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David Blackwood (Canadian, b.1941)  "Fire Down on the Labrador" 1980 etching and aquatint

Black Ice: David Blackwood Prints of Newfoundland

February 5 to June 12, 2011


David Blackwood is one of Canada’s leading printmakers and most popular artists. This exhibition showcases some iconic works for the first time, revealing the richness of Blackwood’s imagination and his working methods.

Blackwood has been telling stories about Newfoundland in the form of epic visual narratives for 30 years. To bring this narrative to life, the exhibition will situate Blackwood’s prints in time and space by looking at the history of Newfoundland and the people who settled there. Blackwood explores the timeless theme of the struggle for survival between humans and nature in one of the most exposed and hostile environments on earth. He depicts a town and a centuries-old way of life that has disappeared. His dramas encapsulate class, gender and intergenerational issues that can only be understood in the context of the formation of the landscape, its natural resources, immigration and settlement, religious and political debate, economic and social conditions, and the environmental threat to the survival of traditional lifestyles.

He has created an iconography of Newfoundland which is as universal as it is personal, as mythic as it is rooted in reality, and as timeless as it is linked to specific events. This exhibition draws on childhood memories, dreams, superstitions, legends, the oral tradition, and the political realities of the Wesleyville community on Bonavista Bay where Blackwood was born and raised.


Generously supported by

Salah Bachir & Jacob Yerex
John & Joyce Pollock
Samuel & Esther Sarick
An Anonymous Donor

Organized by

The Art Gallery of Ontario

Contemporary programming at the AGO is supported by

David Blackwood is represented by

Abbozzo Gallery

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