Jock Macdonald (1897 - 1960)
born May 1897, Scotland; died December 1960, Toronto
Jock Macdonald was a founding member of Painters Eleven, a group whose goal was to promote abstract art in Canada, and also the Canadian Group of Painters. He was also instrumental in establishing the Calgary Group.
Before coming to Canada, Macdonald attended the Edinburgh College of Art and worked as a designer for a Scottish textile company.
He moved to Canada in 1926 to become a professor at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts. Macdonald became well-known and respected as a teacher at art colleges in Edinburgh, Vancouver and Toronto.
He was initially inspired by the Group of Seven's work but began painting abstracts in 1924. Macdonald's training as a designer and his interest in children's paintings encouraged his experimentation with abstract art.
He loved to play with colour. Abstraction allowed Macdonald the freedom to create pictures that had no apparent subject matter. He could blend and layer colours on his canvas without worrying whether some people would have difficulty understanding his subject. He continued to paint abstract for quite sometime, later adding Surrealist elements into his work.
He was an influential professor at several art colleges in Canada and helped spur the modern art movement in the country.
Click here to read or download Joyce Zemans’ Jock Macdonald Life & Work