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William Kurelek Life & Work by Andrew Kear
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William Kurelek is captivating because he is so difficult to square. One of his paintings can simultaneously celebrate youthful abandon and revel in a violent moralism. He was a family man steeped in Roman Catholic virtue, and yet he wrestled real devils as a result of mental illness. Among his artistic peers he was a strange throwback, whose work nonetheless attracted serious contemporary tastemakers. He was a social conservative committed to social justice, a religious universalist attuned to cultural particularities. Today, William Kurelek and his art remains equally beguiling and unsettling, proclamatory and inscrutable.

Andrew Kear

Andrew Kear

Andrew Kear is chief curator and curator of Canadian art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and a sessional lecturer at the University of Winnipeg. His curatorial efforts include William Kurelek: The Messenger, Storm and Spirit: The Eckhardt-Gramatté Collection of German Expressionist Art, and L.L. FitzGerald’s Impressionist Decade, 1910–1920. In 2016 he prepared the first survey exhibition on the painter Karel Funk. Kear’s writing has been published in Canadian Art, Border Crossings, and Sculpture.