Legendary Canadian artists to lecture

By Communications Staff
January 11, 2013

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Legendary Canadian artists Jane and Tony Urquhart bring lessons from their travels to Western to help celebrate the McIntosh Gallery’s 70th anniversary. Their lecture, Power and Place: Landscape in the Visual and Literary Arts, will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 in Conron Hall, University College.

For more than 30 years, the Urquharts, who live in Colborne, Ont., have travelled together regularly. These trips, and the way in which travel has informed their remarkable work, will be the subject of this illustrated presentation.

The McIntosh Gallery may have opened in 1942, but it wasn’t until Tony Urquhart arrived as artist-in-residence in 1960 that the first university art gallery in Ontario took off.

With his irrepressible good humour and keen sociability, Tony Urquhart was one of a handful of artists responsible for generating the excitement and community engagement that garnered national acclaim for the bourgeoning London art scene during the late 1960s. Putting an artist at the centre of the gallery’s curatorial operations was indicative of the broader regional trend toward empowered artists, culminating in 1968 with the formation of CARFAC (Canadian Artists’ Representation) in London by Tony Urquhart, Jack Chambers and Kim Ondaatje.

Since the late-1950s, Tony Urquhart has traveled extensively, which has inspired a vast array of his drawings, paintings and sculptures, often of landscape or architecture. For his remarkable accomplishments as an artist, he was named to the Order of Canada in 1995, and received the Governor General's Award for the Visual Arts in 2009. He has also illustrated books by Michael Ondaatje, Rohinton Mistry and Jane Urquhart, the internationally acclaimed novelist, whom he married in 1976.

With her first novel, The Whirlpool (1986), Jane Urquhart became the first Canadian to win France’s prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger. Her third novel, Away (1993), won a Trillium Award, was shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and remained on The Globe & Mail’s national bestseller list for a record 132 weeks. She received the Marian Engel Award in 1994, and was appointed Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur by the French government in 1996. Her fourth novel, The Underpainter, won the 1997 Governor General’s Award for fiction. She was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005.























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