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Item Name: Painting
Title: Nowhere
Maker: Mollie Cruickshank Lawrence
Year: 1966
Country: Canadian
Materials: india ink on paper
Measurements: in frame: 71 cm x 33 cm; work: 56 cm x 18 cm
ID Number: ART 084
Legal Status: ART RENTAL

Extended Label Info: In this abstract composition, Mollie Cruickshank Lawrence uses an unusually richly coloured, eggplant-purple ink. Purple is often associated with royalty and the qualities of power, grandeur, extravagance, and magic. However, in her title for this artwork, she makes no connection to a specific time or place, “Nowhere” declares an absence of the real world. Over her art career, M. Cruickshank Lawrence moved away from realism to experiment with improvisation and paint application. One of her influences was Abstract Expressionism, a movement which values directness and immediacy of expression, and in which the brushstroke reveals the artist and the painting becomes a record of the artist’s process. Painter and printmaker, Mollie Alicia Cruickshank Lawrence (1920- ? ) was born in Regina, into a social class that received significant coverage in the Regina Leader-Post during the early 20th century. She was an active member of Regina’s arts community, and newspaper coverage on local exhibitions describes her early work as landscapes. She graduated Normal School with a teaching certificate (1939) and earned a degree from the University of Saskatchewan. On August 14th, 1948 the Leader-Post reported her marriage to fellow graduate Bruce Lawrence, and the couple’s plan to move to Bogata, Columbia. In the decades following, she is described as an art teacher for a Regina Collegiate, and later, as the Art Supervisor for Elementary Grades at the Regina Board of Education. Mollie Cruickshank Lawrence’s early art influences include the landscape painters Walter. J. Phillips and André Biéler, but in later years, she began experimenting in abstraction. She attended the Emma Lake art workshops led by notable Modernists Jules Olitski, Lawrence Alloway, and Frank Stella. In February of 1964, a newspaper reviewer praises the freshness and vitality of her work in an exhibition at the Regina Library Gallery (now Dunlop Art Gallery). She exhibited widely in the 1960s, with the society of Canadian Painter-Etchers and Engravers, and at Mackenzie Art Gallery; Saskatchewan Arts Show (Ohio, 1965); Saskatchewan Jubilee Art Exhibit (1965); and at the Bonli Gallery (Toronto, 1966-67). Her artwork is held in public collections including the Saskatchewan Arts Board, and in private collections in Vancouver, Regina, Toronto, New York, Washington, and London.