Alex Colville was born in Toronto in 1920 and moved to Nova Scotia in 1929. From 1938 to 1942, Colville attended Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Immediately after completing university in 1942, Colville entered the Canadian army and was appointed an official war artist, traveling overseas in 1944.
After the end of the war in 1945, Colville joined Mount Allison University as a member of the faculty. In 1951, he held his first exhibition at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John. In 1952 he held his first exhibition outside of Canada in a group show at the Hewitt Gallery in New York. In 1963, Colville resigned from his teaching position at Mount Allison to devote himself entirely to his artistic career. In 1965 he was commissioned to design Canada’s centennial coins and in 1966 he was chosen to represent Canada at the prestigious Venice Biennale. From 1967 to 1968, Colville was a visiting professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz before spending six months in West Berlin as a visiting artist in 1971. In 1978, he designed a medal for the Governor General.
Alex Colville exhibited extensively across North America, Europe and Asia and his work is found in major museum, corporate and public collections around the world, including: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris; Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover, Germany; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Musée National D’Art Moderne, Paris; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa and Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne.
Alex Colville died at his home in Wolfville, Nova Scotia on July 16, 2013.
In August 2014, the Art Gallery of Ontario will be exhibiting a Colville exhibition of 100 paintings, drawings and screenprints. The exhibition, curated by the AGO's Curator of Canadian Art Andrew Hunter, will explore Colville's ongoing influence.
Alex Colville, Leading Canadian Artist, Dies at 92 - New York Times
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