ANTHONY BLICQ ART
Anthony Blicq - a Canadian painter who was a master at capturing the sublime moment, yet with his untimely death, was not able to fully achieve his moment in Canadian art history.
"I have thrown brushes, tubes of paint, even a chair, and yelled (unheard, I hope) like a howling dog, releasing all the tensions that get in the way of the brush."
The Full Story
Anthony Blicq- a Canadian painter who was a master at capturing the sublime moment, yet with his untimely death, was not able to fully achieve his moment in Canadian art history.
What made Anthony authentic was his ability to paint well coupled with his life quest to search for the truth of painting. In his search he came to fully understand not only how paint should be laid down or a mark should rest, but how he should best engender his ideas.
Anthony worked so diligently to find the essence of his art that he created hundreds of works, both studies and fully developed paintings.
Born in the Channel Islands of the U.K. he and his family were forced to become refugees during the Nazi occupation. In 1940 he came to live with relatives in Canada. In the late 40’s he began to explore his vision when his photographs were published internationally. In 1955 he held his first exhibit at the Winnipeg Art gallery. Also in the 50’s he published a series of short stories in 10 countries and 7 languages. Finally in the 60’s and 70’s he became the founding director of the University of British Columbia Press and had his first novel, the Rise and fall of married Charlie published by Andre Deutsch of London. But it was not until he semi-retired to live winter/spring in Greece and summer/fall in Vancouver in the 1980’s did Anthony begin to successfully move away from the realistic renderings that characterized his painting between 1950 and 1980 to develop his style prominent in his paintings of 1980 to 1996 in which you can clearly see an artist whose fully realized abstracted expressions will be what he is remembered for.
The 1990’s would yield paintings that move Anthony beyond regional. In six brief years Anthony gave us truly meaningful paintings that compete with the best in contemporary art. I often wonder what he would have produced if he had lived longer.
What we are left with are gems of significant imagery. Anthony distilled for us what we see and how we feel what we see. His ability to throw down a mark imbued with deep representational meaning and to wash his surface with powerful, impassioned colour fields take the viewer to the exact moment of creation full of emotive and pictorial value.
In a period where some say painting is dead there are a few artists who have successfully reinvented aging models to again give painting a prominent place in todays’ art history. Anthony Blicq gave us that gift.
-GREG LEJNIEKS, Vice President, Buschlen Mowatt Fine Arts, Ltd.