Although he painted landscapes throughout his life and drew inspiration from nature, Macdonald's best paintings show his struggle to find an abstract form of expression. Among the first abstract artists in Canada, he immersed himself in painting the experience of his environment at NOOTKA SOUND on northwest Vancouver Island in 1935-36. One of the most important teachers in modern Canadian art history, he and Varley founded the innovative BC College of Arts (1933-35). He taught at the Provincial Institute of Technology at Calgary (1946-47) and, from 1947 until his death, at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto.
Numerous Canadian artists acknowledge the impact he had on their development. Instrumental in founding the Calgary Group in 1947, he was a key figure in the influential Ontario abstract group PAINTERS ELEVEN, and was active in most Canadian art societies. He is best remembered for his free-flowing abstract watercolours and the often majestic paintings of his last years - without question his masterpieces.
Author JOYCE ZEMANS
Links to Other Sites
A website devoted to the legendary Canadian art movement known as the Painters Eleven. Features artist bios and images of their works.
PaintersEleven.com is an online gallery and information source about the group of artists known as the Painters Eleven.
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