Edited by Avrom Isaacs [via]
Born on a farm in Alberta in the 1920s, William Kurelek spent his childhood and youth on the Canadian Prairies, a land that he came to love in spite of the difficulties wrought by farm life. Later, Kurelek traveled from coast to coast and painted various parts of Canada with a distinct affection for the land and its people. This delightfully illustrated volume features images from a broad spectrum of the entire country. Kurelek`s endearing paintings depict charming, poignant and often humourous scenes from the everyday lives of Canadians--from lumberjacks enjoying a hearty breakfast in Northern Ontario to families celebrating the Sabbath in Montreal. His paintings also capture the landscapes of a country made up of many different parts--from the rugged shores of Newfoundland to the Banff-Jasper Highway that runs through the Rocky Mountains.
Kurelek Country is a magnificent, personalized view of our nation. The artist`s father immigrated to Canada from the Ukraine, and the Ukrainian cultural heritage figures prominently in Kurelek`s work. So too do other diverse cultures, including the Polish and Irish in Canada. Kurelek is famous for his unique depictions of the many ethnic groups who settled this country.
Kurelek`s own passionate writings accompany the paintings, which demonstrate that his art has always contained a deep, spiritual message. Culled from his autobiography and personal correspondence, Kurelek`s words add a compelling element to this collection. Kurelek Country also features a foreword by the respected art dealer Avrom Isaacs, who was instrumental in building the career of William Kurelek. Before emerging as one of Canada`s best-known artists, Kurelek worked as a framer at the Isaacs Gallery in Toronto to support himself and his family. (1999)