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A Sublime Vernacular The Landscape Paintings of Levine Flexhaug

ISBN: 9780994726902 | 0994726902
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Figure 1 Publishing
Pub. Date: 9/13/2016

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A Sublime Vernacular examines the extraordinary career of Levine Flexhaug (1918–1974), an itinerant artist who sold thousands of variations of essentially the same idyllic mountain scene in national parks, resorts, department stores, restaurants and bars across western Canada from the late 1930s through the 1960s. A self-described “speed painter”, he turned out paintings in a matter of minutes, often working on several at the same time, that mesmerized customers as they watched them come to life. Flexhaug was painting a generic landscape fantasy for a society that had been shaped by the Dust Bowl and Depression, but the way he turned that popular formula inside out resulted in paintings of extraordinary richness and invention.

This book features more than 120 color reproductions of his paintings and historic photographs. Essays explore his relationship to the tradition of ideal landscape painting, the Prairie influence on his art and career, and his place within both the history of “market-driven” art and the tradition of Canadian landscape painting. Published on the occasion of the first comprehensive exhibition of Flexhaug’s paintings, this book is a study of a time, a place, and the art and life of a little known but altogether fascinating artist.


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