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Remembering Alex Colville 1920- 2013

July 19, 2013 - Born in Toronto, Ontario in 1920, Alex Colville went on to become one of Canada's most recognized and celebrated artists over his 60 year career. With the news of his passing on July 16, RBC has taken a moment to recognize Colville for his contributions to the visual arts and impact on the Canadian painting landscape.

Photo caption: Alex Colville, Looking Down, 1988. Acrylic, polymer and emulsion on canvas, 71x71 cm/ 28x28 inches

Photo caption: Alex Colville, Looking Down, 1988
Acrylic, polymer and emulsion on canvas, 71x71 cm/ 28x28 inches

The World War 2 veteran is most renowned for his realist style, often depicting what some would consider being mundane subjects about his daily life in Nova Scotia. His compositions often include the people closest to him, such as his wife Rhoda, and are layered with personal reflections and insight. 

The RBC Corporate Art Collection includes three of Colville’s works: Koln Express (Serigraph, 1986), Raven (Serigraph, 1988) and most notably, the painting Looking Down (1988) which hangs on the 40th floor in Royal Bank Plaza in Toronto.

Colville was an active member of the Canadian art community and in 2001, participated as a juror in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition, which aims to give exposure to emerging artists from across the country.