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Jock Macdonald: Life & Work


Jock Macdonald: Life & Work

By Joyce Zemans

Born in Thurso, Scotland, Jock Macdonald (1897–1960) arrived in Vancouver in September 1926 as the newly appointed head of design at the recently established Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts (now the Emily Carr University of Art + Design). Over the next three decades he was a trailblazer in Canadian art. He was the first painter to exhibit abstract art in Vancouver and he championed Canadian avant-garde artists at home and abroad. As a teacher, Macdonald became a mentor and inspiration for several generations of artists. He was a founding member of both the Canadian Group of Painters and Painters Eleven, and he was instrumental in the creation of the Calgary Group. While based in Vancouver, Macdonald made a powerful connection with the spectacular and rugged scenery of British Columbia. His identification with nature and his determination to capture the spiritual rhythm of the universe in paint set him on a quest that shaped his art for the rest of his life. In 1957, just three years before Macdonald’s death, Toronto art critic Robert Fulford proclaimed the artist “the best young abstract or non-objective painter in Canada, even though he was born in 1897.”

Joyce Zemans, C.M., is an art historian, educator, curator, and arts administrator whose work has focused on twentieth-century Canadian art. A former director of the Canada Council for the Arts (1988–1992), she has taught at OCADU and York University, where she served as chair of York’s department of Visual Arts; dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts; and director of the MBA Program in Arts, Media & Entertainment Management, Schulich School of Business.

$40 CAD 

ISBN 9781487102951 

Hardcover | 8 x 11 | 160 pp 

– 80 full-colour illustrations– 4 key chapters: Biography, Key Works, Significance & Critical Issues, and Style & Technique– Glossary of important terms, people,and organizations– Illustrated list of public galleries and institutions where you can see theartist’s work 

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