Paterson Ewen

Canadian, 1925–2002

Iceberg, 1974

acrylic, metal on plywood

229.2 x 244 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery



Painting, Canadian Modern (1910-1979)

Paterson Ewen trained in Montreal in the 1940s, when modern abstract painting was reaching its apogee. His painting style and imagery shifted significantly in the early 1970s after he relocated to London, Ontario. There, Ewen connected with a close-knit community of artists, including Jack Chambers and Greg Curnoe, whose own work detoured significantly from modernism. Ewen increasingly turned his attention to the interrelation of land, ocean, and atmosphere, producing what he called “phenomascapes.” He drew many of his subjects from photographs reproduced in an outdated maritime handbook. He also began introducing unorthodox materials into his painting practice, notably metal sheeting, chain link fence, and gouged plywood. Enjoying national renown prior to the 1970s, Iceberg is a key work that helped propel Ewen onto the international stage.

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