Rocamadour I, 1970
wood, oil, plexiglas, found objects
162.6 x 50.8 x 40.6 cm (wings closed); 162.6 x 74.9 x 40.6 cm (wings open)
National Gallery of Canada (no. 16892)
Painter turned sculptor Anthony Urquhart is renowned for the mixed-media box works that he began to create in 1965. Made from wood and found objects, these curious objects manifest the artist’s fascination with landscape, translating the two-dimensional representations of his paintings and drawings into complex spatial explorations. In his experimentation with a series of opening boxes, begun in 1967, the act of painting seems to extend into the third dimension. "Rocamadour I" was inspired by a visit the artist made to a pilgrimage town in Bordeaux, France. The items contained within this cage-like enclosure recreate the perspective of the landscape as viewed through a trellised herb-garden. Grapevines and hanging laundry are echoed by colourful cloth and other objects suspended by wires in the box. This fusion of nature, architecture and objects creates an intimate, imaginary world in a state of metamorphosis.