Marion Nicoll: Works from Private Collections

May 25th - June 7th, 2023

Saturday, May 27th, 2023
1 – 4 PM
With a presentation by author and art historian Catharine Mastin at 2 PM

Marion Nicoll (1909–1985) is regarded as one of Alberta’s earliest abstract painters. A trailblazer for women in the arts, she was a pivotal influence on the generations that followed her. In the isolated and male-dominated creative community of Calgary in the mid-twentieth century, she was one of the few female art instructors working in a post-secondary institution, and in the 1970s became the first woman from the Prairies to be recognized by the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Undaunted by the limitations placed on her by society, she has earned a lasting legacy in the Canadian cultural landscape.

– Catharine Mastin, Marion Nicoll: Life and Work

Masters Gallery has represented the work of Marion Nicoll since 1976, and held its first solo exhibition for the artist in February 1978, titled Marion Nicoll, R.C.A. The gallery’s founder, Peter Ohler Sr. wrote the following in the accompanying catalogue:

This is a unique opportunity for collectors to acquire an original work by Marion Nicoll. The pieces in this exhibition date from early 1930 – 1970 and illustrate not only the outstanding technical and creative strength of Marion Nicoll’s art, but firmly reflect why she is so highly regarded in Canada and especially in Western Canada where her influence has been enormous.

Nicoll’s influence on Canadian art, noted in Peter Ohler Sr.’s 1978 catalogue, has only grown in the last four decades. Our exhibition is a celebration of Nicoll’s important career, and we are pleased to have Catharine Mastin, author of the recently released Marion Nicoll: Life and Work, joining us to present on the artist. This exhibition would not be possible without our generous lenders, all of whom have acquired Nicoll’s works from us over the past 45 years. We thank them immensely for their commitment to celebrating one of Canada’s greatest abstract artists.