One of Canada’s most beloved folk artists, Maud Lewis was famous in her lifetime for her brightly-coloured and endearing paintings of rural Nova Scotia. Working from her cabin on the side of the highway in Marshalltown, in Digby County, she produced hundreds of small works that captured aspects of country life that was rapidly changing.
Until now, the story of her difficult life has dominated the discussion of her art: her triumph over her physical challenges and poverty, the harsh treatment she received at the hands of her family, and her alliance by chance with her husband Everett Lewis, who enabled her successful painting career over many decades.
This show, however, stresses the aesthetic aspect of Maud Lewis’s achievement, looking carefully at her serial repetition of images and motifs across her career, and the dizzying variety that she brings to the problem of picture-making. From her black cats and kittens to her cart horses and oxen hauling logs, to her quayside scenes of ships in port and the Maritime landscape in all seasons, Maud Lewis made paintings that still delight in their optimism and buoyant vitality.
Poppa Wilson (1925-2020) was a Vineland, Ontario-based folk artist. Self-taught, and having rarely visited a gallery or looked to other artists, he made thousands of works of art, all from the age of 80 onward. This is the first major solo exhibition of his works.
Poppa’s paintings depict scenes from daily life, in vibrant hues, though he used paints found around the house. His memories of life in rural southern Ontario are an endearing recollection of stories sometimes true and sometimes imagined. There are many farm scenes, showing houses and barns with farm animals and ponds, trees and birds. All are painted instinctively and directly, without the use of perspectival drawing, and always with a grand sense of space. A whole series of works revolve around his dreams of seeing the circus. He created sculptures from found wood, depicting people and animals such as owls and “mighty” squirrels. Poppa also spent his time writing poetry, and his words align perfectly with his visual art practice. Indeed, his whole environment was artistically magical—the home he shared with his wife, Granny, is an artwork itself, with every surface and corner treated to their signature vision: a warm, colourful, and comforting style. Poppa Wilson’s creative life was whole and expressed in his own inimitable language.
This first major exhibition will position Poppa’s work in a new context, shining light on his significant achievements as a self-taught artist.One of Canada’s most beloved folk artists, Maud Lewis was famous in her lifetime for her brightly-coloured and endearing paintings of rural Nova Scotia. Working from her cabin on the side of the highway in Marshalltown, in Digby County, she produced hundreds of small works that captured aspects of country life that was rapidly changin …
Spinning In Raindrops (Instrumental)
Adrev for Rights Holder (on behalf of Marmoset Music (Marmoset Music))
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