• cabinet card

    A card-mounted photograph used almost exclusively for portraiture, similar in style and purpose to cartes-de-visite but larger and popularized later. Cabinet card prints were originally albumen but were later produced using the gelatin silver, collodion, platinum, or carbon process.

  • Cadmus, Paul (American, 1904–1999)

    Working in egg tempera, Cadmus produced detailed realist paintings that satirized and eroticized American culture. After working in commercial art and spending several years in Europe with fellow artist and romantic partner Jared French in the 1930s, Cadmus began his career with commissions for the WPA’s Public Works of Art Project in New York City. He gained public notoriety when his painting of sailors carousing with male and female partners attracted an admiral’s ire, igniting a scandal around his “unflattering” depiction of the Navy.

  • Cage, John (American, 1912–1992)

    An avant-garde composer, John Cage worked from principles of randomness and indeterminacy, his influence extending beyond minimalist and electronic music to conceptual and performance art. Perhaps his best-known piece is 4’33”, in which a performer remains silent on stage, often seated at a piano, for an unspecified amount of time. Other works relied on the I Ching to generate structure, or were composed for a prepared piano—prepared in that Cage inserted objects into the strings to add a percussive element to the instrument. He had a long romantic partnership and artistic collaboration with modern dance pioneer Merce Cunningham.

  • Cahén, Oscar (Danish/Canadian, 1916–1956)

    Born in Copenhagen, Cahén attended the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts and taught design, illustration, and painting at Prague’s Rotter School of Graphic Arts before his family’s anti-Nazi activities forced him to flee to England. He was deported to Canada as an enemy alien and settled in Montreal before moving to Toronto in 1943; he was one of the founders of Painters Eleven in 1953. (See Oscar Cahèn: Life & Work by Jaleen Grove.)

  • Caillebotte, Gustave (French, 1848–1894)

    A major nineteenth-century French painter, collector, and promoter of Impressionist art. Caillebotte’s painting debut was in the second Impressionist exhibition of 1876, where he displayed images depicting the urban working class. Originally a lawyer, Caillebotte often painted interior scenes of upper-class everyday life and cityscapes, with a focus on perspective and composition.

  • Calder, John (Canadian/British, 1927–2018)

    Born in Montreal into a wealthy timber family, John Calder was the founder of the London, England, publishing house John Calder Publishers. A dynamic figure in the literary world, beginning in the 1950s he published avant-garde British, American, and European authors, challenging obscenity laws and promoting writers from Eugène Ionesco and Marguerite Duras to Hubert Selby Jr. Calder was an especially strong supporter of the work of Samuel Beckett, a long-time friend, whose plays he both produced and published.

  • Cale, Sarah (Canadian, b. 1977)

    A painter who challenges modernist gestural painting by employing collage techniques, Cale is known for her meticulous processes that include cutting painted canvases to add to other works and gluing layers of dried acrylic paint to canvases to mimic brushstrokes. Cale was shortlisted for the RBC Canadian Painting Competition in 2009 and 2010.

  • Calgary Group

    A group of artists important to the history of modern art in Canada. The Calgary Group promoted non-objective art in Western Canada in the late 1940s, at the same time that Paul-Émile Borduas and the Automatistes advocated for its legitimacy in Quebec and elsewhere.

  • camaïeu

    A monochromatic painting technique that employs two or three tints of one colour to render an image without regard to the scene’s natural or realistic colours. An ancient technique, camaïeu has been used in decorative arts, friezes, and enamel work to simulate the appearance of relief sculpture.

  • camera lucida

    A drawing aid popular in the early nineteenth century, which projects the object to be drawn onto a piece of paper by means of a prism. It was patented in 1807 by William Hyde Wollaston and famously used by William Henry Fox Talbot, whose poor drawing skills partly motivated his early experiments in photography.

  • camera obscura

    From the Latin for “dark chamber,” a camera obscura is an early photographic device. Originally small, dark rooms to which light was admitted by a single small hole, they have been used since antiquity to view solar eclipses without damaging the eyes: the hole allows an inverted image of the outside scene to be projected onto the opposite wall. By the sixteenth century, the smaller, portable camera obscura was being used as a drawing aid, projecting an image that an artist could trace. 

  • Cameron, Alex (Canadian, b.1947)

    A student of the New School of Art in Toronto in the 1960s, Alex Cameron developed a style of painting that featured boldly textured pigment and dynamic use of colour. Influenced by Painters Eleven member Jack Bush, for whom he worked as an assistant, Cameron’s work moved from abstract, conceptual canvases in the 1970s to abstracted landscapes that draw on the Canadian landscape tradition of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven.

  • Cameron, Dorothy (Canadian, 1924–1999)

    A prominent Toronto art dealer, Dorothy Cameron opened her Here and Now Gallery in 1959, changing its name to the eponymous Dorothy Cameron Gallery by 1962. In 1965 Toronto police raided her gallery’s exhibition Eros ’65 and charged Cameron with obscenity for displaying a work by Robert Markle showing two nude women touching each other. Despite arguments for the merits of the work and the exhibition, Cameron was found guilty. She closed her gallery, but re-emerged as an artist in the late 1970s, creating sculptural work.

  • Campbell, Tammi (Canadian, b.1974)

    Tammi Campbell is a contemporary artist whose work references Minimalist painters including Frank Stella and Agnes Martin. Her tromp l’oeil two- and three-dimensional works use acrylic paint to represent paper, masking tape, and other materials, references to the processes involved in art production. Since 2010 she has produced a series of drawings, entitled Dear Agnes, as a daily studio exercise riffing on Agnes Martin’s gridded paintings.
     

  • Camus, Albert (French, 1913–1960)

    A major writer and intellectual of the twentieth century, Camus’s work was infused with philosophy and revolutionary politics and profoundly influenced by his upbringing in Algeria (then a French territory). He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957, at the age of forty-four.

  • Canada Council for the Arts

    A Crown corporation created in 1957 by the parliamentary Canada Council for the Arts Act. The Canada Council exists to encourage art production and promote the study and enjoyment of art in Canada. It provides support to artists and arts organizations from across all artistic disciplines, including visual art, dance, music, and literature.

  • Canadian Arctic Producers

    The wholesale, art-marketing arm of Arctic Co-operatives Limited, Canadian Arctic Producers has promoted work by Inuit and Dene artists since 1965. It connects northern communities to southern markets, both in Canada and internationally, through a main office in Mississauga, Ontario. Canadian Arctic Producers is Inuit owned, and proceeds are returned to local co-ops across the Arctic.

  • Canadian Art Club

    Active from 1907 to 1915, the Toronto-based Canadian Art Club was spearheaded by the painters Edmund Morris and Curtis Williamson as a departure from what they viewed as the low standards of the Ontario Society of Artists. The invitation-only club included prominent Canadian painters and sculptors influenced by international developments, including recent Dutch and French painting. One of its goals was to entice expatriates, most notably James Wilson Morrice and Clarence Gagnon, to exhibit in Canada. Homer Watson served as the Canadian Art Club’s first president.

  • Canadian Artists ’68

    A juried exhibition of Canadian art held at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto in 1968. Prizes were adjudicated by a panel of internationally renowned artists in several categories, including painting and film.

  • Canadian Film Awards/Genie and Gemini Awards/Canadian Screen Awards

    Formerly the Canadian Film Awards (1949–78), the Genie Awards were celebrated annually from 1980 to 2012 to recognize achievements in Canadian film, presented under the auspices of the Academy of Canadian Cinema. Winners received the Etrog, a statuette designed in 1968 by and named for the Canadian sculptor Sorel Etrog; in 1980 the award was renamed the Genie. In 1985 the organization became the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and the Gemini Awards for TV production were added to the annual event in 1987. The ACCT in 2013 acknowledged the contribution of digital media, combining them and the Genie and Gemini prizes into a single inclusive suite of awards—with a statuette that references a screen—and changing the event name to the Canadian Screen Awards.

  • Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre

    A non-commercial film distributor dedicated to experimental cinema, founded in 1967 in Toronto. The CFMDC’s collection includes works in Super 8, 16mm, 35mm, and video and digital formats by those filmmakers considered most important to the development of avant-garde cinema in Canada. It is the largest distributor of its kind in the country.

  • Canadian Group of Painters

    Founded in 1933 after the disbanding of the Group of Seven by former members and their associates, the Canadian Group of Painters championed modernist painting styles against the entrenched traditionalism of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. It provided a platform for artists across Canada who were pursuing a variety of new concerns, from the formal experimentation of Bertram Brooker to the modern-figure subjects of Prudence Heward and Pegi Nicol MacLeod and the expressive landscapes of Emily Carr.

  • Canadian Museum of History

    Located in Ottawa, the museum was originally founded in 1856 as a geological museum associated with the Geological Survey of Canada. Its mission later expanded to include ethnography, archaeology, and natural history. In 1968 it was split into three parts, with the ethnographic section becoming the National Museum of Man. Renamed the Canadian Museum of Civilization in 1986, in 1989 it moved to its current building, designed by Douglas Cardinal to reflect the Canadian landscape. Its most recent change of name, in 2010, to the Canadian Museum of History, reflects its current focus on the history and culture of Canada’s peoples.

  • Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)

    An annual fair held in Toronto, founded as the Toronto Industrial Exhibition in 1879. The CNE produced art exhibitions and catalogues annually until 1961, except during and immediately following the Second World War.

  • Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)

    The National Exhibition, first held in 1878, is the largest annual exhibition in Canada, and the fifth-largest national exhibition in the world. It is held in Toronto during the last eighteen days of August. Initially concerned with agriculture, the focus of the exhibition broadened over the course of the twentieth century to include industry.

  • Canadian Society of Graphic Art

    Founded in Toronto in 1904 as the Society of Graphic Art and chartered in 1933 as the Canadian Society of Graphic Art, the society was an organization of artists interested in printmaking, illustration, and drawing. From 1924 to 1963 it hosted annual exhibitions, producing The Canadian Graphic Art Year Book in 1931. Notable members included Bruno Bobak and Charles Comfort. Once among the largest artists’ organizations in Canada, the society disbanded in 1974.

  • Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour

    An organization launched in 1925 to promote work in watercolour. Founding members included influential figures in the history of Canadian art, such as Franklin Carmichael and C.W. Jefferys. A prestigious group with links to major Canadian art institutions in its early days, it currently manages, along with five other societies, its own gallery in downtown Toronto.

  • Canadian Women’s Art History Initiative

    Based in the Department of Art History at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, the Canadian Women’s Art History Initiative is a resource providing researchers with information on Canadian women artists. The Initiative includes an online database and documentation centre and hosts conferences and other programing, with a focus on the period prior to 1967.

  • Caniff, Milton (American, 1907–1988)

    A prolific twentieth-century cartoonist and founder of the National Cartoonists Society. Caniff’s nationally syndicated comic strip Dickie Dare, produced for the Associated Press, led to a position at the Chicago Tribune and New York Daily News, where he developed the popular strip Terry and the Pirates.

  • Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection

    Established in 1959, this is the annual release of prints created by artists in the printmaking section of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative (now Kinngait Studios). Prints have been distributed in the art market of the South by Dorset Fine Arts, which markets Inuit art to galleries and institutions.

  • Capello, Luigi Giovanni Vitale (Italian, 1843–1902)

    The Italian painter Luigi Capello arrived in Montreal in 1875 after studying in Turin and Rome. It took nearly ten years for him to establish himself, but eventually he began to receive important commissions for murals, portraits, and religious paintings. In contrast to other painters and decorators of the era, Capello had a rich and developed colour palette.

  • Capogrossi, Giuseppe (Italian, 1900–1972)

    One of the founders of the short-lived Gruppo Origine (1950–51), Capogrossi was a painter who became celebrated for abstract works featuring distinctive comb- and fork-shaped glyphs. After beginning his career as a figurative painter, Capogrossi experimented with shapes, symbols, letters, and numbers before arriving at his definitive style in 1949. With Gruppo Origine and subsequently, he was part of a reaction against more decorative forms of abstraction and sought a return to an essential, rigorous abstract art free of dimensionality and often gestural.

  • CARFAC (Canadian Artists’ Representation)

    A national non-profit artists’ organization that serves to protect the economic and intellectual property rights of its members and to promote the visual arts in Canada. CARFAC was founded in 1968 by London artists Jack Chambers, Tony Urquhart, and Kim Ondaatje; it currently has around four thousand members.

  • Carli, Thomas (Italian/Canadian, 1838–1906)

    The sculptor Thomas Carli is a member of the first wave of Italian immigrants who settled in Montreal during the 1860s. A craftsman who knew how to work with several different materials, he opened a workshop in 1867 and accepted commissions for statues and Quebec church decorations.

  • Carlyle, Florence (Canadian, 1864–1923)

    Major Canadian landscape and figure painter. Carlyle is known for her nuanced and Tonalist-inspired depictions of women. She studied in France with the encouragement of Paul Peel, later moved to New York, travelled extensively throughout Europe, and finally settled in England in 1912. Her work can be found in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, the Parliament Buildings, and the Woodstock Art Gallery.

  • Carmen Lamanna Gallery, Toronto

    A Toronto gallery opened in 1966 by the Italian emigré Carmen Lamanna, a near-mythic figure in the Canadian art scene for more than three decades. The gallery’s stable included many of the most important and cutting-edge artists of its day, from Ron Martin, Ian Carr-Harris, and Paterson Ewen to General Idea and Joanne Tod.

  • Carmichael, Franklin (Canadian, 1890–1945)

    An original member of the Group of Seven, Carmichael created landscapes in watercolour as well as in oil. He was a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters and the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour. Like so many of his colleagues, he earned his living primarily as a commercial artist and, in 1932, he became head of the Graphic Design and Commercial Art Department at the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University), Toronto.

  • Carr, Emily (Canadian, 1871–1945)

    A pre-eminent B.C.–based artist and writer, Carr is renowned today for her bold and vibrant images of both the Northwest Coast landscape and its Native peoples. Educated in California, England, and France, she was influenced by a variety of modern art movements but ultimately developed a unique aesthetic style. She was one of the first West Coast artists to achieve national recognition. (See Emily Carr: Life & Work by Lisa Baldissera.)

  • carte-de-visite

    A card-mounted photograph, roughly the size and shape of a playing card, produced in multiple using a multi-lens camera. Patented by A.A.E. Disdéri in Paris in 1854, cartes-de-visite were largely intended as photographic calling cards; they depicted sitters according to nearly universal conventions.

  • casein

    A milk phosphoprotein, casein is strongly adhesive and commonly employed as glue or as a binding ingredient in paint. Casein paint is used as an alternative to tempera.

  • Cassatt, Mary (American, 1844–1926)

    Cassatt painted figurative work, often featuring women and children. Her paintings were shown regularly at the Salon in Paris. She was the only American painter officially associated with the French Impressionists.

  • catalogue raisonné

    A comprehensive scholarly listing of an artist’s entire oeuvre, with information including the medium, date, dimensions, provenance, and exhibition history of each artwork. Catalogues raisonnés are indispensible tools for advancing the understanding of individual artists’ life work.

  • Catlin, George (American, 1796–1872)

    A painter, writer, and traveller passionately devoted to the subject of American Aboriginal culture. Hundreds of Catlin’s ethnographic paintings—some of which garnered high praise from contemporary critics, including Charles Baudelaire—are now held by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

  • cavalier perspective

    Cavalier perspective, also called isometric perspective or oblique projection, is a painting or drawing technique that makes use of an elevated point of view, showing objects or scenes from above in a three-dimensional view. The technique is also used in mechanical drawing.

  • Cera, René (French, 1895–1992)

    Originally from Nice, where he had contact with Pierre August Renoir and was a student of Henri Matisse at the Nice School of Art, Cera moved to Canada in 1928 to work as an architectural designer for the T. Eaton Company. Cera was also a painter, and his paintings are owned by institutions in Canada and the United States.

  • César (French, 1921–1998)

    A sculptor associated with Nouveau réalisme, César Baldaccini often used scrap materials, including lead, copper pipe, and metal car parts (as in his controversial sculpture of a crushed automobile, Compression, 1960). In their simplicity, his sculptures of the 1950s and early 1960s are considered to have prefigured Minimalism.

  • Cézanne, Paul (French, 1839–1906)

    A painter of arguably unparalleled influence on the development of modern art, associated with the Post-Impressionist school and known for his technical experiments with colour and form and his interest in multiple-point perspective. In his maturity Cézanne had several preferred subjects, including his wife, still life, and Provençal landscapes.

  • Chagall, Marc (Russian/French, 1887–1985)

    A painter and graphic artist, Chagall’s work is characterized by colourful, dreamlike images and a defiance of the rules of pictorial logic. Although he employed elements of Cubism, Fauvism, and Symbolism, Chagall did not formally align with any avant-garde movement.

  • Challener, Frederick (British/Canadian, 1869­–1959)

    A student of George Agnew Reid, Frederick (Fred) Sproston Challener began his career as a lithographer and painter. After travelling in Europe and the Middle East, he began to work as a muralist, working initially through the Toronto Society of Mural Decorators and the Toronto Guild of Civic Art, and collaborating with artists including C.W. Jefferys. He later received numerous theatre commissions, including for the murals decorating the interior of Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre.

  • Chamberlin, Agnes Dunbar Moodie Fitzgibbon (Canadian, 1833–1913)

    The daughter of the writer Susanna Moodie, Agnes Dunbar Moodie was a watercolour painter of Canadian flora. In 1869 she published Canadian Wild Flowers, a book of her lithographs of wildflowers accompanied by text by her aunt, Catharine Parr Traill. She married twice: first to Charles Thomas FitzGibbon in 1850, who died in 1865, and then to Brown Chamberlin in 1870.

  • Chambers, Jack (Canadian, 1931–1978)

    A London, Ontario, painter and avant-garde filmmaker, whose meditative paintings typically depict domestic subjects, Chambers was committed to regionalism, despite the international outlook he developed during five years of artistic training in Madrid. He was one of the founders of CARFAC, Canada’s artists’ rights protection agency. (See Jack Chambers: Life & Work by Mark Cheetham.)

  • Champagne, Jean-Serge (Canadian, b. 1947)

    Montreal-born sculptor known for working with raw, unvarnished wood and pine planks in gesture-oriented processes. From 1966 to 1969 Champagne studied at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal with Ulysse Comtois and Henry Saxe. Champagne assisted Françoise Sullivan with the realization of her work La légende des artistes for the major project Corridart, on Sherbrooke Street, as part of the 1976 Olympic Games held in Montreal.

  • Chapman, Christian (Anishinaabe, Fort William First Nation, b. 1975)

    A Northern Ontario–based mixed-media artist who fuses computer-manipulated images, painting, drawing, and printmaking, Chapman conjures images from storytelling to explore culture and identity in his work.

  • Chardin, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon (French, 1699–1779)

    A French painter renowned for his genre scenes and still lifes. His lowly subject matter was at odds with the Rococo style that prevailed in the Paris of his day, yet he was a star of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture and his works were in high demand around Europe. Chardin never left Paris; his knowledge of art derived solely from what he was able to see in his city.

  • Charlesworth, Hector (Canadian, 1872–1945)

    Based in Toronto, Hector Charlesworth was a journalist, critic, editor, and memoirist who wrote primarily about music and drama. He gained renown for criticizing the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa for what he saw as its preferential treatment of the Group of Seven. From 1932 to 1936 he served as the first head of the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Corporation, the precursor to the CBC.

  • Chase, William Merritt (American, 1849–1916)

    American Impressionist painter influenced by both the Old Masters and Édouard Manet. Chase was known as a charismatic art teacher who taught, among others, Georgia O’Keeffe and Edward Hopper at the Art Students League in New York. He often painted portraits, domestic scenes, New York City parks, and still lifes. He established the Chase School, now called Parsons School of Design.

  • Château Dufresne

    The principal Montreal residence of industrialist Oscar Dufresne, constructed between 1915 and 1918 by Dufresne and his brother, the architect and engineer Marius Dufresne. The château is a grand house in the Beaux-Arts style, noted for its paintings, murals, and stained glass executed by master craftsperson Guido Nincheri (1885–1973). It is one of the few secular works by the renowned church decorator. After major restoration work, the building was reopened in 2014 as the Dufresne-Nincheri Museum.

  • Chauchetière, Claude (French, 1645–1709)

    A Jesuit priest, artist, author, and teacher of mathematics born in Aquitaine. By 1677 Chauchetière had arrived in New France to do missionary work; he spent sixteen years at La Prairie, working to convert Iroquois peoples and serving as pastor to French families.

  • Chee Chee, Benjamin (Ojibway, 1944–1977)

    A painter and prominent member of the Woodland School. Influenced by modern abstract movements and known for his spare representations of birds and animals, Chee Chee painted in a style more abstract and graphic than that of his Woodland School contemporaries.

  • Cheney, Nan (Canadian, 1897–1985)

    A well-known B.C. portrait painter, Cheney was the first staff medical artist at the University of British Columbia, creating anatomical images for the Faculty of Medicine from 1951 to 1962. She moved to Vancouver in 1937. Cheney met and corresponded with many Canadian artists and enjoyed a close friendship with Emily Carr in the period before Carr’s work gained general acceptance. She collected material about Carr until December 1979. Her correspondence with artists has been collected in Dear Nan: Letters from Emily Carr, Nan Cheney and Humphrey Toms, ed. Doreen Walker (1990).

  • Chevreul, Michel-Eugène (French, 1786–1889)

    A chemist whose work on colour perception had a great impact on the development of Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism at the end of the nineteenth century. Chevreul’s hypotheses arose from his observations as director of the Gobelins dye-works in Paris.

  • chiaroscuro

    A term that refers, at its most general, to an artist’s use of light and dark and the visual effects thus produced in a painting, engraving, or drawing. Chiaroscuro can serve to create atmosphere, describe volume, and imitate natural light effects. From the Italian chiaro (light) and scuro (dark).

  • Chicago, Judy (American, b. 1939)

    A painter, sculptor, and educator, and an important feminist artist and intellectual. Chicago explores the role of women in art history and contemporary culture. Her best-known work, The Dinner Party, 1974–79, commemorates thirty-nine historically significant women with specially designed place settings for each one at a vast triangular table.

  • chromolithograph

    A colour lithograph, popular from the mid-nineteenth century for book illustrations and print portfolios. Chromolithographs were produced through the use of numerous lithographic stones, each of which was inked with one of the colours needed for the final print.

  • Cisneros, Domingo (métis Tepehuane, b. 1942)

    A mixed-media artist interested in the continual cycle of life and death, humanity’s relationship to nature, and the sense of a primordial place where the self can be reborn. Cisneros’s works often feature bones, animal pelts, and driftwood. Before immigrating to Canada from Mexico in 1969, Cisneros founded an art movement called La Rabia (“Rage”). In the 1970s he taught at Manitou College in La Macaza, Quebec.

  • Clapp, W.H. (Canadian, 1879–1954)

    A landscape and figure painter, Clapp was influenced by the emphasis on light effects in Impressionism, the detailed and mottled brushwork of Pointillism, and the bold colours of Fauvism. Born in Montreal to American parents, he studied in Paris and Madrid before settling first in Montreal and then in Oakland, California. Clapp served as curator and director of the Oakland Art Gallery for over thirty years and exhibited often with the California Society of Six.

  • Clark, Paraskeva (Russian/Canadian, 1898–1986)

    An outspoken painter who advocated for the social role of the artist and Canadian and Russian cultural ties, Clark arrived in Toronto via Paris in 1931. Her subjects were still lifes, self-portraits, landscapes, and memories of her Russian home. Clark supported fundraising efforts for Spanish refugees during the Spanish Civil War and for the Canadian Aid to Russia Fund in 1942. (See Paraskeva Clark: Life & Work by Christine Boyanoski.)

  • Clark, William (American, 1770–1838)

    Although remembered largely for his leading role in the Lewis and Clark expedition to the Pacific Northwest (1803–6), Clark served as an Indian Affairs agent for over thirty years. As the U.S. government’s representative to nearly all the tribes in the West, he negotiated treaties and supervised numerous land cessions.

  • Clarke, Shirley (American, 1919–1997)

    An important figure in American avant-garde cinema in the 1950s, and one of the New York scene’s few women filmmakers. In the 1960s Clarke pursued social concerns with her documentary filmmaking; her 1967 film Portrait of Jason is considered a watershed in the history of LGBT film.

  • Clausen, George (British, 1852–1944)

    A painter of rural landscapes and peasant life, Clausen was a proponent of British Impressionism and a co-founder of the New English Art Club in 1886. He believed in bringing reform to the stiff traditional style of the Royal Academy of Arts, where he taught from 1904 to 1906. He served as a war artist during the First World War and was knighted in 1927.

  • Clavilux

    Invented by the artist Thomas Wilfred in 1919, the Clavilux was a kind of organ that allowed a performer to use a keyboard to project light through a system of lenses and coloured screens onto a dark background in order to “play” Wilfred’s light compositions (lumia). Originally designed for cinematic performances, later models were intended for home use and included a smaller, boxed screen to display the lumia.

  • Clementi, Turriddu (French, 1916–1983)

    The son of the owner of a respected Paris foundry, Clementi apprenticed in Italy as well as in Paris before entering his father’s profession in the 1930s. With the sculptors Rosaline Granet and Jacques Delahaye, he established the art foundry Fonderie Berjac in Meudon, France, in 1959. He became its sole proprietor in 1963, at which point he changed its name to Fonderie Clementi. Turriddu’s son Gilbert in turn succeeded him in the business; the foundry continues to specialize in art casting and the lost-wax process, completing commissions for both small- and large-scale projects.

  • Clench, Harriet (Canadian, 1823–1892)

    A watercolourist and oil painter whose practice spanned almost forty years. Clench’s preferred subjects were landscapes, flowers, and figures. She assisted her husband, Paul Kane, in organizing his field sketches for an exhibition at Toronto City Hall in 1848. In 1849 she participated in the Upper Canada Provincial Exhibition.

  • Close, Chuck (American, b. 1940)

    An artist widely renowned for his enormous Photorealist portraits, created through a painstaking process that involves breaking up his subject into gridded increments and then methodically recreating it on canvas. In addition to painting he has mastered an array of printmaking and photographic techniques.

  • Coach House Press

    Established in 1965 and housed in a coach house in downtown Toronto, this printing press is also a long-standing independent Canadian publisher, primarily known for its printing business and its fiction and poetry. Michael Ondaatje, Andre Alexis, Anne Michaels, Christian Bök, and Guy Maddin are prominent Canadian writers who have been published by the press.

  • Cobiness, Eddy (Ojibway, 1933–1996)

    An original member of the Professional Native Indian Artists Inc., Cobiness was associated with the Woodland School and is noted for having signed his paintings with his nation’s treaty number (47). Early in his career he painted realistic scenes of outdoor life and nature. His later work tended toward the abstract.

  • Coen, Joel (American, b. 1954), and Ethan Coen (American, b. 1957)

    Known as “the Coen brothers,” this sibling duo has written, directed, and produced some of the most widely admired and commercially successful films in contemporary cinema, including Fargo (1996), The Big Lebowski (1998), and No Country for Old Men (2007). They work across genres and often with the same actors.

  • Coenties Slip

    A neighbourhood at the southern tip of Manhattan, Coenties Slip was the last of New York City’s seventeenth-century shipping slips to be filled in and reclaimed by the city. In the 1950s, the former industrial area attracted a loose group of artists including Agnes Martin, Ellsworth Kelly, Jasper Johns, and Robert Indiana. They lived and worked in the Coenties lofts, offering mutual support as they sought to separate themselves from Abstract Expressionism, laying the foundations of Pop art and Minimalism. The area has since been redeveloped and is now part of New York’s financial district.

  • Coffin, Douglas (Potawatomi, Creek, b. 1946)

    A painter and mixed-media sculptor known for his use of monumental structures, brightly painted steel, and totem pole forms combined with modernist abstraction. Spirituality is essential to Coffin’s artistic practice. He has taught at many institutions including the Institute of American Indian Arts, New Mexico.

  • Colgate, William (Canadian, 1882–1971)

    Based in Toronto, William Colgate was an art critic, book historian, and art collector. He was also one of the first art historians to focus on Canadian art. In 1943, Colgate published Canadian Art: Its Origin and Development, a foundational text for the discipline and, at the time, only the third volume to appear on the subject of Canadian art.

  • colour theory

    A collection of ideas and concepts—scientific, philosophical, and psychological—related to human perception of colour. For centuries, painters have looked to colour theory for practical guidance on how to create specific effects in their works, and several modern art movements, including Pointillism, Orphism, and Synchronism, are rooted in specific theories of colour.

  • colour-field painting

    A term first used to describe Abstract Expressionist works that use simplified or minimalist forms of flat or nuanced colour, as in paintings by Morris Louis. It was later applied to works by such artists as Kenneth Noland and Barnett Newman in the United States and Jack Bush in Canada, whose geometric or abstract motifs highlight variations in colour. Post-Painterly Abstraction, a description coined by the critic Clement Greenberg, includes colour-field painting.

  • Colville, Alex (Canadian, 1920–2013)

    A painter, muralist, draftsman, and engraver whose highly representational images verge on the surreal. Colville’s paintings typically depict everyday scenes of rural Canadian life imbued with an uneasy quality. Since his process was meticulous—the paint applied dot by dot—he produced only three or four paintings or serigraphs per year. (See Alex Colville: Life & Work by Ray Cronin.)

  • Comfort, Charles (Canadian, 1900–1994)

    A major figure in twentieth-century Canadian art, who began his career as a commercial artist. He took up painting in his twenties, and became a member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour and the Canadian Group of Painters. Comfort served as director of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, from 1959 to 1965.

  • composite negative

    A photographic negative made by combining several negatives. Composite negatives were largely a phenomenon of the nineteenth century, when technological limitations made it impossible to capture different areas of a particular scene—such as sea and sky—at once.

  • composite photograph

    Created by photographers using a cut-and-paste technique, primarily in the nineteenth century—when exposure times were long and outdoor photography was difficult—composite photographs were a means of guaranteeing that each figure in a group photograph was sharp, visible, well posed, and had a pleasing facial expression.

  • Comtois, Louis (Canadian/American, 1945–1990)

    Louis Comtois was a Montreal-born abstract painter whose work, often juxtaposing rectangular panels of different sizes and colours, shows the influence of the Montreal Plasticiens as well as hard-edge painting. He moved from Montreal to New York City in 1972, switching from acrylics to oils and encaustic in the 1980s and adding experimentations in texture and surface treatment to his primary concern with colour.

  • Conceptual art

    Traced to the work of Marcel Duchamp but not codified until the 1960s, “Conceptual art” is a general term for art that emphasizes ideas over form. The finished product may even be physically transient, as with land art or performance art.

  • Concours artistiques de la province de Québec, Les

    In 1945 the first Grand Prize in Painting was awarded in the Quebec Provincial Art Competition, held annually until 1970 (though some years were missed). The competition included an annual exhibition at the Musée de la province de Québec (today the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec). The regulations required that the artworks that won first prizes in painting, sculpture, and decorative arts were purchased for the museum’s collection.

  • Conference of Canadian Artists (Kingston Conference)

    A conference organized by the painter André Biéler in 1941 in Kingston, Ontario, attended by some 150 visual artists, writers, poets, and others interested in the arts in Canada. Among those present were Lawren Harris, Elizabeth Wyn Wood, Arthur Lismer, Alma Duncan, F.R. Scott, Miller Brittain, Walter Abell, A.Y. Jackson, and the American painter Thomas Hart Benton. Based on Biéler’s recommendation for a national federation of artists and on other initiatives of the conference, the Federation of Canadian Artists was set up; the visual arts magazine Canadian Art was launched; and in 1957 the Canada Council for the Arts was created.

  • Constable, John (British, 1776–1837)

    Viewed today, along with J.M.W. Turner, as one of the greatest British landscape and sky painters of the nineteenth century. Constable painted mostly in his native region of Suffolk and the surrounding areas. He took a more expressive approach to his paintings than many of his predecessors and contemporaries.

  • Constructivism

    Emerging in Russia in the early 1920s, Constructivism was an artistic trend that championed a materialist, non-emotional, utilitarian approach to art and linked art to design, industry, and social usefulness. The term continues to be used generally to describe abstract art that employs lines, planes, and other visual elements in composing abstract geometric images of a precise and impersonal nature.

  • Contemporary Arts Society

    Founded in 1939 by John Lyman, this Montreal-based society promoted a non-academic approach to modernist art and linked artistic culture in Quebec to contemporary life. Early members included Stanley Cosgrove, Paul-Émile Borduas, and Jack Humphrey.

  • Conti, Tito (Italian, 1842–1924)

    A painter of genre scenes and figures known for his exquisite draftsmanship. His work is characterized by intense colours and graceful figures. He trained at the Institute of Fine Arts in Florence, where he lived throughout his life.

  • contrapposto

    Italian term meaning “counterpose,” used to describe the uneven distribution of weight of a human body in an artwork. Contrapposto originates with the ancient Greeks as a sculptural characteristic to make figures appear less rigid and more naturally relaxed. In this pose, figures have their weight on one foot so that the body twists to form a slight “S” shape.

  • Coonan, Emily (Canadian, 1885–1971)

    Portraitist and landscape painter known for her depictions of women in interior settings. Coonan was the only member of the Beaver Hall Group who did not belong to the established Montreal art scene or exhibit widely with them. Her later works show Impressionist and Modernist influences with simplified backgrounds and expressive brushwork prioritized over realistic capture.

  • Copyright Act of Canada

    Federal statute protecting “every original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic work” from unlawful reproduction. First passed in 1921, when it was modelled on the British Copyright Act of 1911, the Act has since been amended three times, with new technology among the chief reasons for reform.

  • Corbett, Edward (American, 1919–1971)

    An abstract painter, Edward Corbett created landscape-like compositions in shades of pale blue, bluish pink, and black. While painting, showing, and teaching in San Francisco in the 1940s and 1950s, he spent summers in the artists’ communities of Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Taos, New Mexico. In 1952, Corbett was included in the exhibition 15 Americans at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. 

  • Cormier, Bruno (Canadian, 1919–1991)

    Psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and Automatiste poet, Cormier was a pioneer of forensic psychiatry and clinical criminology in Canada. He was a signatory of the 1948 artistic manifesto Refus global, which protested the rigid religious and ideological traditions of Quebec. Cormier’s contribution, an article titled “A Pictorial Work Is an Experiment and an Experience,” encouraged the consideration of multiple fluid perspectives in approaching art, including that of the artist as well as the viewer and interpreter.

  • Cormier, Ernest (Canadian, 1885–1980)

    Ernest Cormier was an architect and engineer. He studied architecture in Europe and returned to Montreal to promote modern art among a close circle of artists affiliated with the magazine Le Nigog. He designed the new campus for the Université de Montréal (1924–43), the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa (1938–50), and the Grand Seminary of Quebec (1957–60). In his buildings, one finds a unique intersection between Beaux-Arts sensibilities and the new principles of modernism.

  • Corot, Jean-Baptiste-Camille (French, 1796–1875)

    Although known today as a landscape painter—among the most influential of the nineteenth century—and the leading member of the Barbizon school of French nature painters, Corot rose to prominence in his own time for the Romantic tableaux he exhibited regularly at the Paris Salon.

  • Coryell, William (n.d.)

    A Toronto artist in the 1950s and graduate of the Ontario College of Art (now the Ontario College of Art and Design University). William Coryell attended a “summer school for painting” run by fellow artist Bert Weir in Parry Sound, Ontario, in the mid-1950s.

  • Cosgrove, Stanley (Canadian, 1911–2002)

    A painter, fresco artist, and draftsman who returned repeatedly to the same few subjects and genres over his seventy-year career, particularly forests, women, and still lifes. In the 1940s he studied in Mexico City and apprenticed with the celebrated muralist José Clemente Orozco, an experience that would have a lasting impact on Cosgrove’s style.

  • Coughtry, Graham (Canadian, 1931–1999)

    An influential painter and teacher known for his conceptual use of colour, expressive brushwork, and abstract representations of the human figure. Coughtry’s first exhibition was with Michael Snow in 1955; he went on to represent Canada at the Bienal de São Paulo of 1959 and the Venice Biennale of 1960.

  • Courbet, Gustave (French, 1819–1877)

    A critical figure in nineteenth-century art, whose paintings—most famously Burial at Ornans and The Painter’s Studio—helped establish the Realist movement and paved the way for later artists, including the Impressionists, to abandon classical subjects for those they encountered in their daily lives.

  • Courtice, Rody Kenny (Canadian, 1891–1973)

    A painter trained at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University), Toronto, and the latter’s first female student. Inspired by the Group of Seven and Hans Hoffman, she frequently painted landscapes and farms, but also worked in an abstract mode. Courtice was a member of associations, including the Royal Canadian Academy and the Federation of Canadian Artists; a solo exhibition of her work was held at Victoria College, Toronto, in 1951.

  • Courtois, Gustave (French, 1853–1923)

    A painter in the Academic style, Gustave Courtois trained at the École des beaux-arts in Paris and taught at the Académie Colarossi and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. He maintained a studio with Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret, a fellow painter.

  • Couturier, Marie-Alain (French, 1897–1954)

    The Dominican father Marie-Alain Couturier was a French painter and glassmaker educated at Sacred Art Workshops, a school created in 1919 to encourage the production of a modern and accessible sacred art. A fervent critic of academism, Couturier supported the place of contemporary artists in the religious field. From 1940 to 1945 he lived in North America and taught in Montreal and Baltimore.

  • cowrie shell

    A small shell, called the megis in the Anishinaabe tradition. The cowrie shell is an important symbol in Anishinaabe legends and is thought of as a source of strength and healing.

  • Craig, Gordon (British, 1872–1966)

    An innovative theatre designer and theorist, Craig emphasized movement and lighting in his designs. He created stage sets that used movable parts and abstract forms, evoking the audience’s emotional response through atmosphere rather than representation and verisimilitude. Craig’s writing influenced the non-naturalistic movement in modern theatre.

  • Crevier, Gérald (Canadian, 1912–1993)

    Dancer, teacher, and choreographer who founded the first official ballet company in Quebec, Les Ballets-Québec, active from 1948 to 1951. During the Second World War, Crevier was posted to England and studied with Phyllis Bedells at London’s Royal Academy of Dance during his leaves. He taught in Montreal at the Shefler School of Dancing, the Berkeley Hotel, and his own studio, where his students included Aline Legris, Françoise Sullivan, and Andrée Millaire.

  • Crimp, Douglas (American, b. 1944)

    Professor of visual and cultural studies at the University of Rochester, Douglas Crimp is a critic and art historian associated with the emergence of postmodernism and the New York art world of the 1970s. He has written extensively on postmodern practice, including the work of both artists and curators in his understanding of its place in a larger cultural context. As a result of his work on the relationships between gay life, the AIDS crisis, and contemporary art in New York City, Crimp became a pioneering figure in queer studies. 

  • Cruikshank, William (Scottish, 1848–1922)

    A Scottish-born educator and portrait, figure, and scene painter who immigrated to Canada in 1871. Cruikshank was a long-time instructor at the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University), Toronto. Many painters who themselves became notable and influential Canadian artists studied under Cruikshank, including Franklin Carmichael, Frank Johnston, J.E.H. MacDonald, and, it seems, Tom Thomson too.

  • Cubism

    A radical style of painting developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in Paris between 1907 and 1914, defined by the representation of numerous perspectives at once. Cubism is considered crucial to the history of modern art for its enormous international impact; famous practitioners also include Juan Gris and Francis Picabia.

  • Cullen, Maurice (Canadian, 1866–1934)

    Like many Canadian painters of his generation, Maurice Cullen received his early art education in Montreal, then moved to Paris to continue his studies at the Académie Julian, the Académie Colarossi, and the Paris École des Beaux-Arts. He was influenced by Impressionism, and his landscapes, in turn, influenced a younger generation of Canadian painters, including the Group of Seven. His winter landscapes and snowy urban scenes are considered his most impressive achievement.

  • Cumming, Robert (American, b. 1943)

    An artist and educator whose technical mastery extends to photography, printmaking, painting, and sculpture. Among his best-known works are photographs of his own conceptual drawings and constructions—intellectually layered, witty works that refer to science and art history. He has taught art at universities around the United States since the 1960s.

  • Cuneo, Cyrus C. (Italian/American, 1879–1916)

    Illustrator, painter, and professional boxer who studied with James McNeill Whistler in Paris (and partly paid for those studies by teaching boxing). Cuneo contributed illustrations to Arthur Conan Doyle’s short stories, completed commissioned paintings for the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1908, and depicted war subjects during the First World War.

  • cupric

    An adjective meaning of or containing copper, “cupric” is often associated in chemistry with “oxide” and refers specifically to substances containing copper with a valence of two.

  • Curley, Koomuatuk Sapa (Kinngait, b. 1984)

    A carver of steatite sculptures of Arctic animals who learned his art form at the age of six from Qaqaq Ashoona. With his cousin Joe Ashoona, Koomuatuk Sapa Curley represents a new generation of artists engaged with traditional Inuit forms and materials.

  • Curnoe, Greg (Canadian, 1936–1992)

    A central figure in London regionalism from the 1960s to the early 1990s, Curnoe was a painter, printmaker, and graphic artist who found inspiration in his life and his Southwestern Ontario surroundings. His wide-ranging art interests included Surrealism, Dada, Cubism, and the work of many individual artists, both historical and contemporary. (See Greg Curnoe: Life & Work by Judith Rodger.)

  • Curry, John (American, 1897–1946)

    A Kansas-born illustrator, painter, and lithographer of academic genre scenes and landscapes inspired by his Midwestern home. Along with artists like Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, Curry epitomized American regionalism of the 1930s and 1940s.

  • Curtis, Edward (American, 1868–1952)

    A commercial photographer known for his portraits of Native Americans, which he published in the twenty-volume North American Indian between 1907 and 1930. More Pictorialist than documentary, these images often recorded customs and costumes that had already vanished from the cultures depicted.

  • Cutts, Gertrude Spurr (British/Canadian, 1858–1941)

    Born in Yorkshire and educated in London, Gertrude Spurr Cutts exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists and the Society of Women Artists before immigrating to Canada in 1890. She became a member of the Ontario Society of Artists and an active member of the Toronto art scene, maintaining a studio and participating in numerous exhibitions.

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