Alex Colville

About Alex Colville

Alex Colville

Alex Colville was born in Toronto Ontario, 1920. As a boy he moved with his family to Amherst, NS, in 1929 and studied at Mount Allison from 1938-42. On graduating he joined the army and from 1944 until 1946 Colville served as a military artist. In 1946 Colville began teaching at Mount Allison, resigning in 1963 to devote himself to painting.  Colville’s paintings drew inspiration from the world around him, finding within the everyday subject the potential for new and reconsidered understanding. His painting technique, which involved the meticulous application of dabs of paint with a geometrical precision, resulted in the unsettling juxtapositions of figures, objects, and animals that he became known for.  Colville received many honours over the course of his career, including several major retrospectives. In 1966 Alex Colville represented Canada at the Venice Biennale. He designed the Centennial coins, minted in 1967, and the Governor General's Medal, in 1978. Colville lived in the small university town of Wolfville, NS, from 1973 until his death in 2013 and was chancellor of Acadia University for ten years. In 1982 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada and in 2003 he received the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.

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