Sublime Vernacular: The Landscape Paintings of Levine Flexhaug
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Flexhaug's grassroots art is celebrated in this gorgeously designed and insightful volume that accompanies a major travelling exhibition of his work.
A Sublime Vernacular examines the extraordinary career of Levine Flexhaug (1918–1974), an itinerant artist who sold thousands of variations of essentially the same idyllic mountain scene in national parks, resorts, department stores, restaurants and bars across western Canada from the late 1930s through the 1960s. A self-described "speed painter," he turned out paintings in a matter of minutes, often working on several at the same time, mesmerizing customers as they watched them come to life.
Flexhaug was painting a generic landscape fantasy for a society that had been shaped by the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, but the way he turned that popular formula inside out resulted in paintings of extraordinary richness and invention. Published on the occasion of the first comprehensive exhibition of Flexhaug's paintings, this book is a study of a time, a place and the art and life of a little-known but altogether fascinating artist.
About the author: Nancy Tousley is an art critic, arts journalist and independent curator. Peter White is an independent curator and writer.