Canadian Icon

Iconic Canadian Painter Alex Colville would have been 96 today. The extensive exhibition of his works at the AGO two years ago was both exhilarating and oppressive. His work is at once unbelievably controlled, yet teeming with deeply unsettling emotional undercurrents. It could just be me though.


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Dog and Priest, 1978 © Alex Colville

I love this painting. So deceptively static and so smooth. The man and the dog almost meld into one, the cloth and the fur so alike at a distance but so detailed up close. The man, anonymous (except for being a priest), maybe lost in thought, maybe gazing at the horizon,  while his companion stays alert and protective. Every hair bristles on that dog, and the suit is impeccable, velvety, rich. You can almost feel the wind, smell this shore, touch that beautiful dog. Amazing.