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William Kurelek and Joan Murray.

Edmonton, Hurtig Publishers, 1983.
80pp., cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 0-88830-254-1.

Grades 6 and up.
Reviewed by Gary Robertson.

Volume 12 Number 2
1984 March

William Kurelek was a Canadian artist with unique visions and a consummate talent, whose paintings have charm, beauty, and universal appeal. The latest tribute is a book based on a major exhibition of his paintings, organized by the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. The paintings will also travel across Canada during 1983-84. Joan Murray, the gallery director has written a short insight into Kurelek's progress as a painter and his personality development. This is coupled with an assemblage of Kurelek interviews, reminiscences, and writings on his own art.

When we look at the paintings, we are aware of two striking elements. First there is the broad expansive landscape achieved by placing the viewer well above ground level. And second, although just casual observers, we are subsequently drawn in to the action and the narrative aspect of the painting. We share in the emotions of love, death, tragedy, humour and fantasy. We become involved with the introspective part of Kurelek and the characters he paints. More is revealed when we read Kurelek's description of each painting, in which he expresses his concerns for humanity, nature, and God.

This book has forty-eight beautiful colour reproductions of Kurelek's work, bringing all the details into focus. The book is well bound and has an attractive slip cover. Murray's revealing story of Kurelek's life and artistic development helps us to understand this important Canadian artist. There should be a copy of this book in every library and on every coffee table.

Gary Robertson, Thom C. I., Regina, SK.
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