The Montreal Review published a tribute I wrote about Alex Colville a couple of years ago. I stumbled upon recently and thought I would place it here.
"I do have a fear of chaos and a strong sense of the fragility of civilization." Alex Colville 1983
"Like T. S. Eliot's ideal artist, Alex Colville interprets, revalues, absorbs, and transforms the spiritual and aesthetic heritage of his predecessors. His precise realism is inspired by--and achieves much of its resonance, meaning, and value from--his vital connection to great artists and writers. His lively intellectual response to painters who showed him new directions enhances his originality and gives him a sense of freedom. Colville's work, like Eliot's, represents a humane continuity of past and present." Antioch Review
PROUD OF ALEX COLVILLE
Alex Colville does not expect anything beyond this life. In the end we are all dead would summarize his view. Perhaps he might say that he has received honours and tributes enough to compensate for an afterlife. Do I wish that Colville embraced a biblical view of heaven. Of course I do. Colville is 89 years of age, has struggled with prostate cancer and bowel cancer and has a valve replacement in his heart.
He has said that his lifework is his effort to ask one question: What is life like? As Colville puts it, "You spend your whole life telling people what it's like to be alive." In order to affect this Colville has examined his surroundings of the Annapolis Valley, the shores of the Minas Basin , his home and his family. His children have been some of his models and Rhoda, his wife of 60 years has been the subject of many paintings.
He is very much aware of his age, the imminence of death, the legacy he lives and the manner in which his mortality inspires his paintings. He understands that his work has stirred interpretation and sometimes controversy, telling the CBC's Life and Times "what troubles people about my work, in which they find mystery and intrigue, may well be the idea that ordinary things are important."
The author of this short tribute is Ron Unruh, a British Columbia artist. The Rocky Mountains rise within view of Ron's Cloverdale home studio which is minutes from the Pacific Ocean. His drive to White Rock and Crescent Beach waters takes him through agricultural land reserve with blueberry and raspberry fields, cranberry bogs, vineyards and flourishing wineries as well as hobby farms, secluded private estates and sprawling golf and country clubs. Ron Unruh enjoys painting scenes with a range of idyllic landscapes and fascinating people in celebration of his idyllic and productive environment in the lower mainland of British Columbia. He also takes pleasure in recording memorable scenes from his international travels, scenes which frequently evoke fond memories for other global tourists. If you want to see RON UNRUH'S ONLINE GALLERY and to read his blog, please,
Works of Alex Colville at Studio 14 ( 114 Highfield St., Toronto ), Mira Godard Gallery ( 22 Hazelton Avenue Toronto ), and Zwickers's Gallery ( 5415 Doyle Street Halifax, Nova Scotia )
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