A Speaking Likeness By Joseph Plaskett
Foreward by George Woodcock
8vo. pp. 308. 12 double-sided colour plates. b/w illustrations. index. bds. dw.
[Vancouver, B.C.]: Ronsdale Press, .
ISBN: 9780921870678 / 0921870671
In A Speaking Likeness Joseph Plaskett has created a prose "life in art" as colourful and vital as his finest paintings. He begins with his early life in New Westminster, BC, at a time when there were no private galleries. Lawren Harris and Jock Macdonald were among his early mentors who recommended him for the Emily Carr scholarship, which enabled him to pursue his studies at the San Francisco School of Fine Art and then in New York under Hans Hofmann. In 1947, he succeeded Lemoine Fitzgerald as Principal of the Winnipeg School of Art and later taught art at the Banff School of Fine Art. Plaskett explores in detail his own journey into abstractionism and then onwards to new figurative styles that have embraced the sensuous and tactile. He discusses many of his more well known paintings, commenting especially on his use of mirrors and shadows. Colour has always been especially important to Plaskett, and here he examines the creation of his palette and the ways in which "meaning" can be conveyed in colour. Plaskett''s home at 2 rue Pecquay in Paris has been for many years a central meeting place for Canadian painters and writers travelling on the Continent. His memoirs are filled with stories of the artists and writers he came to know, people such as A.Y. Jackson, Raymond Mason, David Hill and Mavis Gallant. Lavishly illustrated, A Speaking Likeness contains 24 full-colour, full-page reproductions of Plaskett's finest paintings as well as some 90 black and white photos of artists and paintings