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.
Odjig, Canadian Indigenous Artist and Icon Dies at 97.
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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.
Janvier's major retrospective, "Alex Janvier: Modern Indigenous Master" is now open at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario until January 21st, 2018. Afterwards, it will travel to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton and the Glenbow Museum in Calgary.
This exhibition was recently on display at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina. Alex Janvier is one of Canada's most acclaimed contemporary artists. His
career of sixty-five years has yielded thousands of paintings, and more than twenty-five murals and
public commissions. (Photo credit: Kim Griffiths)
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.
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.