Masters Gallery Ltd., Calgary, 1987;
Private collection, Calgary
Peter Ohler Fine Arts, Toronto;
Religious Procession, Taormina, Sicily, 1959, private collection
“I am an abstract painter naturally and through conviction. A painter who grows must move into new expressions. Ten years of unsatisfactory painting … and I was ready for the step forward when I attended the seminar at Emma Lake, Sask., with Will Barnett in 1957. A years painting in New York confirmed my beliefs.”
– Marion Nicoll quoted in the Edmonton Journal, January 26, 1963
After she was exposed to Abstraction at an Emma Lake course in 1957, Marion Nicoll’s practice was fundamentally changed. In 1958, she received a Canada Council grant that allowed her to travel to New York City until 1959, after which she and her husband took the summer in Europe This watercolour sketch is a study, likely made on this trip, for what would become a large canvas titled Religious Procession.. In Sicily, she began to paint her first “mature abstract paintings” (1), which would become the foundations for her practice in the years to come.
1. Ann Davis and Elizabeth Herbert, Marion Nicoll: Silence and Alchemy, p.53
1909-1971 Marion Florence S. Mackay Nicoll was born in Calgary, Alberta. In high school, she took extra curricular painting classes at St. Joseph’s Convent, Red Deer, Alberta (1925-1926). She studied at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto, but she did not finish because of an illness. She then studied under…
Marion Florence S. Mackay Nicoll was born in Calgary, Alberta. In high school, she took extra curricular painting classes at St. Joseph’s Convent, Red Deer, Alberta (1925-1926). She studied at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto, but she did not finish because of an illness. She then studied under A.C. Leighton at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art, Calgary (1929-1932) and she also attended the summer school (now known as the Banff School of Fine Arts) under the same professor. From 1937 to 1938 she studied figure painting at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, England, under Duncan Grant. In 1957, she studied under Will Barnet at the Emma Lake Seminar. From 1958 to 1959 she attended the Art Students League in New York. For thirty years, she taught at Calgary’s Provincial Institute of Technology and Art. She also gave classes at the summer school of the University of Alberta (1937-1938); extension classes (1946-1948); Banff School of Fine Arts (1946); the Cultural Development Board, Government of Alberta (1948-1949). She received various awards, including a Canada Council grant in 1958, a senior fellowship in 1966 and six honour certificates from the Royal Drawing Society, London, England, for teaching. She held several solo exhibitions, including at the Alberta College of Art (1959); Bowness Town Hall, Alberta. (1960-1965); Studio 61, Edmonton, Alberta (1961); Focus, Edmonton (1962, 1963, 1964) Upstairs Gallery, Toronto (1963); Yellow Door Gallery, Winnipeg (1964), among others. She is represented in the following collections: Winnipeg Art Gallery, Memorial University, Newfoundland.; University of Alberta; Edmonton Museum, Poole Collection, Edmonton.
Source: Canadian Women Artists History Initiative, Concordia University, Montreal