Danzig (now Gdańsk) 1896 – Montreal 1969
Oil on canvas
104.5 x 76.5 cm
Purchase, the Museum Campaign 1988-1993 Fund, inv. 2009.32
Quebec and Canadian Art
Like many artists from Central and Eastern Europe who immigrated to Canada in the period between the World Wars, Fritz Brandtner arrived in the country with a store of references that were still unknown to most of his Canadian contemporaries. In 1934, he settled in Montreal, where he founded the Children’s Art Centre along with his friend Dr. Norman Bethune. Brandtner borrowed from the major art movements of the first half of the twentieth century, and he put emphasis on freedom of expression in his teaching. During the troubling time when war once again loomed on the horizon, many of his works made use of the same spatial organization, in which figures and elements from nature within a tangled, central and symmetrical construction are enveloped in a luminous energy. Secretary of the Contemporary Arts Society when it was founded, Brandtner would only show his work in its first exhibition in 1939.