Open Door of Third House, Grubert Lane, Montreal, c. 1939
Galician, Canadian, 1904
oil on canvas
76.3 x 67 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 18626)
Paralleling the growth of the proletarian groups is that of individual Canadian painters whose similarity of background, circumstances, and approach to art tends to make for identity with the revolutionary movement. Yet a stubborn individualist character or political backwardness keeps these men aloof from the movement which could well use their services, and through which they would likely come to a richer expression . . . The subject matter of [Louis Muhlstock, Alexander Bercovitch, and Sam Borenstein] is similar: they paint the Montreal ghetto, tramp steamers in the harbour, street scenes, typical workers and members of the lumpen proletariat. Their pictures reflect an intense preoccupation with the squalid lives of the dispossessed . . . Muhlstock and Borenstein link their preoccupations closely with political awareness, though neither has as yet participated in the revolutionary movement. Muhlstock to date has not carried his work through to its logical political conclusions . . .
"A Cartoonist of the Left," The Canadian Forum, August 1935