, 1960
oil on canvas, 16" × 20"

Slideshow

Jock MacDonald (1897-1960) – Artist Biography

Jock MacDonald (b: May 1897, Scotland; d: December 1960, Toronto) was a member of Painters Eleven (Painters 11, or P11), whose goal was to promote abstract art in Canada.

He was born in May 1897 in Scotland. Before coming to Canada, MacDonald attended the Edinburgh College of Art and worked as a designer for a Scottish textile company.

He moved to Canada in 1926 to become a professor at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts. MacDonald became well-known and respected as a teacher at art colleges in Edinburgh, Vancouver and Toronto.

He was initially inspired by the Group of Seven's work but began painting abstracts in 1924. MacDonald's training as a designer and his interest in children's paintings encouraged his experimentation with abstract art.

He loved to play with colour. Abstraction allowed MacDonald the freedom to create pictures that had no apparent subject matter. He could blend and layer colours on his canvas without worrying whether some people would have difficulty understanding his subject. He continued to paint abstract for quite sometime, later adding Surrealist elements into his work.

He was an influential professor at several art colleges in Canada and helped spur the modern art movement in the country. He died in Toronto, in December 1960.

Daphne OdjigDaphne Odjig, Canadian Indigenous Artist and Icon Dies at 97. Click here for more details.

Odjig is frequently referred to as the "Grandmother of Indigenous Art." She has been the recipient of many awards, honours and recognitions for her works, to name a few: The Order of Canada, the Governor General's Award, and eight Honorary Doctorates. Her works have been shown in the National Gallery of Canada, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Art Gallery of Ontario.


She established the first native-run fine art print house in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1971. Known as 'Odjig Indian Prints,' this print house was so successful that it evolved into an Indigenous gallery space in 1974, called the New Warehouse Gallery, run by Odjig and her husband, Chester Beavon. She was also a founding member of the Indian Group of Seven. This artistic group's purpose was to promote Contemporary Indigenous art and artists.

Alex JanvierAlex Janvier's major retrospective, "Alex Janvier: Modern Indigenous Master" is now on display at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

Alex Janvier is one of Canada's most acclaimed contemporary Indigenous artists. His career of sixty-five years has yielded thousands of paintings, and more than twenty-five murals and public commissions. This retrospective of his artwork is on display from 25 November 2016 to 17 April 2017.

(Photo credit: Kim Griffiths) Click here for more details.

Rita LetendreGallery Gevik congratulates renowned Canadian and International abstract painter, Rita Letendre, on her first major museum retrospective exhibition outside of Québec. Rita Letendre: Fire and Light is now open until September 17, 2017 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

This exhibition, which covers Letendre's career from the 1960's to 2000's, is co-curated by Wanda Nanibush and Georgiana Uhlyarik. The retrospective features nearly forty large-scale paintings drawn from major national public and private collections.

Letendre was widely exhibited with the artistic groups, Les Automatistes and Les Plasticiens. She has received the Governor General's Award in Visual Arts, the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas, and the Orders of Canada, Ontario and Québec. Click here for more details.