This short film introduces us to the "automatistes," followers of an abstract art form that developed in Montreal. The movement, initiated by Paul-Émile Borduas, is explained by the artists themselves when narrator Bruce Ruddick drops in at their cooperative studio. The film also captures painter Paterson Ewen at his home and joins the crowd at L'Échouerie, the artists' rendezvous spot. Dr. Robert Hubbard, chief curator of the National Gallery of Canada, comments on non-objective art in general and automatism in particular.
The NFB's 33rd Oscar®-nominated film.
This short film studies the works of one of Canada's greatest contemporary etchers - Newfoundland-born David Blackwood. The artist himself guides viewers through a step-by-step explanation of the etching process. Scenes of his hometown, examples of his own work and vivid tales of an old mariner recall the tragic seal hunts and a way of life that has now vanished.
This short documentary looks at the work of artist Arthur Lismer, a member of the Group of Seven, emphasizing his contribution to art education and to Canadian art. At the Montreal Art Centre we see how children learn the independence of creative self-expression in art.
This short film introduces kids to sculptor Ron Noganosh, who transforms items like rusted hubcaps and computer parts into art. Inspired by Ron's found-object sculptures, a group of primary school students discover how to turn "junk" into art. Part of the
This short documentary is a portrait of Frederick Varley, Canadian painter and member of the Group of Seven. In the film, Varley returns to his studio in Toronto after a sketching trip. The camera moves about the studio selecting examples of his canvases and watches him as he begins a new painting.
In this short film from the I Can Make Art Like... series, a group of Grade 6 students are inspired by Maud Lewis, the celebrated Nova Scotian folk artist who painted scenes of country life. With the help of artist Kyle Jackson, they create a folk art painting of their own downtown neighbourhood. Informative, touching and filled with the magic of creation, this film shows both the power and simple pleasure of folk art.
A documentary about the self-taught painter William Kurelek, told through his paintings. There are scenes of village life in the Ukraine and the early days of struggle on a prairie homestead and the growing comfort of family life. In Ontario, Kurelek paints the present life of Canada with the same pleasure he painted the old.
In this short film, sculptor and textile artist Kai Chan shares his artistic philosophy of economy and repetition with young artists who build extraordinary, complex 3D structures using simple materials and basic techniques. Part of the I Can Make Art ...series.
This documentary short is a portrait of Canadian photographer William Notman. Photography was still in its infancy when he opened his first studio in Montreal in the late 1850s. He rapidly turned his art, and a budding technology, into a highly successful business. Within 5 years he was appointed Photographer to the Queen. Not content with doing mere portraiture, he saw photography as a means of documenting history. With the use of props in his studio, composite photographs, and calling on his background as a trained artist, Notman immortalized the people and places of Canada.
Ages 15 to 17
Arts Education - Visual Arts
Geography - Territory: Urban
History - Canada 1946-1991
What is automatism? Provide examples of Riopelle and Borduas’s work for the students to study and create a definition based on the similarities. Provide materials for them to experiment in the same style. How does this style of art reflect the times or Montreal at that time? Examine contemporary art styles and analyze according to the social/political/cultural climate in which they were created.