Drury Gallery - Curated by Michelle Jacques
Distinctive for his stark, modernist style, Ontario-born painter, printmaker and writer David B. Milne (1882-1953) is widely recognized as one of Canada’s foremost artists. In a 1991 letter to art historian David Silcox, the acclaimed American art critic Clement Greenberg wrote, “To claim that Milne was arguably Canada’s greatest painter is not extravagant…I would class him with such as [John] Marin and [Edward] Hopper in my own country. But he can hold his own anywhere."
Like the members of the Group of Seven and Emily Carr, Milne focused his efforts on the landscape around him. However, unlike these contemporaries who were so deeply connected to their natural surroundings, Milne was more interested in the formal properties of paint on canvas than on his relationship to the land.
Although Milne's career was executed in Ontario, Europe and the eastern United States, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is fortunate to have in its collection seventeen works in oil, watercolour and drypoint by the esteemed artist. This intimate exhibition considers Milne's artistic legacy through the lens of the fifty-four year acquisition history of his work—a history which includes timely purchases, and many generous donations.