After the overwhelming success of the original, this lavishly illustrated and superbly printed art book is now available in trade paper.
From the sometimes eccentric but remarkable work, rooted in symbolism and theosophy, of pioneers such as Kathleen Munn, Bertram Brooker and Lawren Harris, to the Automatistes in Montreal, to the conceptual art movement in Halifax, the urge to abstraction in art is spread wide across Canada. Abstract Painting in Canada covers the movement throughout the twentieth century, including highlights from 1940s Montreal and the Clement Greenberg-influenced Prairies in the sixties and seventies. The book continues through the eighties and nineties, during which critics largely denounced painting, and concludes in the twenty-first century, with abstract painting alive and well again in the studios of Canada's young artists. A monumental tome containing 200 colour reproductions, it mines a rich vein of art history ripe for international discovery.
"This thick and well-constructed survey of abstract painting in Canada from the 1920s to the present comes complete with notes smartly arranged by chapter and 200 vibrant color images. Nasgaard...covers a lot of territory here as he illuminates 85-plus years of the art, lives, and careers of many well-known and less famous Canadian abstract expressionists, through all the art movement's phases...As with any good survey text, this work sets out to cover a big topic broadly (abstract painting in Canada) rather than provide readers with an in-depth study of any one particular person, period, or subtopic. Readable yet comprehensive, it is highly recommended for arts libraries or special collections with a modern, contemporary, and/or Canadian art focus."
"In his introduction to this comprehensive overview of abstract painting in Canada, the eminent historian, critic and curator Roald Nasgaard makes clear the difficulties in pinning absolutes to the term 'abstract'. Instead, he suggests that abstraction is better understood as a synergetic continuum between representation and pure painterly construction...Thoroughly researched, highly readable and filled with top-notch illustrations, Nasgaard's book firmly establishes a historical canon and sets a new standard for Canadian art publishing."
"Abstract Painting in Canada is a long-overdue critical look in one volume at the history of an aesthetic approach that produced major Canadian artists like Jack Bush, Jean-Paul Riopelle and Paul-Emile Borduas...[Nasgaard] quotes the literature, puts the artists in historical context, and buttresses his personal judgements with specific details without falling into obscure artspeak. Here's a critical history that's worth its art-book price."
"Lavishly illustrated history of all those paintings that look to us like lines, splotches and squiggles explores the ways abstraction splintered into regional movements."
"This beautiful book, gloriously free of any black-and-white images, emancipates us from the popular fallacy that abstract art was born in New York in the 1940s...Though academic, Nasgaard sometimes discloses a poetic side."