TABLE OF CONTENTS
Tony Urquhart Idea Book:
Anthony Morse "Tony" Urquhart was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 1934. He lived with his parents and maternal grandmother who operated a funeral home in the center of Niagara Falls. He studied at the Albright Art School, part of the Fine Art Department of the University of Buffalo, New York, from 1954-1958, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. In the summer of 1955 he attended the Yale University Summer School. He became the first artist-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario (1960-1963, 1964-1965). He has taught since the early sixties, first in summer schools across the country, then, briefly in the Art Department of McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario (1966-1967), at the University of Western Ontario (1967-1972), and at the University of Waterloo (1972-1999). He is one of the founders, with Jack Chambers and Kim Ondaatje, of CAR (Canadian Artists Representation), the artist's "union" that established a fee structure for the public exhibition of works of art by contemporary artists in museums and galleries.
Tony Urquhart gained recognition early in his career as an abstract painter, exhibiting at the Isaacs Gallery in Toronto 1956 (at the age of twenty-two) and through the nineteen-sixties. He also exhibited with the London group of artists, which included Jack Chambers, Greg Curnoe, and Murray Favro, who advocated a regional approach to art. After the mid-sixties, his art focused upon the creation of multimedia and multi-dimensional works concerned with images and spiritual themes related to life, death, and regeneration. Drawing has always been central to his art. He has collaborated with a number of writers, including his wife Jane Urquhart, Michael Ondaatje, Matt Cohen, and Louis Dudek, providing illustrations for their books. Tony Urquhart's work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and elsewhere. His work is found in numerous private and public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), the Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, D.C.), and the Museo Civico (Lugano). Tony Urquhart was awarded the Order of Canada in 1995.
The Idea Book was compiled by Tony Urquhart between September 14, 1996 and May 1, 1997 while he was travelling in Ireland, France, and Spain. The book consists of sketches for works of art, primarily his "box" sculptures, ideas, notes, and sketches related to his travels and other things, and pasted in souvenirs from his travels. A list of the people to invite to his "40 year show" and a pasted-in list of expenses from his first trip to Europe in 1958 are also included here. In addition, the book contains notes added by Tony Urquhart in the winter of 2005 to indicate whether the box sculptures sketched in the book were built and where they are located.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of letter.
Donated by Jane Urquhart, wife of the artist, 2004.
[Title of item], Tony Urquhart Idea Book, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
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