ALEX COLVILLE (Estate), 1920-2013

Biography

I don't intend to be menacing, but I do think of life as being essentially dangerous. We never know what's going to happen from one day to the next.

ALEX COLVILLE (1920-2013) tended to define what he found good in art by what he found that wasn't, namely, anything that was commercial, sentimental, or retrograde. Such art was, in his mind, simply bad. His paintings and prints, stretching over a career that spanned eight decades, were often popular, but never commercial. They were remarkable for their emotional depth and power, but never reduced to mere sentiment. And while they were unapologetically representational, only the most biased of critics would equate that with retrogression. Indeed, Colville's paintings were historically informed, rich with nuance and allusion, but still very much of his moment. They were unfailingly contemporary, reflections of a carefully thought out response to the world as he found it. And, of course, exceedingly good. They are also highly considered, philosophical as much as they are aesthetic.

Works
  • ALEX COLVILLE, Night Scene, 1939
    ALEX COLVILLE
    Night Scene, 1939
    oil on board
    16 x 12 in.
  • six figures on beach by alex colville
    ALEX COLVILLE
    Six Figures on Beach, 19 November 1951
    pencil and white casein tempera on grey paper
    20 x 24 in.
  • study for boat and marker by alex colville
    ALEX COLVILLE
    Study for Boat and Marker, 30 October 1964
    acrylic on paper
    10 3/4 x 13 3/4 in.
  • study for boat and marker by alex colville
    ALEX COLVILLE
    Study for Boat and Marker, 14 November 1964
    pencil and inks on paper
    10 x 8 in.
  • study for church and horse by alex colville
    ALEX COLVILLE
    Study for Church and Horse, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 January 1964
    pencil and inks on paper
    main sheet: 13 7/8 x 16 3/4 in.
    with fold outs: 19 x 33 3/4 in.
  • study for le chien d'or by alex colville
    ALEX COLVILLE
    Study for Le Chien D'Or, 7 September 1987
    ink and acrylic on paper
    5 3/8 x 8 1/2 in.
  • golden dog by alex colville
    ALEX COLVILLE
    Golden Dog, 1987
    original signed screenprint
    10 1/4 x 24 3/4 in.
    ed. 70
  • bridge and raven by alex colville
    ALEX COLVILLE
    Bridge and Raven, 1993
    original signed screenprint
    15 x 22 in.
    ed. 70
  • artist and blue jay by alex colville
    ALEX COLVILLE
    Artist and Blue Jay, 1993
    original signed screenprint
    13 x 21 in.
    ed. 70
  • willow by alex colville
    ALEX COLVILLE
    Willow, 2002
    original signed screenprint
    27 1/2 x 17 in.
    ed. 70
Exhibitions
Publications