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Item Name: Print
Title: Print #2
Maker: Donald McNamee
Year: 1965
Country: Canadian
Materials: serigraph
Measurements: in frame: 73 cm x 92 cm; work: 44 cm x 58 cm
ID Number: ART 036
Legal Status: ART RENTAL

Extended Label Info: McNamee is best known for his Structurist reliefs, sculptural geometric works that incorporate bold colour, projecting planes, and minimal cube forms to explore rhythmic shapes, light and shadow in a fusion of painting and sculpture. This silkscreen print is visually very similar to McNamee’s work in reliefs: the image is composed of with rectangles in primary colours arranged at right angles, overlaid with solid black lines. Structurism is a modernist approach to art developed in Saskatoon by Eli Bornstein, McNamee and their colleagues. It developed out of the philosophies of the Soviet art movement “Constructivism” which emphasized that the artist should work like an engineer, and build art that reflects the industrial world. Aesthetically, Constructivism used stripped down, geometric forms and modest materials. Donald McNamee (1938-1994) was born in Assiniboia, and grew up in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. He studied at the University of Saskatchewan, earning a BA in fine arts and history (1961), and at Ohio State University, earning an MFA in painting and art history (1963), and MFA in painting, history, and philosophy (1966). McNamee returned to the University of Saskatchewan to teach for the Department of Art in 1966, working with Eli Bornstein. McNamee was also a prominent member of Saskatoon’s gay and lesbian community. In the early 1980s, he was both a founding member of first gay organization in the city, the Zodiac Friendship Society, and the Coalition for Human Equality. In 1992, McNamee played a significant role gaining provincial human rights legislation to protect LGBT people from discrimination. In 1985, McNamee left the University and established his own business in architectural design. His artwork has been exhibited in Canada and the United States, and is held in public collections, notably the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Kazimir Gallery (Chicago), and Mendel Art Gallery (Now Remai Modern, Saskatoon).