11th of 352 works found
Woman and Still Life
Bates, Maxwell
Woman and Still Life
66.4cm height x 50cm width
Accession Number
City of Burnaby
Permanent Collection
Maxwell Bates was an expressionist painter and Canadian architect who was born in Calgary, AB, in 1906. Apprenticed in his father's architectural office in 1924, Bates attended life classes at the Calgary Art Club and studied painting at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art from 1926-27, identifying strongly with French postimpressionist painters. In 1961, he moved to Victoria, BC, by which time he had already begun exhibiting nationally and internationally.

Early on in his career, in 1928, Bates was banned from exhibiting with the Calgary Art Club because his work was seen as “too modern.” So, he moved to London, England, from 1931 to '39, where the reception of his work was much more positive and he exhibited regularly, becaming a member of London’s “Twenties Group,” which included Barbara Hepworth and Victor Pasmore. As a member of the British Territorial Army in 1940, Bates was captured in France and became a prisoner of war in Thuringia. He remained a POW until 1945, an experience that was captured in his 1978 book "A Wilderness of Days".

Bates returned to Calgary in 1946 to work with his father's architectural firm again. In 1949, he studied at the Brooklyn Museum with artist Max Beckmann. As an architect, his most notable work was St. Mary's Cathedral, which was consecrated in 1957. Shortly before moving to Victoria, Bates suffered his first stroke, which left him partially paralysed. His disability didn't stop him though; he was at the centre of Victoria’s social circle of artists and led the founding of the Limners group in 1971. In 1978, Bates suffered a second stroke and died in Victoria on September 14, 1980. His work has been showcased in art galleries worldwide, and retrospective exhibitions have been shown in galleries such as the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Vancouver Art Gallery. In 1971, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Calgary. In 1980, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.