Artwork by Bruno Joseph Bobak,  Willows

Bruno Bobak
Willows

watercolour
signed lower right
9.5 x 11.5 ins ( 24.1 x 29.2 cms )

Sold for $885.00
Sale date: February 21st 2018

Provenance:
Roberts Gallery, Toronto
Private Collection, Toronto

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Bruno Joseph Bobak
(1923 - 2013) RCA

Born in Wawelowska, Poland in 1923, Bruno Bobak came to Canada in 1927. At the age of thirteen, he began Saturday morning art classes in Toronto under Arthur Lismer and later at the Central Technical School.

In 1942, he joined the army and, shortly thereafter, was selected to be an official war artist. He went overseas and while there, studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, 1944. He married fellow war artist Molly Lamb in 1945. He and Molly settled briefly in Ottawa after the war working as artists and moved to Vancouver in 1947 where he taught at the Vancouver School of Art.

There are few crafts which he had not worked at including pottery, metal work, furniture making and textile printing. As an expressionist painter his media included oils, watercolours and woodcuts. He is known for his work on flowers and landscapes. Paul Duval noted his wood engraving “Kelp” and his general work in this medium. His concrete mural for the Vancouver School of Art, completed in 1952, appeared in Canadian Art.

During the summer of 1956 he travelled eight thousand miles to New York with his wife, stopping along the way to sketch. In 1957-8 he studied abroad on a Canadian Overseas Senior Fellowship. His work was selected for exhibit at the Canadian Pavilion at Brussels, Belgium in 1959 and during this same year he attended the Art School and Guilds of London, England.

After a decade of work as an artist and instructor of art on the west coast, he moved his family to Fredericton, New Brunswick in 1960 to serve as artist in residence at the University of New Brunswick. In 1962, he took on the role of Director of the University of New Brunswick Art Centre.

Over the years, Bobak’s work attracted the attention of many critics including Robert Fulford who noted, “His painting is electric, certainly; we never know whether the next work will lean more towards the angled wiriness of art nouveau or the slim splendour of Japanese painting. But he manages so often to pull these disparate elements together into a work of art that is entirely unified and personal that complaints about electricism shrink to insignificance.”

Bruno Bobak was a member of the Canada Group of Painters, Society of Canadian Painter-Etchers and Engravers, Canadian Society of Graphic Art, Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, British Columbia Society of Artists, and the Royal Canadian Academy. He participated in more than two hundred and fifty group exhibitions and had more than eighty one-man shows, both in Canada and abroad. He is represented in the Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada and other collections.

Source: "A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume I: A-F", compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1977