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Pickle Me This

September 11, 2014



I don’t know if there is a better exhibit than Alex Colville (now on at the Art Gallery of Ontario) to take your five year old and one year old to, because the latter will be gripped by all the images of dogs, while the former sees her own world reflected in the paintings, but rendered just unfamiliarly enough to warrant another look. We note people and animals suspending in space, captured in motion—horses, dogs, a little girl with her skipping rope. “What do you think’s going to happen next?” Which is the very point. Plus the defiance of gravity. And the strange ugly beauty, hydro corridors, overpasses and smokestacks. The sky’s enormity. We found it fascinating to learn that Colville’s art was so informed by his commute to work, that same stretch of road,  a seemingly dull track. And also the sea pictures, all that blue.

Andrew Hunter’s new book, Colville, designed to accompany the exhibit, gives a marvellous sense of the artist and his power, and just as the exhibit does, of his context as well. In his essay in the book, Hunter posits Colville as a place, and finds connections to that place not just in geography, but also in literature, music, film and  popular culture. As befitting a man whose own life was so often his subject, the book embraces Colville’s biography as well, and more than 100 reproductions of his work. It’s a really wonderful complement to an extraordinary show.

2 thoughts on “Colville”

  1. Love Colville. How long is the exhibit on for? i’ll be in toronto in December.

    1. Kerry says:

      It’s on until January!! The show is amazing. Go!

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