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DAVID ALEXANDER. Untitled (Nova Scotia), 1987. Mendel Art Gallery

DAVID ALEXANDER. b. Vancouver, B.C., 1947. David Alexander studied art at Notre Dame University, Nelson, B.C. and subsequently in Saskatchewan at the University of Saskatchewan as well as several Emma Lake Artists Workshops in the later '70s and early '80s. One of the leading artist of the second generation in Saskatoon, Alexander has assembled influences from abstraction, modernist painting, and the English tradition. His paintings and drawings are boldly drawn and designed, often yoking together extreme contrasts. Alexander is anything but a pastoral painter. He has traveled widely to remote areas, especially in the North, and his work has a brooding, Nordic quality. Unlike many of the post-war painters in watercolours on the prairies, Alexander works on a variety of scales, frequently sketching from nature on intimate formats. The painting above, done in Nova Scotia, is one of these -- an unusual close-up composition executed in muted grays. Despite being essentially monochrome, the work gives the impression of fully realized colour.