John P Crabb Gallery

Trees, Lakes, Prairies, Mountains: Western Canadian Landscapes in the Phillips Era

At first glance, landscape paintings tend to conduct themselves as transparent historical documents, showing us a clear image of the environments upon which our contemporary lives were built. However, in Canada, landscapes are often illustrated through particular aesthetic approaches. This exhibition explores the landscapes of western Canada through the aestheticized lenses of Walter J. Phillips and a selection of his contemporaries.

Cyril H. Barraud - Red River, Winnipeg, 1915

Cyril H. Barraud
Canadian (born in England), 1877–1965

Red River, Winnipeg, 1915
oil on canvas

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery
Gift of Robert and Margaret Hucal, 2003-119
Photography: Leif Norman, Courtesy of WAG-Qaumajuq

About Walter J. Phillips

Walter J. Phillips was born in England in 1884. As a young man, he moved to South Africa where he worked as a teacher, newspaper reporter, surveyor's assistant, law clerk and diamond miner. Phillips returned to England briefly before immigrating to Winnipeg in 1913, and later moved to Calgary, Banff and lastly to Victoria where he died in 1963.

One of Canada's most celebrated artists, Walter J. Phillips produced hundreds of watercolours, colour woodcuts, etchings and 

engravings throughout his long career, depicting the Canadian landscape in Manitoba and Northwest Ontario.

Few other Canadian artists left such an enormous catalogue of Canadian art chronicling works from the eastern townships of Quebec to the west coast. Phillips is recognized internationally for his innovations in colour woodblock printing.

John-P-Crabb-Gallery-artist-bio-picture.jpg (136 KB)

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