"The Messenger: Kurelek as Evangelist- Artist": Chief Curator Mary Jo Hughes tours William Kurelek demonstrating how even the most innocent of paintings often have very strong underlying moralistic messages.
Throughout a career that spanned from mid-1950s until his death, William Kurelek (1927-1977) and his art have meant many different things to many people. The Alberta-born, Manitoba-raised artist was a painter of innocence and fun, his scenes reminiscences of a simpler and timeless past. He was also a chronicler of the experiences of various cultural groups in Canada, devoting entire series to Ukrainian, Jewish, Polish, Irish, French Canadian, and Inuit peoples. Then there is Kurelek the anguished prophet of a modern apocalypse, his art an indictment of the secular age and a testament to unwavering faith.
An important and unique aspect of this exhibition for Canadian audiences will be the inclusion of several works from Kurelek's highly formative period in England from 1952 to 1959. During this time the young artist underwent psychiatric treatment and converted to Roman Catholicism, which profoundly altered his subsequent approach to life and art making. It is in consideration of these early works that the exhibition reveals Kurelek's complex psyche and the central role it played in everything he produced.
A gorgeous limited edition catalogue accompanies the exhibition, as well as an interactive website: www.kurelek.ca
Watch our events calendar for affiliated programming for a chance to delve into the history, themes and stories behind this exhibition. www.aggv.ca/calendar