Thursday 18 July 2013

In Praise of Alex Coleville

"My work is pessimistic but my life is happy. I see the human condition as tragic." -- Alex Coleville

An official war artist who went on to paint unnerving scenes of domesticity, Alex Coleville's meticulously rendered, finely composed works have always entranced me. He's one of Canada's greatest artists. Check out his work.

I 'met' him once at a talk he gave at the AGO a number of years ago. Tremendously nice fellow. Very grounded.

I remember a photo of the underlying grid structure he used to compose a painting. Yes, everything is related to everything else, as it should be. But with Coleville, the relationship between elements is balanced to the millimeter, placed with the utmost care. No other Canadian composed so finely. Okay, fine, maybe Christopher Pratt.

Coleville, and his vision, will be greatly missed.