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Item Name: Painting
Title: Untitled #4
Maker: William McCargar
Year: n.d.
Country: Canadian
Materials: acrylic on board
Measurements: overall: 46.5 cm x 78 cm
ID Number: PC84.7

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 acrylic painting, McCargar creates a view of a prairie lake nestled in the valley. The symmetry of the hills and the trees on either side of the composition create a sense that this image is a backdrop for a stage. 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.