Lot # 001
Canadian Post~War & Contemporary Art Live auction

Alexander Colville
PC CC 1920 - 2013 Canadian

Study for Snowplow
gouache on paper board
dated Feb. 23, 1967 and on verso titled Study for Snow Plough [sic] and dated 1972 [sic] on the gallery label
7 1/2 x 9 3/4 in  19 x 24.8cm

Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary
Private Collection, Calgary

Helen J. Dow, The Art of Alex Colville, 1972, the 1967 serigraph entitled Snowplow reproduced page 186
David Burnett, Colville, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1983, page 148, the 1967 serigraph entitled Snowplow reproduced page 149

This finely finished, richly hued final-stage study by Alex Colville was developed for his 1967 serigraph Snowplow. Regarding the figure in the cab, Colville revealed, "In a way the driver of the Snowplow is my friend Charles Forsyth, the United Church Minister who is now [1967] assistant to the Premier of New Brunswick, or he is also Strelniker [sic] in Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago in his armoured train." These contradictory references to a real man involved in both religion and government and to the character of Strelnikov (an idealistic reformer who became an infamous Bolshevik commander) give this seemingly everyday scene ambiguous nuances, something Colville was well known for. In the print, but not in this study, the lettering on the snowplow reads, "Department of Public Works, New Brunswick." Without the lettering, this gouache is more mysterious, an effect increased by the hooded figure. Like Colville himself, he is the cool observer of the scene in a winter landscape stripped of all extraneous detail. He is an intriguing archetype whose identity cannot be quite pinned down.

Estimate: $25,000 ~ $35,000 CAD  
Sold for: $47,200 CAD (including Buyer's Premium)

All prices are in Canadian Dollars.

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