A new exhibition is showing at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, shining light on a collection works by Bruno Bobak (1923-2012). Curated by Donald Andrus, The Bruno Bobak Bequest draws upon a selection of works bequeathed to the Art Gallery collection by the Estate of the artist.
Bobak was a Polish-born Canadian painter and art teacher. An extraordinarily fluent artist, he worked as a ceramicist, jeweler, sculptor and furniture maker. If not busy in his studio each day, or at the University of New Brunswick Art Centre where he was resident artist from 1961 to 1986, then he was outdoors sketching, gathering ‘moosewood’ and wild flowers in the springtime, with his wife, equally renowned artist Molly Lamb. Both were made members of the Order of Canada in 1995 and a small portrait of Lamb is included in The Bruno Bobak Bequest.
This exhibition primarily showcases examples of Bobak’s printmaking skills and his drawings, together with a few examples of his watercolours and oil paintings. More of his work can be found in the Art Gallery’s collection in the form of oil paintings and drawings.
Curator Donald Andrus will present an art talk focusing on the current exhibition this Sunday November 20 at 2 p.m. in the Art Gallery.
“We can talk about Bruno Bobak as a print-maker, painter in oils and watercolour, as well one the pre-eminent draughtsman of his era,” Andrus offers. “Bobak is an artist somewhat neglected now by the ravenous contemporary art scene in Canada but one whose contributions are well worth remembering and much of whose art, created in an atmosphere of humility and human understanding, has stood the test of time.”
As Bobak’s period of work spanned close to seven decades, this bequest and exhibition draws on a slender offering from his long career. States Andrus, “What this selection does hope to achieve is to give some sense of the range of his experiences as an artist—from woodblock prints beginning shortly after his career as Canada’s youngest war artist from 1943 to 1945, through silkscreen prints, drawings, watercolours, and oil paintings during the rest of his career.”
Bobak participated in more than 250 group exhibitions and had more than 80 one-man shows around the world. His works are found in collections across Canada. The Bruno Bobak Bequest shows until January 8 at the Centre.