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Main page » Non-Fiction » Canadian Art in the Twentieth Century

Canadian Art in the Twentieth Century


Most Canadians when thinking of twentieth century Canadian art might envisage the haunting and vibrant landscapes of the Group of Seven, the dream-like images of Alex Colleville, or the humorous and mystical sculptures created by First Nations artists. But these artists only hint at the richness and diversity in the development of Canadian art over the last one hundred years.
Alongside these more familiar works are the bright and quirky abstractions by William Ronald; the dance-like sculptures of artist and dancer Franoise Sullivan; the unusual portraits of Saskatoon-born Mashel Teitelbaum who developed paint into a kind of skin that was glued to the canvas; the surrealist clay sculptures of Cathie Falk in Vancouver; and the representational but deeply resonant paintings by Newfoundland artist Christopher Pratt.
The variety and innovation in Canadian art is finally given its due in Canadian Art in the Twentieth Century by Joan Murray. Here, Canadian artists from across the country, working in every medium and during every major period, are represented together at last. This is the definitive book for Canadian art at the end of the century.
Curator and artist Joan Murray takes the reader on a guided tour through a literary gallery, pointing out various works, commenting on their creation and meaning, and evoking the cultural, social, and political context of their conception. She reminds us that while Canadian artists are often accused of lagging behind Europe, Canadian art has always had its own vitality, flair, and mythology, developed out of a deep feeling for the environment. She traces the new directions in art as they developed and continue to emerge, from representation to didacticism, from modernism to the increasing use of communication technologies such as video and computers as a medium of expression. And she looks towards the future, where we will be confronted by a scene of unprecedented variety and complexity.
Canadian Art in the Twentieth Century is a lucid introduction, broad in its scope and intelligently written. It will serve as a starting point for new discoveries by the reader into the art that is shaped by, and has shaped,

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Tags: Canadian, artists, Nations, these, First, Twentieth, Century