Andre Bieler: An Artist's Life and Times By Frances K. Smith
4to. pp. 352. profusely illustrated. cloth. dw. Richmond Hill: Firefly Books, 2006.
*Includes The Art of Time DVD a documentary about the life and art of Andre Bieler by Philippe Baylaucq
NEW in publisher's shrink wrap.
ISBN-10: 1554072328 / ISBN-13: 9781554072323
This comprehensive study of the life and work of Andre Bieler, one of Canada's most important artists, covers 93 years of his life and art spanning Europe, the United States and Canada. Beginning with his birth in Switzerland, Smith chronicles Bieler's European family roots, World War I experiences and traditional artist's apprenticeship. She goes on to describe his arrival in Canada as a young artist and his subsequent exploration of the rural habitant culture in Quebec's Ile d'Orléans and on the north share of the St. Lawrence River, examining his life and work against the flowering of 20th century Canadian art.
Smith also illuminates the little-known side of André Bieler: his importance as organizer of the Kingston Conference of 1941, from which emerged the Federation of Canadian Artists of which he was the first President; his 27-year career as Resident Artist and Professor of Art at Queen's University; and his devotion and influence as an educator and promoter of the arts.
Most important, the author reveals Biéler's extraordinarily creative energy, his exuberance and his intense love of people and life. Even into his 90s these qualities kept Biéler experimenting in art and traveling widely in quest of his subject. This search nourished and defined him as an artist of classic versatile and sustained vision.
Art historian David Karel has written an extensive new introduction complementing Smith's study and helping the reader to situate the artist at the juncture of regionalism and modernism.
In an epilogue, Ted Bieler, the artist's son and an artist himself, evokes his father's last ten years during which he continued to show remarkable creativity. He reports what Andre Bieler had to say about the practice of his art and about the values that he cherished and that inspired him throughout his long life.