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Item Name: Drawing
Title: Picasso
Maker: Russell Yuristy
Year: 1983
Country: Canadian
Materials: Pastel, charcoal and coloured pencil on paper
Measurements: overall: 78.5 cm x 56 cm
ID Number: PC89.18

Extended Label Info: This is one of several drawings created by Russell Yuristy while meditating on his personal art heroes. The composition is divided into several distinct areas and combines an expressive portrait of the artist Picasso holding a rabbit, with a “Picasso-like” still life of guitar with fruit. In the upper left corner, a moose stands in a field of grass, and in the upper right corner, behind Picasso’s head, a candle burns and sheds a circle of light. Expressively drawn, the items and animals in this composition are positioned in a way that suggests they are part of a private vocabulary of symbols for the artist. In Yuristy’s work, rabbits often stand in for love and passion, Inspired by the Funk Art movement brought to Regina by ceramicist David Gilhooly in the 1970’s, Yursity often captured a sense of energy, immediacy and play in his varied artwork. Russell Yuristy (1936- ) was born in Goodeve, Saskatchewan. He graduated with a degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Saskatchewan (1959) before studying art at the University of Wisconsin (1967). After teaching art in Regina and coordinating workshops at Emma Lake, Yuristy moved to Stilton, Saskatchewan and began designing and constructing large playground structures. Yuristy’s playful designs defined many iconic spaces in the prairies, such as the red and white striped climbing “trees” in Regina’s Candy Cane Park, and the metal elephant Rusty on the north side of RPL Central Library. Although his sculptural play-spaces have been replaced as parks get updated, his approach was part of a revolution in public design. Today, Yuristy is known as a printmaker, painter and teacher whose works are based on the land and animal life around him. His artwork has been exhibited nationally and is held in the numerous public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Mendel Art Gallery Collection at Remai Modern, and the Canada Council Art Bank.

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