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The Genius and Madness of artist William Kurelek

Mary Jo Hughes Kurelek.jpg
Kurelek early self-portriat.jpg
Curator Mary Jo Hughes says William Kurelek should be considered in the top 10 of Canada's greatest visual artists.  Yet his art is not as well-known as that of the Group of Seven or Emily Carr - iconic Canadian landscape artists - where Kurelek's work is full of people, narrative and often compared to Bruegel or Bosch.

William Kurelek lived 50 short, but prolific and turbulent years - from 1927 - 1977. He lived with serious mental illness, and spent 7 years in early adulthood in and out of psych wards.

A rare, major retrospective of his powerful paintings is on until September 3, at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, where I toured the exhibit and sat down for a chat with one of the show's 3 curators - Mary Jo Hughes.
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