“Mr. Barr goes through the exhibition and he sees this little painting in the corner, Hailstorm in Alberta. At first he discarded it because he thought it was just another representational landscape. Then he took a second and he thought, My goodness, this is really interesting. It is a view of a gathering hailstorm over a farm in Alberta … a moment of intense excitement and fear; it is highly emotionally charged. It is something quite unique.
“Mr. Barr chose the work Hailstorm in Alberta, along with a painting by Jean McEwen and Ulysse Comtois, for the Women’s Committee to gift to the MoMA. This catapulted Kurelek’s career because it drew international attention to Canadian contemporary art. In 1961 Kurelek was not well known at all. Kurelek would go on to become very popular. Today, he is off the charts!”