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Item Name: Painting
Title: Blue Loop, N.D.
Maker: Henry Bonli
Year: 1967
Country: Canadian
Materials: enamel on paper
Measurements: in frame: 74.3 cm x 105.4 cm; work: 58.4 cm x 88.9 cm
ID Number: ART 083
Legal Status: ART RENTAL

Extended Label Info: Henry Bonli painted this artwork, entitled “Blue Loop”, using blue enamel paint on paper. Enamel is a solvent-based paint that provides solid colour and a glossy, hard finish. Originally developed as house paint, it was used by Abstract Expressionist artists such as Jackson Pollock for two reasons: it is relatively cheap compared to artist’s oils, and it is a very liquid, pourable type of paint. These qualities allow the artist to easily work on large canvasses, and in spontaneous and energetic movements. Using enamel paint allowed Bonli to work in a calligraphic manner, as if using ink, dipping his brush and creating an expressive line in one gesture. Canadian painter and interior designer, Henry Bonli (1927—2011) was born in Lashburn, Saskatchewan. He received a teaching certificate from the Saskatchewan Teachers’ College in Saskatoon (1947). For a short time, he taught in Meadow Lake, before moving to Calgary and attending the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art (1950). During the fifties, Bonli combined work as a designer with studies at the Art Center School in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, and the New York School of Interior Design in New York City. Moving to Saskatoon in 1958, he founded Bonli Interiors, and did a weekly TV show for CTV. Bonli also worked as a consultant for both the Saskatchewan Arts Board and the Saskatoon school system. He attended the Emma Lake Workshops, and was a member of the Saskatchewan Society of Artists and Vice President for the Saskatoon Art Centre. In 1965, Bonli and his family moved to Toronto, opening Bonli Gallery, and later two Henri the Second locations to sell art and furniture. His artwork is represented in the public collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Saskatchewan Arts Board, University of Saskatchewan, Mendel Art Gallery (now the Remai Modern), MacKenzie Art Gallery, and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts