1920 - 2013
Study for Dog in Car
acrylic and ink on paper
dated 29 Mar. 97, 31 Mar., 11 Apr. 97, 12 Apr. and inscribed variously and on verso titled, dated 1997 and inscribed "DUG 14156"
4 x 3 1/2 in, 10.2 x 8.9 cm
Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000
Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave
Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton
Collection of Peggy Marko, Edmonton
Tom Smart, Alex Colville: Return, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 2003, page 76, the 1999 painting Dog in Car reproduced page 77
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Alex Colville: Return, September 27, 2003 - November 30, 2003, traveling in 2003 - 2005 to Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton; Museum London; University of Toronto Art Centre; and Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon
This 1977 study, related to Alex Colville’s 1999 painting Dog in Car, has similarities and differences to this work. The painting portrays the Colvilles’ pet dog in the back seat of their vehicle, intently watching Colville’s wife Rhoda as she reverses the car. This study develops the subject of the dog in the back seat with the same alert stance, but with the door open rather than closed. Dogs like being in cars, and the dog shows no desire to leave the seat, instead waiting patiently for the drive. Tom Smart comments that “Dogs, in addition to personifying elemental Goodness, are Colville’s symbolic self-portraits. They embody all that is benign and loyal, a kind of nearly human being with no malice at all.” In reference to the painting Dog in Car, Smart feels that “the dog is a doppelganger, a double of a ghost or living person, in this instance of Colville himself.” It is a feature of Colville’s working process that he produces many drawings for each painting, working out all the aspects and possibilities of the composition before focusing on his final image. An early sketch for the painting showed a person in the back seat, and this fascinating study shows how significant his decision was to include the dog instead as part of the final painting.
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