Ken Danby was one of Canada’s foremost practitioners of contemporary realism. Presented on the eve of the 10th anniversary of his death, this exhibition brings together, for the first time, more than 70 significant works from private and public collections.
At the Crease, a 1972 egg tempera painting depicting a nameless hockey goalie viewed from ice level, was his best known work; and for many, it defined him as an artist. Ken Danby’s career extended far beyond that one defining work.
Spanning four decades of Danby’s remarkable career as an accomplished realist painter, watercolourist, printmaker, and commercial artist, the works demonstrate the range of an important artist from this region who lent visual form to familiar Canadian icons and ideals. Visitors will encounter familiar works: Pancho, Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Tim Horton, among others. Other works will prove a revelation, further revealing Danby’s skills as a superior draughtsman and rigorous technician through his quiet, evocative style.
Born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and a long-time Guelph resident, his practice reflects a profound link to the broader Canadian landscape and psyche. Whether through his passions for music, sports or the land, his Canadian-ness – sense of place and unique lens – is also undoubtedly linked to the country’s emerging confidence and nationalism of the period, his work forever part of Canadian iconography.
The exhibition is accompanied by a full-colour 160-page publication.
Curated by Art Gallery of Hamilton and Dr. Ihor Holubizky, McMaster Museum of Art
Header Image: Detail of Ken Danby (Canadian 1940-2007), At the Crease (detail), 1972, egg tempera on wood, Private Collection
also with the support of: