Woman at Clothesline, 1956-1957
glazed oil emulsion on masonite
121.8 x 91.5 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 6683)
Between 1955 and 1960 Alex Colville did a series of paintings that celebrated domestic life around his home in Sackville, New Brunswick. The titles of his paintings are generally descriptive, simply identifying each work rather than implying any narrative. Described as a Magic Realist, Colville's highly stylized representation omits phenomena such as cast shadows while creating detailed forms through layered brushstrokes of colour. In this carefully arranged composition, Colville has depicted his wife, Rhoda, carrying laundry, a celebration of everyday life and a reflection on middle class, democratic society.