EDOMONTON, AB.- The Art Gallery of Alberta
has partnered with ATB Financial to launch a new series of exhibitions designed to tell the stories of Albertas artistic heritage. The Alberta Early Masters Series, presented by ATB Financial commence on February 12, 2011 with the opening of Walter J. Phillips: Water and Woods, which will remain on view until June 5, 2011.
The Alberta Early Masters Series, presented by ATB Financial allows us to connect with all Albertans through a shared history of art in our province says AGA Executive Director Gilles Hébert. Were proud to be able to spotlight some of our provinces most historically significant artists; its ATBs commitment to telling Alberta stories that really made this new series possible.
The inaugural exhibition of the series, Walter J. Phillips: Water and Woods comprises over 70 works by one of Albertas most influential artists. This exhibition of watercolour and colour woodcuts showcases the artists poetic vision of nature, and includes rarely seen and early works. Inspired by both natural and built environments, Phillips recorded the Canadian landscape from cottage country and prairie towns to Rocky Mountain vistas and fishing villages in British Columbia. His ultimate goal was to convey beauty in art, which he found in the various environments of his adopted homeland.
Walter J. Phillips was born and raised in England and immigrated to Canada with his wife and son in 1913. Already an accomplished artist by the time he moved to Canada, Phillips was trained in the English tradition of picturesque landscapes. His influences were as diverse as Englands Pre-Raphaelites, the Arts & Crafts movement, 19th century Japanese printmaking, and Canadas Emily Carr, Tom Thomson and Group of Seven. Phillips spent 28 years in Winnipeg before living in Calgary, Banff and Victoria where he passed away in 1963.
The next exhibition in the Alberta Early Masters Series, presented by ATB Financial will feature abstract and modern works by female Alberta artists working in the 1940s and 50s. Early Mistresses of the Abstract and the Modern will open in 2012.