1920 - 2013
Study for Morning
gouache and ink on paper
signed, dated March 5, 6, 7, 9, 1981 and inscribed variously and on verso titled, inscribed "C7871" and stamped with the Woltjen Udell gallery stamp
5 1/4 x 5 1/4 in, 13.3 x 13.3 cm
Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000
Sold for: $28,125
Woltjen/Udell Gallery, Edmonton
Collection of Peggy Marko, Edmonton
David Burnett, Colville Art Gallery of Ontario, 1983, page 218, the serigraph Morning reproduced page 221
Tom Smart, Alex Colville: Return, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 2003, the serigraph Morning reproduced page 131
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Alex Colville: A Retrospective, traveling in 1983 - 1984 to the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe: Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Dalhousie University Art Gallery; and the Vancouver Art Gallery, the serigraph Morning, same image, catalogue #159
Alex Colville’s body of work in printmaking was extraordinary. This serigraph depicts Colville and his wife Rhoda engaged in their morning activities. They are shown as separate, facing different directions, but linked by the bed they sit on and the intimacy of their nudity. The ornate mirror that Rhoda holds is based on an ancient Eygptian artifact. During his 1971 stay in Germany while he was Visiting Artist under the Berliner Kunstler program, Colville went to Berlin’s National Gallery and sketched an Egyptian bronze mirror from the 18th Dynasty. David Burnett wrote, “The Egyptian word for a mirror is Ankh, which also carries the meaning ‘life.’ This conjunction of meaning comes closer to the place the mirror has in Morning than the more traditional iconography in Western art, where the mirror is a symbol of…vanity.” By using the mirror to conceal Rhoda’s face, Colville blocks identification with her personality, and together with his own depiction that also hides his face, he transforms Rhoda and Alex into the universal man and woman.
Drawings relating to this extraordinary serigraph started as early as 1970, and continued from 1973 to 1981. This vibrant final stage drawing exhibits Colville’s Pointillist style and a rich colouration not seen in the more monochromatic serigraph.
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