William Kurelek (1927-1977)

Early Morning Chores
Early Morning Chores, 1966
mixed media on board, 16¼" × 19"
The One That Got Away
The One That Got Away, 1975
oil on board, 7¾" × 14¼"
The Barn Dance
The Barn Dance
lithograph, 12" × 7.5"

Slideshow

William Kurelek (1927-1977) – Artist Biography

William Kurelek (1927-1977) was one of the seminal artists of imaginative painting in Canada. In a country dominated by the landscape tradition and observed realism, Kurelek introduced fantasy into narrative painting. He was visionary in depicting our daily lives, incorporating everyday imagery with biblical and folk elements.

Born in Whitford, Alberta, his childhood was spent in rural Manitoba during the Depression. After completing a Bachelor of Arts, he received his early art training at the Ontario College of Art and the Instituto Allende in Mexico. He then spent several years in England where he painted and learned the craft of framing. During this period, he converted to Catholicism which he credited with his new found joy in everyday living and with the spirituality which often suffused his subsequent life and works.

In 1959, Kurelek began working as a framer for the Isaacs Gallery in Toronto. There he had his first one-man show in 1960 entitled “Memories of Farm and Bush Life”. He went on to write and illustrate a number of books on various related themes including Inuit life, the immigrant experience and life on the Prairies. He is best known for his children’s books “A Prairie Boy’s Summer” and “A Prairie Boy’s Winter”.

Kurelek died at age 50 in 1977 leaving a great legacy of inspired works. Prominent collections that feature his works include The National Gallery of Canada, The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

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.