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At first glance, landscape paintings tend to conduct themselves as transparent historical documents, showing us a clear image of the environments upon which our contemporary lives were built.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
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.