Ivan Eyre Gallery

Emerging from the Lines: The Drawings & Studies of Ivan Eyre

The sketches, drawings, studies, repeated images, and unfinished works of Ivan Eyre allow us a glimpse into the artist’s process. Produced with a freer hand, using economical, malleable materials like paper, board, ink pens, graphite, and coloured pencils, drawing allowed for what Eyre described as “fewer distractions” for ideas to emerge.

The drawings featured in Emerging from the Lines can also be viewed, understood, and appreciated as an independent medium in and of itself!


Untitled, 1965 graphite on paper

Untitled, 1965 graphite on paper

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery
Gift of the late Mary H. Acheson in memory of her mother, the late Helen E. Acheson, G-66-13
Photography: Leif Norman, Courtesy of WAG-Qaumajuq

About Ivan Eyre

Ivan Kenneth Eyre was born in Tullymet, Saskatchewan in 1935. He studied under important artists including Ernest Lindner and Eli Bornstein, graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Manitoba in 1957, and spent the following year at the University of North Dakota. He returned to Canada to teach at the University of Manitoba until his retirement in 1993.

Throughout five decades of painting, Eyre produced figurative work, still lifes, personal mythologies, figure silhouette/landscape, family portraits and panoramic landscapes. His ability to combine these various interests into works of authority and visual appeal has made Eyre one of Canada's most respected painters.

Eyre’s landscapes often appear geographically specific, resembling locations as diverse as northern Manitoba and South America, but very few picture existing places—the majority are what he calls “invented landscapes.” While fictitious, by presenting vision itself as an always personal and creative act, Eyre’s painterly vistas bring the viewer closer to the world.

In 1998, the Pavilion at Assiniboine Park was restored and re-opened with the entire third floor dedicated as the Ivan Eyre Gallery. Eyre donated two hundred paintings, five thousand drawings and sixteen sculptures which are shown in exhibitions in his gallery on a rotating basis.

Eyre was elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1974, he received the Queen's Silver Jubliee medal in 1977, and the University of Manitoba Alumni Jubilee Award in 1982.

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