Taking his subjects from his surroundings, the Maritime-based artist Alex Colville (1920–2013) returned to similar themes throughout his seventy-year career: family life, desire, individual will, and relationships between men and women, humans and animals, nature and the machine. He was intent on creating a world of order from the reality of chaos, always aware of the essential and tragic fragility of this Sisyphean task. Colville’s paintings are distinctive and easily recognizable, marked by his careful, unified brushwork and meticulously arranged compositional structures. For more on Alex Colville read Ray Cronin’s Alex Colville: Life & Work.
Ray Cronin is a Nova Scotia–based writer and curator. A former director and CEO of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, he is the founding curator of the Sobey Art Award and the author of Mary Pratt: Still Light (2018) and Our Maud: The Life, Art and Legacy of Maud Lewis (2017).