Canadian Art

Canadian Modern (1910-1979)

A sizeable and key collection area for the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the modern Canadian art holdings exhibit great depth and breadth, and include many works of national historic and aesthetic significance.

Chief among these is an historically and stylistically comprehensive collection, numbering over 1,000 paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures by Manitoban L.L. FitzGerald, one of Canada’s best known artists. Important bodies of work by other Manitoba-based artists of national repute include prints and paintings by Walter J. Phillips, Tony Tascona, William Kurelek, Ivan Eyre, and Ester Warkov.

Early modern Canadian art is well represented by artists from coast to coast, and includes important works by David Milne, Emily Carr, the Group of Seven, Prudence Heward, and Charles Comfort, among many more. The WAG’s extensive collection of early modern Canadian art testifies to the formative role of the Winnipeg School of Art, a sister civic institution between 1913 and 1950, through which the Gallery attained some of its earliest and best examples. Canadian mid 20th century  abstraction, specifically by Prairie artists, is a well-developed sector of the collection, encompassing paintings, prints, and sculpture by the Regina Five, Toronto’s Painters Eleven, as well as late- and post-Automatist painting from Montreal.

The WAG’s collection of Canadian abstract painting is underpinned by Bertram Brooker’s Sounds Assembling (1928), acquired in 1946 for the Gallery by then-principal of the Winnipeg School of Art, L.L. FitzGerald. This painting by the Manitoba-raised and Toronto-based artist is one of the first abstract works to be produced and exhibited in Canada.

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