ALEX COLVILLE: ALEX COLVILLE: THE EARLY YEARS: Catalogue Available
It is a romatic cliché that artists are born, not made. And like any cliché, there is some truth to the assertion: natural talent plays a role in the career of every successful artist. But talent is only part of the equation, perhaps the smallest part. Without work, talent is wasted. Most successful artists have clear origin stories, positions really, about how and when they became a "real" artist. For Colville it was his first solo show at a public gallery, in 1950, and specifically with the painting Nude and Dummy (page 9). But there was a long process that led up to that event, longer for Colville, even, than for many of his peers. This exhibition, the first to gather his early work, traces the development and education of one of Canada's most remarkable artists.
...His thinking, which is also his painting, deepened and broadened over time, but nonetheless remained rooted in the interests and drives of that solitary boy in his sick bed in Amherst, who made the seemingly implausible decision that he, too, would be an artist.
Alex Colville: The Early Years
Published by Mira Godard Gallery, 2021
On Saturday, April 3rd, 2021 Mira Godard Gallery was pleased to present the first exhibition of early ALEX COLVILLE paintings directly from the COLVILLE Estate.
ALEX COLVILLE (1920-2013) was born in Toronto in 1920 and moved to Nova Scotia in 1929. From 1938 to 1942, Colville attended Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Immediately after completing university in 1942, Colville entered the Canadian army and was appointed an official war artist, travelling overseas in 1944. In 1946 Colville returned to Mount Allison as a teacher, retiring in 1963 in order to devote himself to paintings and printmaking full-time.
Over his long career, COLVILLE received numerous honorary degrees and awards including Companion of the Order of Canada, 1982; Governor General's Visual and Media Arts Award, 2003. From 1981 to 1991 he was Chancellor of Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
ALEX COLVILLE's paintings, drawings and serigraphs have been exhibited extensively across North America, Europe and Asia including "Canadian Painting 1939-63", Tate Gallery, London, 1963; "Recent Acquisitions", Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1966; "Canada '67", Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1967; Art Gallery of Ontario, 1983 (travelling); Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1994-95; National Gallery of Canada, 2000; Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; 2003 (travelling). The Art Gallery of Ontario exhibited a major retrospective "Alex Colville" in 2014 which travelled to the National Gallery of Canada in 2015.
COLVILLE's work is in every major public collection in Canada including Art Gallery of Hamilton, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Art Gallery of Ontario, Montreal Museum of Fine Art, National Gallery of Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery, and Winnipeg Art Gallery. His work is also in numerous international public collections including Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris; Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover, Germany; Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Toeerdam; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, as well as many international corporate and private collections.