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The AGO Collects Alex Colville’s Iconic Canadian Paintings


Alex Colville's To Prince Edward Island (© A.C. Fine Art Inc.)

Alex Colville’s To Prince Edward Island (© A.C. Fine Art Inc.)

AUGUST 23 TO JANUARY 4  After the output of the Group of Seven, Tom Thomson and Emily Carr, the works of Alex Colville are arguably Canada’s most recognizable. But where The Group depicted the country’s wild expanses, the late Nova Scotia-based painter captured figures and objects in scenes that, despite their seeming ordinariness, are characterized by an atmosphere of latent unease. The Art Gallery of Ontario is currently displaying more than 100 of Colville’s distinctive pieces. Composed with a draughtsman’s deft eye for detail and proportion and a storyteller’s sense of tension, the archetypal images are accompanied by thematically associated works by the likes of Wes Anderson, Alice Munro, Stanley Kubrick and Sarah Polley—as well as contributions from writer Ann-Marie MacDonald, electronic music Tim Hecker, cartoonist David Collier and others, created specifically for the exhibition—that make plain Colville’s significant impact on contemporary culture.  —Craig Moy

Gallery photos by Craig Moy

• Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648; ago.net
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