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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

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Art in Profile #5: Reta Sumers Cowley

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Art in Profile #5: Reta Sumers Cowley Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Reta Cowley came to maturity as an artist in the late 1950s and early 1960s, at a time when abstraction was on the ascendant, and the Regina Five and the Painters Eleven were stars of the Canadian art scene. However, Cowley explored other directions, becoming a major contributor to the development of Canadian landscape painting after World War II. Reta Summers Cowley is the first book devoted solely to the life and work of this often overlooked prairie painter. Saskatchewan author Terry Fenton has drawn from both his personal acquaintance with the artist and his own long career in the arts to provide an in-depth look at Cowley’s contributions to Canadian art history. Known primarily as a watercolourist, Cowley is sometimes dismissed as a “hobby painter,” but she was a vital and influential part of the thriving arts community on the prairies for over three decades. Her inspiration came from the landscape around Saskatoon, and she painted primarily on location for her entire career. Reta Summers Cowley provides a critical analysis of Cowley’s work from the 1940s through the early 1990s, placing it in the context of the popular influences of the time and of modernist painting in general. Also included is a section titled “Cowley on Cowley,” which offers an uncensored glimpse of Cowley’s own thoughts on her work and practice through interviews, personal diary entries, and study notes.

Book News Annotation:

As part of a series focusing on contemporary Canadian artists and architects co-published with the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, of which Fenton is a former director, this volume profiles Reta Cowley (1910-2004). From his personal acquaintance with this Saskatoon-area watercolorist, the author showcases the work of a major contributor to Canadian landscape painting. Her critical thoughts on her own work is included as well as a record of her painting trips, as evidence that she was hardly a Sunday painter as sometimes criticized. Distributed by Michigan State U. Press.
Annotation 2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Book News Annotation:

As part of a series focusing on contemporary Canadian artists and architects co-published with the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, of which Fenton is a former director, this volume profiles Reta Cowley (1910-2004). From his personal acquaintance with this Saskatoon-area watercolorist, the author showcases the work of a major contributor to Canadian landscape painting. Her critical thoughts on her own work is included as well as a record of her painting trips, as evidence that she was hardly a Sunday painter as sometimes criticized. Distributed by Michigan State U. Press. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Reta Cowley was a painter in step with changes taking place in her country. She began by painting in the British watercolor tradition and through a broadening influence developed her own artistic vision. Working primarily on location, Cowley painted the landscape around her home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and in 1964 received national recognition with a touring exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Canada. Many public and private exhibitions followed throughout the 1970s and 1980s, securing her reputation as a nationally recognized Canadian artist. Drawing upon a variety of source material, including reviews, exhibition catalogues, art history reference books, taped interviews, and even diary and journal entries, Fenton delivers a comprehensive picture of this influential prairie painter. With stunning color photography and a detailed biography, this book is an indispensable resource for collectors, galleries, libraries, museums, and art researchers interested in the diversity of Canadian art.

Synopsis:

Reta Summers Cowley is the first book devoted solely to the life and work of this often overlooked prairie painter of the same name. Providing a critical analysis of Cowley’s work from the 1940s through the early 1990s, placing it in the context of the popular influences of the time and of modernist painting in general.

About the Author

Terry Fenton is a landscape painter, writer and art consultant who currently resides in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He is former Director of the Edmonton Art Gallery, the Leighton Foundation in Calgary, and the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781552381830
Author:
Fenton, Terry
Publisher:
University of Calgary Press
Subject:
Individual Artist
Subject:
Painters
Subject:
Canada
Subject:
Individual Artists - General
Subject:
Painters -- Canada.
Subject:
Cowley, Reta
Subject:
Art - Artists
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
Art in Profile: Canadian Art and Archite
Series Volume:
5
Publication Date:
20061103
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
118
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Artists
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Canadian
Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Painting » General
History and Social Science » Military » General History
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

Art in Profile #5: Reta Sumers Cowley New Trade Paper
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Product details 118 pages University of Calgary Press - English 9781552381830 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Reta Cowley was a painter in step with changes taking place in her country. She began by painting in the British watercolor tradition and through a broadening influence developed her own artistic vision. Working primarily on location, Cowley painted the landscape around her home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and in 1964 received national recognition with a touring exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Canada. Many public and private exhibitions followed throughout the 1970s and 1980s, securing her reputation as a nationally recognized Canadian artist. Drawing upon a variety of source material, including reviews, exhibition catalogues, art history reference books, taped interviews, and even diary and journal entries, Fenton delivers a comprehensive picture of this influential prairie painter. With stunning color photography and a detailed biography, this book is an indispensable resource for collectors, galleries, libraries, museums, and art researchers interested in the diversity of Canadian art.
"Synopsis" by ,
Reta Summers Cowley is the first book devoted solely to the life and work of this often overlooked prairie painter of the same name. Providing a critical analysis of Cowley’s work from the 1940s through the early 1990s, placing it in the context of the popular influences of the time and of modernist painting in general.
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