McMichael - Canadian Art | Collection d'art Canadien


Back to past Exhibitions



September 18 to December 5, 2010

Bruno Bobak: Love, Life and Death highlights the figurative works (including a selection of portraits) that the East Coast-based artist produced between the early 1960s and 1980. While Bobak’s body of work is diverse with subject matter that encompasses war art, still lifes and landscapes, his greatest preoccupation has been the depiction of the human body and soul. This extensive corpus of art reveals his interest in the human condition effectively expressed through his handling of colour, line and composition. Love, Life and Death provides an in-depth look into the artist’s fascination with the body through a set of narratives that focus on human relations, the family, life cycle and a myriad of emotions from love, joy and tenderness to pain and despair. Bobak’s figures, which are largely modelled by the artist and his wife Molly Lamb, are marked by the experiences of a life lived. Often naked, weak and non-heroic, they mean to convey the precarious and mortal state of human life as well as offer glimpses into the psychological or emotional reality of men and women. At the same time, the exhibition offers insight into the socio-historical contexts and artistic movements that have inspired the figure in Bobak’s art, particularly the indisputable influence of the European schools – French Fauvism and German Expressionism – of the latter part of the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth centuries. These influences are indicative both in the artist’s stylistic tendencies – colourful palette, sweeping brushstrokes, and fluidity of lines – and universal themes of pathos, loss, isolation, temporality, tragedy, death and hope.

The exhibition offers a large selection of paintings and some works on paper from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and other public and private collections. It will also include a graphic work by Austrian artist Egon Schiele whose own figurative paintings (among those of Edvard Munch, Oskar Kokoschka and Gustav Klimt) had a significant impact on the development of Bobak’s art.

This exhibition is developed by the McMichael’s Assistant Curator, Collections, Sharona Adamowicz-Clements, and will be on display until December 5, 2010.


Lovers by Bruno Bobak

Bruno Bobak
Lovers, 1980
oil on canvas
122.5 x 101.0 cm,
Gift of the Artist
Beaverbrook Art Gallery

Young Dancer by Bruno Bobak
Bruno Bobak
Young Dancers, n.d.
New Brunswick Art Bank



ContactPrivacyAccessibilityAcknowledgementCaring for Artwork
© 2017 McMichael Canadian Art Collection - An Agency of the Government of Ontario