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Item Name: Painting
Title: Untitled
Maker: Robert Newton Hurley
Year: 1950
Country: Canadian
Materials: Watercolour on card
Measurements: overall: 31.75 cm x 21.6 cm
ID Number: PC99.10
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: In this watercolour of the Canadian prairies in winter, Hurley created an idyllic image of a small prairie town covered in heavy snow. Known for his use of electrical poles, wires and grain elevators as dominant compositional devices, Hurley created very minimalist and visually peaceful works. With simple brushwork and broad planes of colour, Hurley defined his locations through simplicity, purity, and honesty. Hurley accurately captured colours experienced at certain times of day under certain weather conditions. Here, he captures the empty, but serene feeling of a cold afternoon in the snowy prairies. Robert Newton Hurley (1894-1980) was born in London, England. He trained as an apprentice printer-compositor until his mid-20s. During and after WWI he served in the Suffolk Regiment (1917-1920), then immigrated to Canada in 1923 before he settled in Saskatoon in 1930. Unemployed at the age of forty during the depression, Hurley began to paint with berry juices and a toothbrush. From 1933-35 he took night classes from established artist Ernest Lindner and quickly became well known in Saskatchewan and other parts of Canada for his treatment of the prairie landscape. He first exhibited in a 1935 exhibition in Winnipeg with the Manitoba Society of Artists. Hurley focused primarily on prairie landscapes and paid particular attention to subjects such as grain elevators, receding roads, and telephone poles. Hurley received an honorary degree from the University of Regina. He remained in Saskatchewan until retiring to Victoria, British Columbia in 1963.