Maxwell Bates R.C.A.

Woman on Blue Sofa, 1961

oil on board
19.5x15.5 in
$12,500 Cdn.
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signed and dated 1961 lower right

Maxwell Bates’s expressionist figures are a mainstay in Calgary’s art history, and Woman on Blue Sofa is a classic example of his unapologetic approach to figurative subjects. Nothing is prettified, noting is softened, and the figure and the setting appear almost as one, with pattern and shape taking centre stage in his characteristically flat planes of space. With quirky colour and bold brushwork, Bates’s work is a unique chapter in western Canadian art.

RCA, ASA, CGP, CSGA, CSPWC (1906-1980). Born in Calgary, Alberta, he was largely a self-taught painter, printmaker and architect and is considered, along with W.L. Stevenson, an innovator of Expressionism in Canada. He went to England in 1931 and after the war returned to Calgary where he was associated with…