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Item Name: Print
Title: Moonlighting
Maker: Louis de Niverville
Year: 1979
Country: Canadian
Materials: lithograph/silkscreen
Measurements: in frame: 62.5 cm x 73.5 cm; work: 45.5 cm x 60.5 cm
ID Number: ART 158
Legal Status: ART RENTAL


Extended Label Info: Louis de Niverville’s “Moonlighting” illustrates a fantastical scene of animals and dinosaurs with briefcases emerging from a central building to roam joyfully in the dark of night with a crowd of flying people and creatures. His use of creamy white lines against black creates a dream-like quality and suggests that this scene is lit by moonlight. A self-taught artist, de Niverville was influenced by his experiences during a long childhood illness. From age 6 to 11 he lived in hospital with spinal tuberculosis, spending the last year in a plaster body cast. His parents could visit, but he was secluded from his 12 siblings to prevent the spread of infection. To entertain himself, he would cut out characters from comic strips and play with them. Over his career, de Niverville worked in many mediums including collage, drawing, printmaking, painting and murals. His artwork has often been described as surreal, a place of imagination where dreams become real, and the personal is transformed into the monumental. Louis de Niverville (1933—2019) was born in Andover, England. In 1934 his family moved to Montreal, where Louis spent his early childhood years. In 1953, the family moved to Ottawa. There, while working as an office clerk, de Niverville was encouraged in his art practice by freelance art director Paul Arthur. In 1957 he moved to Toronto to work as a freelance illustrator for Mayfair magazine, and then joined the graphic art department of the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC). In 1967, de Niverville was commissioned to create a mural for the Expo theatre in Montreal, which led to numerous commissions, including public murals for the Toronto Pearson Airport (1963), TTC Spadina Station (1978), and Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto (1993). His work resides in private and corporate collections, including the Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa), the Art Gallery of Hamiliton, the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Musée d’art Contemporain (Montreal), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), and the Joseph H. Hirschhorn Museum (Washington. D.C.).