Saturday, 24 June 2017


A skater glides across the ice, her muscled leg outstretched parallel to the ice, her hands tucked behind her back.  Her other skate is planted firmly on the ice which already has many lines carved into its surface.  In the background appears to be a cliff with a small, frozen waterfall.

"All is grace, serenity and composure," says Helen Dow, who wrote the book The Magic Realism of Alex Colville.  She adds:  "This is a picture of a human being who has come to grips with reality." Yet, the skater is skating away from the viewer, not towards the viewer.

Completed in 1964, Colville's painting depicts a typical Canadian pastime, ice skating.  The painter's wife, who served often as his subject, was an avid cyclist, swimmer and skater.

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