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Inspiring Canadian Painters - Part I

Posted by Jhan Dudley on

Emily Carr (1871-1945)

Emily Carr, born in Vancouver, is Canada's best known female painter. She spent her career painting themes related to the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest. In 1898, Carr made her first of several trips to Ucluelet, to study the Nuu-chah-nulth people. In 1910 she travelled to Europe to learn the artistic trends of the period. She became a pioneering artist in Canada of the modernist and post-impressionist style. In later years, she her painting subjects leaned more toward landscapes, rather than indigenous people. To read more about this great Canadian artist.

Agnes Martin (1912-2004)

Agnes Martin, although raised in Vancouver, moved to the United States in 1931. Considered a minimalist painter, she viewed her work as Abstract Expressionism. Martin admired American painter Mark Rothko for his ability to strip art to its basics, so that pure truth could be revealed. This trend is a hallmark of her own work, attempting to express pure perfection and transcendent reality.

Janet Cardiff (b. 1957)

Janet Cardiff  was born in Ontario, but now lives and works in Berlin. She is most famous for her ‘audio walks’, interactive tours where visitors are led to a series of locations by an audio guide. In these 'walking monologues, she weaves together fact and fiction to create her narrative. The result immerses viewers in an alternative world, while firmly rooted in an altered reality.

Rebecca Belmore (b. 1960)

Rebecca Belmore represented Canada in the 2005 Venice Biennale, where she was the first aboriginal woman to have her works on dispay in the pavilion. This Anishinaabe-Canadian artist creates installations, performances, videos and sculptures which engage with the history and struggle of Canada’s indigenous people. Her works, elegant and highly political, are often related to a particular location, and dealing with issues of violence and colonialism.

Shary Boyle (b. 1972)

As the Canadian representative for the 55th Venice Biennale, Shary Boyle is a well-known figure on the contemporary art scene. A graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design. Boyle works with sculpture, drawing, painting, installations, and performance art. Her themes include explorations of sexuality, class and gender injustices, and other social issues. She's also known for her fragile ceramic figurines, which combine both human and animal characteristics in universal themes.

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