Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Church and Horse

"More than any other artist in Canada, Colville's images permeate both our psyche and our everyday life." (Toronto Star)

Alex Colville's Church and Horse contrasts a peaceful white-clapboard church with a spooked black horse.  The sanctuary of the church is contrasted with the dangers of the outside world.  A foreboding sky hovers over the church and horse.  The gate remains open, ready for the horse to bolt right through it.

Painted in 1964, "JFK's funeral is the subtext for Church and Horse, a painting that I never understood until this encounter.  We watch that big black riderless horse in the funeral procession...then meet him again, galloping madly through Colville's painting." (https://barczablog.com/2014/08/29/alex-colville-love-and-menace/)

No one will forget the image of little John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting his father's coffin; of the veiled widow Jacqueline, clasping each of her child's hands; of Caroline Kennedy sneaking a hand under the American flag, as if to touch her father one last time; of the riderless horse clip clopping behind the slain President's coffin as it made its way to Arlington Cemetery.  Colville's horse conveys some of the public's unease felt in the turbulent months after JFK's assassination (http://alinefromlinda.blogspot.ca/2013/11/one-brief-shining-moment-interrupted.html).

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