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Item Name: Painting
Title: Untitled (Highways and Mountains)
Maker: Roland Keevil
Year: 1961
Country: Canadian
Materials: oil on canvas
Measurements: overall: 45.7 cm x 60.9 cm
ID Number: PC90.8
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: Roland Keevil is one of several self-taught artists whose work is collected as Saskatchewan folk art. Known for his stylistic use of scale and symmetry, Keevil’s brightly coloured paintings portray a variety of landscape subjects from the spacious countryside in Western Canada to the urban streetscapes and gardens of Saskatoon. In this artwork, Untitled (Highways and Mountains), Keevil uses several methods to build the illusion of receding space in the picture plane, including one-point perspective with the lines of the roadway converging at the horizon, and overlapping objects with the large trees in the foreground placed on top of smaller trees and then tiny mountains at the horizon. However, the large trees next to the tiny cars, the evenly detailed brushstrokes, and lack of shadows create a dream-like and surreal space that captures the imagination. Roland Keevil (1884-1963) was born in New Malden, Surrey. His family had the oldest surviving business in London’s Smithfield Market as game and poultry suppliers and were also breeders for Shire Horses. In 1906, after accompanying a shipment of horses to Toronto, Keevil decided to immigrate to Canada settling in Saskatchewan to homestead and raise a family. In 1918, he moved to Saskatoon and became a real estate developer. In 1952, as Keevil was nearing retirement, he returned to a love of painting, after being inspired by the art work of artist, Jan G. Wyers. Keevil painted the urban and rural areas around Saskatoon, the foothills of Alberta, and the forest around Emma Lake, often combining nature and human construction, and adding details that he felt improved the composition. His paintings are held in several public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, The Mendel Art Gallery Collection at Remai Modern, and the Saskatchewan Arts Board.