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|Editor's note: this otherwise unidentified original review was for the Second B.C. At Work exhibition, held at the Vancouver Art Gallery from November 13 to December 2, 1945.|
Fine artistic expression characterizes the current "British
Columbia at Work" exhibition at the Gallery. This significant
display of 207 exhibits will be formally opened tonight by
In the second annual display conducted by Labor Arts Guild, and with $500 in awards contributed by B.C. trade unions, industrial activities in the province are revealed with even finer aesthetic perception than last year's interesting show.
This meeting of labor and art is especially significant in Canada, where landscape painting has long prevailed and neglect in depiction of human life has been apparent until recent years.
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In this display it is obvious that many of the 117 exhibitors have been genuinely inspired by a varied subject matter, from the harvest of the sea to ranch life in the Cariboo or Okanagan.
Response has been spontaneous and colorful in numerous exhibits. Painters who have frequently shown in the gallery are represented by unusually effective canvasses.
Their interpretation of labor is generally backed by serious aesthetic purpose, thus avoiding conventional illustration, and has more permanent and universal value.
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Among some of the most striking oil paintings are Elizabeth Amess' "Line Test," remarkably fine in organization of form and color; G.R. Couling's "The Decorators," and W.J.B. Newcombe's splendidly composed and emotionally somber "The Gleaners."
In more lyrical mood are canvasses by Maisie Robertson, "Beef Drive," full of well-observed life on the range, and by Margaret Lougheed with her colorful "Children Picking Hops."
Alyce Stephenson, with her accustomed skill, depicts "Construction by Marwell," Dorothy R. Mouat has a vigorous and richly painted "Log Slip," Paul Rand again shows his rather stiff "Coal Diggers," and Cliff R. Robinson is represented by a lively scene, "On the Wharf at Steveston."
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Unusual pictures, entirely different in style, are Bruce D. Boyd's strong and quite lovely study in blue tones of boats at anchor, John Adam's loggers in the snow, depicted somewhat in the primitive manner of Douanier Rousseau, and Richard Major's more sophisticated dramatic scene in a foundry, "Casting."
Other notable exhibits include a characterful and rhythmic wood carving of a woman worker by Lilias Farley, a pastel by Betty Newton, "At the Loom," and some strong watercolours by Dorothy W. Willis and R.J. Thom.