William Kurelek’s Canadian Art

Kurelek by William Pettigrew – NFB: (1967, 10 min 7 s) A documentary about the self-taught painter William Kurelek, told through his paintings. There are scenes of village life in the Ukraine and the early days of struggle on a prairie homestead and the growing comfort of family life. In Ontario, Kurelek paints the present life of Canada with the same pleasure he painted the old.

See William Kurelek on Wikipedia.

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8 Responses to William Kurelek’s Canadian Art

  1. ms modigliani says:

    Wonderful NFB film–amazing how the music and movement through the paintings stirred my imagination and curiosity about Kurelek.

  2. Mark Willis says:

    I have returned in my mind to the AGO Kurelek gallery every day since last Saturday. His paintings made a lasting impression, like the first time I saw Lawren Harris and Tom Thompson. It will be the first place I want to go when we return to the AGO.

    Attention, Universe: I want more Canadian art on the Internet. I’m searching for well-documented William Kurelek images.

  3. winn says:

    I too have returned to the AGO to visit the Kurelek Gallery a number of times since the reopening. I am so very pleased that William Kurelek’s paintings are hung in such a lovely gallery of natural light.

    For the past eighteen month I have had the privilege to be involved as producer in the development of an independent documentary film on the life and work of William Kurelek, one of Canada’s most beloved and successful artists. The working title of the film is “the Passion of Kurelek”.

    Pre-production goals have been met and we have the “film treatment” completed.
    We are currently seeking financial support for the production of this feature length docu- drama.

    In providing financial support for this project, contributors, corporate or individual, would receive credit in the film as a major benefactor and a charitable tax receipt from the Taras Shevchenko Foundation based in Winnipeg.

    We will start filming this coming September. Editing will take place in 2009-2010 with completion slated for early 2011.

    The film will premiere in Winnipeg in January 2011, to coincide with a major Kurelek retrospective that will be held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and will later travel to the Hamilton Art Gallery and the Victoria Art Gallery. A Toronto premiere is also being planned for 2011. All donors and supporters will be invited to both premieres.

    I feel very passionate about this project and am committed to making it happen.
    I believe that the film will be powerful and evocative and that audiences will discover or re-discover a William Kurelek that they may thought they knew but in fact knew little about.

    Should you, or those who visit your site, be able to direct me to Foundations or individuals who may be interested in helping make this film a reality, it would be greatly appreciated.

    We are also researching and archiving WK paintings as we discover them as a resource for future reference and educational purposes.

    Thank you kindly,
    Winn

  4. Mark Willis says:

    Winn, if you included a link in your comment, I don’t think it made it through the php mill. Do you have a website where you can be reached?

  5. winn says:

    Mark, thank you for your interest in “the Passion of Kurelek”

    At this point in time we do not have a William Kurelek film project web site as we are working on a shoe string budget.
    We do however hope to have one when we move into production.

    Currently, the director, Ms. Halya Kuchmij of Toronto, our researcher Nick Mitchell of Winnipeg and myself are the team.

    To date we have had the generous support of the Canadian and Ukrainian Canadian community
    which has allowed us to reach our initial goal,completion of the film treatment.

    Kurelek is best know for his paintings depicting everyday life among many of the ethnic groups that settled this country, whether they were Ukrainian, Polish, Jewish, Irish, Inuit or French Canadian,
    should anyone wish more information about this film project, or have information they wish to share with us kindly contact me at kuplowsky@rogers.com

    I encourage people to visit the Art Gallery of Ontario, “AGO” in Toronto.
    Ask to be directed to the Thomson Collection.
    On the second floor you will find the Canadian Galleries.There you will find the art work of William Kurelek.Take the time to reflect on both the light hearted and the dark elements of his work and I am sure you will want to know more about this Canadian artist.

    The site below may be of interest to you Mark.
    http://www.niagarafallsartgallery.ca/kurelek.htm

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  7. Joy Moos says:

    It is 2:42 am and I have just watched this wonderful NFB documentary.
    As a long time fan and admirer of Mr. Kurelek’s work…I was delighted to watch and listen to this documentary.
    For some reason, I have always felt that his work wasn’t given it’s due in Eastern Canada..
    what a shame….people here do not know what they have been missing.

  8. Mark Willis says:

    I agree with you, Joy. The first time I encountyered Kurelek’s work at the AGO, I was deeply moved. The paintings had immediacy and presence. I believe that museums that own Kurelek paintings tend to be parsimonious about publishing images on the Internet, which misses an opportunity to share his work with a very wide audience. Best regards, and thanks for the link to the Joy Moos Gallery!

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