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Item Name: Painting
Title: Untitled (Back Yards)
Maker: Stanley Brunst
Year: n.d.
Country: Canadian
Materials: watercolour on paper
Measurements: overall: 35 cm x 25 cm
ID Number: PC91.4
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: Painter Stanley Brunst was interested in abstraction within his representational work. In his early artworks, he adopted ideas from Cubism and Art Deco, experimenting with simplification, perspective, patterning, colour and nonrepresentational images. Though undated, this painting of neighbourhood houses uses naturalistic colours, a similar colour palette to his later works. His choice of urban subject matter, which is somewhat unusual for this time in Canada, is similar to work by Winnipeg artist L.M. Fitzgerald, but also unique. Here, Brunst has chosen to paint from a very domestic vantage point; the view from the back yard, capturing colourful backyard gardens in a humble neighbourhood. This painting shares a similar spirit with the work of Vic Cicansky and Wilf Perreault, Regina artists who worked a generation after Brunst. Stanislaw Ernst Brunst (1894 - 1962) lived in Saskatoon from 1923 to 1941 and painted both the urban and rural landscape. He had very little formal art education but took night classes at the University with Gus Kendardine during the Depression years. As a member of Ernest Lindner's Art Association of Saskatchewan, which formed in 1939, Brunst took part in lively salon discussions and exhibited his work with other Saskatoon artists. His artwork is more abstracted than the landscapes by his Saskatchewan peers, whose works were often more realistic like the Romantic British landscape tradition. In 1941, Brunst moved to Vancouver and continued to paint, participating in the local arts community with artists Lawren Harris and Emily Carr, and exhibiting at the Vancouver Art Gallery. In 1982, the Mendel Art Gallery (now Remai Modern) organized a retrospective of his work. In 2010, several of Brunst’s works were included in Dunlop Art Gallery’s exhibition, “Cynthia Girard: The Black Glove and the Peacock”. Brunst's work is held in numerous private and public collections, including Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Saskatchewan Arts Board.