Kurelek completed countless paintings of his childhood and early adulthood in Alberta and Manitoba. Reminiscences of Youth is unique, however, for its self-reflexivity. Kurelek does not merely offer up a nostalgic scene but paints himself engaged in the act of constructing a reminiscence.
The central image occupies an autonomous space, both metaphorically and literally. It “glows like a movie screen” and forms an emanation of memory itself. It stands apart from the surrounding interior scene, which is not part of the central painting but of its extended frame.