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date: 26 January 2020

Colville, (David) Alex(ander)locked

(b Toronto, Aug 24, 1920; d Wolfville, Nova Scotia, July 16, 2013).
  • David Burnett

Extract

(b Toronto, Aug 24, 1920; d Wolfville, Nova Scotia, July 16, 2013).

Canadian painter. He moved with his family to Amherst, NS, in 1929; his father, a Scottish immigrant, worked in steel construction, his mother was a milliner. His work at a local art class came to the attention of Stanley Royle (1888–1961), an English artist teaching at Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB, who persuaded him to study art. Colville studied for a BFA at Mount Allison University and on graduating in 1942 joined the Canadian Army, serving in the infantry until 1946. In May 1944 he was appointed an Official War Artist; he served in England, at the landings in southern France, and with the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division in Holland and Germany. He returned to Canada in October 1945 and on his demobilization in the following year began teaching at Mount Allison University, remaining in that post until 1963, when he resigned to paint full-time. The war art experience had a profound effect on his development, both in the need rapidly to master techniques and by the special circumstances of being both an observer of and participant in momentous events. He rejected the concern with landscape that dominated Canadian painting, instead valuing the traditions of figurative art ranging broadly from ancient Egypt through Renaissance painting to the work of Manet. He was especially drawn to American artists such as Thomas Eakins and, among 20th-century painters, to Ben Shahn and Edward Hopper....

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