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ROBERT HURLEY . Untitled, 1933. Mendel Art Gallery.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Les Pragnell in memory of Bart Pragnell 1985.

ROBERT NEWTON HURLEY, b. London, England, 1894, d. Victoria, British Columbia, 1980. Hurley had no formal training as an artist, though he'd enjoyed museum-going as a youth in London and had some training with layout as an apprentice printer-compositor. He became interested in painting after serving in the First World War, although had limited opportunity to pursue it in his early years in Canada (he migrated to Saskatchewan in 1923.) His interest was stimulated by Ernest Lindner, who taught him in night classes in Saskatoon in 1933-35.Primarily a watercolour painter and a great admirer of Cotman. Hurley was one of the first artists to find variety in unadorned prairie subjects. Some time during the '30s he discovered receding roads and telephone poles converging on a grain elevator, a motif which became his hallmark. In fact, Hurley was more accomplished that many of those paintings would suggest. Like many artists of the '30s, he embraced a form of modernist stylization based on exaggerated tilts and curves. Hurley added to this a perceptive and poetic sense of colour.