1920 - 2013
Study for Cyclist and Crow
acrylic and pen on paper
signed and dated 7 July 81, 15 July and on verso titled, dated 1981 and inscribed with stock #31 and #7829 / "6476" and "DUG 8389" on the gallery labels
5 1/2 x 7 7/8 po, 14 x 20 cm
Estimation : $30,000 - $50,000
Vendu pour : $34,250
Exposition à : Heffel Toronto – 13 avenue Hazelton
Mira Godard Gallery, Toronto
Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton
Collection of Peggy Marko, Edmonton
David Burnett, Colville, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1983, the 1981 painting Cyclist and Crow reproduced page 176 and listed page 251
Philip Fry, Alex Colville: Paintings, Prints and Processes, 1983 - 1994, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1994, page 14, the 1981 preparatory graphite drawings #A.03, #A.01 and #A.02 reproduced pages 17, 20 and 21 and the 1981 painting entitled Cyclist and Crow reproduced page 13
Andrew Hunter, editor, Colville, Art Gallery of Ontario, 2014, the 1981 painting reproduced page 79, listed page 143
Art Gallery of Ontario, Colville, August 23, 2014 - January 4, 2015, the 1981 painting Cyclist and Crow, traveling in 2015 to the National Gallery of Ontario
This is a fine late stage drawing for Alex Colville’s Cyclist and Crow, in the collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. This study contains all the main elements of the painting, with subtle distinctions. The woman turns her head to look at the crow, and both are parallel in a fleeting moment that will soon break apart; the woman continuing on a straight course on the road, the crow to follow its ever-changing inclinations based on instinct. Colville emphasizes the woman’s connection with the road by the position of the tires - in this drawing they touch the bottom edge of the image, while in the painting he chose to have the bottom edges of the tires go off the edge of the picture plane. Also, in the painting the crow’s wings flap on the down-stroke, while in the drawing they are moving upward. Colville includes sightlines in this work, and shows his consideration of the spatial relationship between the woman and crow in the arching sight lines connecting the two.
This is an image about our connection to nature and the enigma of animals – but it is also about our perception of time. As Philip Fry writes, “What remains with us, in us, of the present is a memory of our awareness, a sense of being…From outside our personal life-worlds, Cyclist and Crow, an image forever the same, invites us to notice the mystery of the present moment, the place from which time flies straight onward as the crow, laden with choice and fate.”
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