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Item Name: Painting
Title: Untitled (D'Abstract)
Maker: William McCargar
Year: n.d.
Country: Canadian
Materials: enamel, gouache and glitter on paper
Measurements: overall: 18.7 cm x 26 cm
ID Number: PC87.11

Extended Label Info: Bill McCargar was one of several self-taught folk artists working in Saskatchewan in the twentieth century. He often painted his subject matter from memory, drawing on his experiences from his career as a CP Rail-Station agent in small towns throughout the prairies. McCargar’s artwork has a theatrical feeling, often featuring a flat, nearly abstract landscape and disproportionately sized elements, creating a skewed sense of reality. In this painting, McCargar experiments further with abstraction, reducing landscape into a vortex of colour. (Note, there is an image on either side of this work) William Coulsen McCargar (1906 – 1987) was born in 1906 in Newcastle, Ontario and grew up in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan. He worked for Canadian Pacific Railways in many different towns before settling in Regina. McCargar began painting using paint-by-number sets, but in 1958 on the advice of his neighbor, the acclaimed artist Ken Lochhead, he began creating his own compositions. Like many other folk-artists of his generation, McCargar received support and recognition from the Saskatchewan arts community through exhibition and collection. His use of unusual materials such as glitter inspired well-known artist David Thauberger to be similarly experimental in his own practice. A major retrospective of his work was held by Dunlop Art Gallery in 1987. His work is held in public collections including the Canadian Museum of History in Hull, Quebec.

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