Category Archives: L. L. FitzGerald

Art, ambiguity and loss

Like so many other things in our lives, the Art Caravan’s travelling schedule has been suspended, due to the pandemic.  Instead of bemoaning the specific shows we didn’t see this summer like  L. L. Fitzgerarld at the WAG or Katie Ohe at the Esker  (sigh…) we are going to think about  the work of Pauline Boss, a researcher, professor, author, and therapist who first used the term ambiguous loss in the 1970s.

Doc Snyder's House, L. L. Fitzgerald, 1931

Doc Snyder’s House, L. L. Fitzgerald, 1931

Sky Block, Katie Ohe, Esker Foundation, image by Elyse Bouvier

Ms Boss defines the two types of ambiguous loss:

a physical absence with psychological presence (eg. in situations of divorce, immigration, natural disasters, adoption)

psychological absence with physical presence (eg. dementia, Alzheimers’s, addiction, depression, mental illness, brain injury)

Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief, by Pauline Boss

The On Being Podcast with Krista Tippett  (audio and/or transcript) provides a very good overview to Ms Boss’s research.  In her introduction to the interview Krista Tippett says You could say of 2020 that we are suddenly in a world of ‘ambiguous loss.’  The conversation with Pauline Boss is, indeed, …full of practical intelligence for shedding assumptions about how we should be feeling and acting that actually deepen stress precisely in a moment like this.

I particularly liked the July 2020 follow-up conversation between Ms Tippett and Ms Boss. This Living the Questions  (audio and/or transcript) segment is honest, affirming and, again, offers practical strategies for these strange and challenging days.

On Being podcast

In the spirit of Ms Boss’s suggestions for coping during the pandemic, The Art Caravan will continue with the ritual of bi-weekly postings.  We acknowledge the sadness and losses we sometimes feel. We will continue to enjoy fabulous, fascinating artwork, artists and ideas.  Now we have the luxury of time to share it with you.



Treats for the Days of Christmas

The Art Caravan has decided to mark these days of Christmas by talking about some of our favourite works of art.  This will not be an exhaustive, extensive or scientific survey –no surprise there!–but we will, however, limit our options somewhat by only writing about work that complies with the following criteria:

* art we have personally experienced in 2016.

One of my favourite paintings in the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s permanent collection is Abstract:  Gold and Green by Lionel LeMoine Fitzgerald.

Abstract: Gold and Green, 1954, L. L. Fitzgerald

Abstract: Gold and Green, 1954, L. L. Fitzgerald

Here are a few close-up photos of the work.  In some parts of the image, pencil lines are evident.  As well, there are examples of underlying texture, and the obvious evidence of brushstrokes throughout the painting

The Art Caravan has previously written about Fitzgerald because I am a huge fan of his work.  Click here to read more about him, and see some of his other works. The Winnipeg Art Gallery currently has Abstract:  Gold and Green on display.




Celebrities: read this!!!

Writing about Steve Martin trumpeting Lawren Harris inevitably leads me to think of Lionel LeMoine Fitzgerald .  Some of you may wonder “Who?”  Fitzgerald was also a member of the Group of Seven, and the only prairie artist in the lot.

I think I fell in love with FitzGerald’s work experiencing it at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  (FUN FACT:  The WAG is Canada’s oldest civic art gallery, opening in 1912.)  He was born in Winnipeg in 1890, and was one of the first principals of the Winnipeg School of Art, which is now the School of Art at the University of Manitoba.  ( FUN FACT #2  The same group of people, The Winnipeg Industrial Bureau, founded the art gallery, and the school.  They had lofty goals of cultural development, progress and shaping the civilization of Western Canada.  Wow. When was the last time you heard a business person talking like that?)

FitzGerald spent most of his life in Winnipeg, with studies in Pittsburgh and New York City.  He worked primarily in drawing, oil and watercolour painting and printmaking.  If you click here, you can see a mural by Charlie Johnston that commemorates FitzGerald’s life in Winnipeg.

I’m glad Canadian painting, and Lawren Harris in particular, are getting publicity because of Steve Martin’s interest. Wouldn’t it be great if we could match up some more celebrities with deserving artists?   Any thoughts on who might be a great (or fun!) match with L. L. FitzGerald?