The Acadia University Art Gallery: Maud Lewis and Oxen

The Acadia University Art Gallery: Maud Lewis and Oxen
By Dr. Laurie Dalton, Director and Curator, and Alexandra Pulchny, Collections and Outreach Assistant

“Maud Lewis: A Life Collected”, August 3 – September 30, 2018
Tuesday – Sunday, 12-4pm or by appointment

Much of the way in which people have come to understand the artist has been a result of storytelling. This exhibition presents a selection of Maud Lewis’ artwork from private collections, along with memories of how people have come to collect her work. These demonstrate the ways in which we have come to remember, know, and situate the work of the artist.

While Maud Lewis is firmly embedded in the folk art canon, her work can also be understood within wider discussions of art history. Modern artists presented new ways of seeing and brought experimentation into their work. Paintings of landscape, for example, no longer adhered to strict rules of perspective, realism, and colour, but rather challenged our perspective and used colour as an expressive form in and of itself.

Maud Lewis is famous for painting many animals, including birds, deer, cats, horses, and working oxen. The Maud Lewis work shown here depicts two oxen fastened to a yoke. Before the introduction of machines, large farm animals, including oxen, helped with work that was too difficult for farmers – work included everything from plowing fields to moving buildings. Oxen were cheap to feed as they grazed in the fields for much of the year. During Maud’s time they were a popular farm animal in Digby county, thus becoming a staple of her artistic legacy.

Image Credit: Untitled (Team of Oxen in Winter), oil, 1968. Collection of Alan Deacon. Copyright: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

Acadia University Art Gallery
Beveridge Arts Centre, Acadia University
Wolfville

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