Northern Painting by Maxwell Bennett Bates
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Consignor Canadian Fine Art
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
oil on canvas
signed and dated 1960 lower right; titled on the stretcher
36 x 48 ins ( 91.4 x 121.9 cms )
Estimated: $7,000.00 - $9,000.00
David Burnett and Marilyn Schiff, Contemporary Canadian Art, Edmonton, 1983, pages 124-25
In “Northern Painting”, the artist has let the medium take control of the compositional outcome with the strategic placement of line as the drips form a cube-like grid from the the initial stroke of pigment. Still maintaining his penchant for bright expressive colours, the vibrant blue and red employed creates a harmonious all-over energy. Though a more fleeting period for Bates, this exploration speaks to the growing trend and importance of abstract painting in Canada. Moreover, Bates' contribution also tells of a certain regionality of art centres within Canada and the distinctive styles which emerged as a result, enriching the overarching dialogue of Canadian art history.
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Maxwell Bennett Bates
(1906 - 1980) RCA
Maxwell Bates was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1906. He studied at the Provincial Institute of Technology in Calgary under Lars Haukness. By the end of the twenties he and his friend Roy Stevenson were, according to R. L. Bloore "the most advanced painters in Western Canada." He spent the years 1931-1939 in London, exhibiting regularly with the Twenties Group. As a member of the British Expeditionary Force sent to France in 1940 he was captured by the Germans and was interned in a prison camp from 1940-1945. Returning to Calgary in 1946 he worked as an architect before coming to Victoria, B.C., in 1961. His work has been exhibited in London, Paris, Tokyo, Mexico City, Manchester, Auckland, Philadelphia and all major Canadian cities. Retrospective exhibitions of his work were held in Regina and Edmonton (1960-61), Victoria (1966), Winnipeg (1968) and Vancouver (1973). He received many awards for his painting and was a Fellow of the International Institute of Arts and Letters and a member of the Royal Canadian Academy. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Calgary in 1971.