September 28, 2020

New Books on Five Trailblazing Artists

Titles in ACI’s 2020-2021 Season

Kazuo Nakamura: Life & Work by John G. Hatch
Coming: June 2021

Now Live

Painters Eleven co-founder Kazuo Nakamura (1926–2002) was one of the great Canadian artists of the twentieth century, famous for his muted landscapes and his abstract compositions. Born in Vancouver, Nakamura studied with the influential West Coast modernist Jock Macdonald before he and his family were sent to a Japanese internment camp in Tashme, B.C. in 1942. Upon his release Nakamura moved to Ontario, where he became part of the innovative abstract artist group Painters Eleven. Kazuo Nakamura: Life & Work is the first major publication to tell the story of the iconic Canadian painter who blended Western and Eastern influences through inspiration from mathematics, science, and philosophy as well as art history. His achievements reflect the pivotal diversification of Canadian art in the modern era.


Walter S. Allward: Life & Work by Philip Dombowsky

Now Live

Visited by 800,000 people annually and pictured on our $20 bill, no national monument is more famed and majestic than the Canadian National Vimy Memorial created by Walter Seymour Allward (1874–1955). Charged with the epic task of documenting the deaths of 11,285 Canadians with no known graves who were killed in France during the First World War, Allward made 150 design sketches and won the historic competition to create the Vimy Memorial in 1921. Built over fifteen years and unveiled before a crowd of 100,000 people in 1936, the Vimy Memorial secured Allward’s place as one of the world’s greatest sculptors. Philip Dombowsky explains how Allward transformed classical sculpture to dramatic, modern effect by combining traditional figures with contemporary compositions to create monuments redolent with themes of memory and redemption.


William Brymner: Life & Work by Jocelyn Anderson
Now Live

Without William Brymner (1855–1925), the Canadian Impressionist movement would not have taken root, and the pioneering Beaver Hall Group would not have had such a progressive stance on gender. Group of Seven members A.Y. Jackson and Arthur Lismer credited him with transforming art in Montreal. Brymner is arguably the country’s most esteemed arts educator, counting among his students iconic Canadian painters, including Edwin Holgate, Clarence Gagnon, Prudence Heward, Anne Savage, and Helen McNicoll. A man ahead of his time, Brymner is revered as the father of modern Canadian painting. Jocelyn Anderson shines an unprecedented light on his storied career, drawing insights from unpublished first-hand accounts of his travels to offer a fresh take on the life and work of an artist who had an unparalleled influence on the country at the turn of the twentieth century.


Iljuwas Bill Reid: Life & Work by Gerald McMaster
Now Live

Few twentieth-century artists were catalysts for the reclamation of a culture. Iljuwas Bill Reid (1920–1998) was among them. Born into a mixed-race family in Victoria, B.C., Reid became one of the most significant Northwest Coast artists of our time. He was prolific and articulate, creating nearly a thousand original works and dozens of texts, and he is remembered as a gifted artist and an adamant community activist, mentor, and writer. Iljuwas Bill Reid: Life & Work details this incredible journey, exploring how Reid lived the reality of colonialism yet tenaciously forged a creative practice that celebrated Haida culture. Passionately engaging with a culture whose practices were once banned by the Indian Act, Reid’s art became iconic. Acclaimed scholar Gerald McMaster expertly weaves together the narrative of Reid, who is often said to embody the Raven, a trickster who transforms the world. He examines how the artist made a critical inquiry into his craft throughout his life, gaining a sense of identity, purpose, and impact.


Suzy Lake: Life & Work by Erin Silver
Now Live

Decades before “the selfie” sparked a visual revolution, Suzy Lake (b.1947) changed the course of art history by making herself the subject of her pictures and using her camera as a tool to investigate how we manufacture images of identity. Incorporating elements of performance and role-play, Lake blended technology and art to create compelling works so ahead of their time it took the world nearly two decades to catch up. She is recognized as one of today’s most important photo-based practitioners and a significant influence on generations of artists. Art historian Erin Silver examines Lake’s interests in issues of identity and gender, and reveals how Lake’s inventive practice has challenged audiences for decades and continues to do so today. She documents Lake’s political activism, her contribution to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and how she developed her own unique take on conceptual art.


Thank You to Our Benefactors

ACI gratefully acknowledges our Founding Sponsor, BMO Financial Group.


We thank the 2020–2021 Canadian Online Art Book Project Title Sponsors for their support: Anonymous, Alexandra Bennett in memory of Jalynn Bennett, Kiki and Ian Delaney, the Koerner Foundation in memory of Walter C. Koerner, and The Sabourin Family Foundation.


We recognize our 2020–2021 Season Sponsors for their generosity: John and Katia Bianchini, Linda and Steven Diener, Richard and Donna Ivey, Michelle Koerner and Kevin Doyle, Bill Morneau Nancy McCain Foundation at Toronto Foundation, The McLean Foundation, Gerald Sheff and Shanitha Kachan Charitable Foundation, and Bruce V. and Erica Walter.


Download Download