WILLIAM (WASYL) KURELEK RCAe, OC, OSA
(1927 - 1977)
Coloured Photo-Lithograph
Signed by the Artist in Pencil and Initialled in the screen
Numbered 230/300
Titled "Stalking Migrating Caribou"
w. 9 3/4 in. by h. 11 3/4 in.
Framed
SOLD

William Kurelek

 

William Kurelek

 

KURELEK, Wasyl (William) RCAe, OC, OSA

 

Wm. Kurelek ImageWilliam was born near Whitford, Alberta and studied at the University of Manitoba: under Fred Hagan and Carl Schaefer at the Ontario College of Art: Instituto Allende, Mexico and studied picture framing in England. However William is considered basically self-taught, and was influenced by the work of Van Gogh, Brueghel and Bosch.

Kurelek’s subject matter is drawn from his own childhood in Alberta and Manitoba as well as the Polish and Jewish life of other families and he worked in oil, watercolour and mixed media such as lacquer, graphite, coloured pencil and pen. He painted Prairie rural farm scenes with families at work and at play, together with many genre paintings from all across Canada. His narrative genre and biblical subjects reflect his Ukrainian heritage and he also produced prints such as woodblocks and colour photo-lithographs.

William worked as a picture framer in Toronto in the 1960’s and carved or painted his own frames based on the traditional Ukrainian decorative style. Kurelek also travelled and painted in the North West Territories, India, South Africa, Hong Kong and Ukraine.

Kurelek received a Canada Council award in 1969 and an honorary doctorate from the University of Windsor in 1976. He exhibited with most of the major galleries across Canada and is represented in numerous corporate private and public collections including: the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art in New York City, etc.

After many years of waiting for a visa Kurelek finally took a trip to Ukraine. Though quite ill by this time he completed dozens of drawings and watercolours of village life and implements for a proposed book. Returning to Canada his health took a turn for the worst. In November 1977 William Kurelek died of cancer and was survived by his wife and four children. He spent the last few months of his life finishing his autobiography: Titled “Someone With Me”.

 

 

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