Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Bates: Art Gallery of Alberta Collection
Dorothy Henzell "Children in the Wood," date unknown
Dorothy Henzell Willis, "Children in the Wood", date unknown, oil on paper, 28” x 35.5”
Organized by the Art Gallery of Alberta
Evocative of the postwar social climate, the perspective of the five Alberta artists in this exhibition can be unsettling, sometimes uncanny or even downright disturbing. Maxwell Bates, Laura Evans Reid, John Snow, W.L. Stevenson and Dorothy Henzell Willis were all born before 1918, and their perspective of a young province and its people belies the myth of Alberta as a land of prosperity and simple beauty. The artists are moved by the hardships of modern life and its contradictions; in their works, melancholy contrasts with the vibrancy of everyday life. Executed with strong colours and distorted perspectives, the art works featured in the exhibition depict a world in which every day activities and intimate portraits become strangely familiar - altered by the artists’ expression of underlying psychological tension and emotional backstories.