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ART 210 (Contemporary Art in Canada) Course Guide: Find Books & eBooks

A course guide intended to help students start their research for Art 210

Finding books & ebooks

Subject Searching

To find additional books on various movements and time periods, try searching the library using the following subjects: 

Canadian Photography

Scissors, Paper, Stone: Expressions of Memory in Contemporary Photographic Art​

Faking Death:  Canadian Art Photography and the Canadian Imagination

Various Canadian Artists

Embracing Canada: Landscapes from Krieghoff to the Group of Seven

Presents a comprehensive survey of Canadian landscapes made between the mid-eighteenth and mid- nineteenth centuries.

Vera Frenkel

The first extensive survey of the most important works by Czech-born Canadian artist Vera Frenkel.

Alex Colville: The Observer Observed

In this illustrated biography of painter Alex Colville, Mark A. Cheetham charts the prodigious life and career of one of Canada's best-known artists. Both artist and public figure, Colville engages many worlds at once: painting and politics, creativity and business.

The Mystery of the Real: Letters of the Canadian Artist Alex Colville and Biographer Jeffrey Meyers

The work of Alex Colville, O.C. (1920-2013), one of the great modern realist painters, combines the Flemish detail of Andrew Wyeth, the eerie foreboding of George Tooker and the anguished confrontations of Lucian Freud.

Pegi by Herself: The Life of Pegi Nicol MacLeod, Canadian artist

Pegi Nicol MacLeod was a charismatic bohemian whose expressive images of the contemporary world were an essential component of Canadian modernism. She was commissioned by the National Gallery of Canada to paint the wartime women's services and her work stands out for its innovative human focus and energetic depictions of people, cities, and landscapes. 

A. Y. Jackson: The Life of a Landscape Painter

Jackson spent nearly seventy years travelling throughout Canada, rendering his impressions of its diverse character on canvas and promoting a vibrant, uniquely Canadian style of painting.

Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven

Beginning in 1912, Defiant Spirits traces the artistic development of Tom Thomson and the future members of the Group of Seven, Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald, and Frederick Varley, over a dozen years in Canadian history.

Vancouver Anthology

Includes essays on the emergence of artist-run centres, experimental performance and video, feminist activity, collaboration, sculpture, painting, art criticism, conceptual art and landscape, and reflections on perceptions of aboriginal cultures.

Stealing the Show: Seven Women Artists in Canadian Public Art

Stealing the Show pays tribute to a new "Group of Seven" in the art world. Focusing on art commissioned for display in public places, it highlights the artistic achievements of seven prominent Canadian women artists: Marcelle Ferron, Anne Kahane, Rita Letendre, Gathie Falk, Joyce Wieland, Jerry Grey, and Colette Whiten.

Canadian Folk Art To 1950

The authors examine everyday Canadian material heritage and distinctively Canadian objects, and analyze Canadian folk art based on their findings. 

Beyond Wilderness: The Group of Seven, Canadian Identity and Contemporary Art

The legacy of the Group of Seven and the reinvention of Canadian landscape art since the 1960s.


Emily Carr: the Incredible Life and Adventures of a West Coast Artist

Both a prolific painter and an accomplished writer, Carr was more comfortable in the raw wilderness than in the tea rooms of London, and more at home with her unique pets than with the people around her. Despite numerous setbacks and disappointments, she persevered to become the West Coast’s most celebrated artist—and a Canadian icon. Her story is a testament to individuality and an inspiration to all.

The Logic of Ecstasy: Canadian Mystical Painting, 1920-1940

This book examines the ways in which Bertram Brooker, Emily Carr, Lawren Harris, Jock Macdonald, and Fred Varley, five of the most dynamic and innovative Canadian painters of the period 1920-1940, used mystical form rather than aesthetically initiated form in their painting.

Douglas Coupland: Everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything​

Published in conjunction with 'Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything', an exhibition organised by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Diana Augatis.

Remembering Postmodernism: Trends in Canadian art, 1970-1990

The author argues that memory - both personal and collective - is the essential and recurring theme in Canadian postmodern art by examining the works of the country's leading artists, including Carl Beam, Bruce Barber, Melvin Charney, General Idea, Angela Grauerholz, Janice Gurney, Barbara Steinman, and Joanne Tod. 

First Nations Art

SakKijâjuk: Art and Craft from Nunatsiavut

The book features over 80 reproductions of work by 45 different Inuit artists, profiles of the featured artists, and a major essay on the art of Nunatsiavut.

Susan Point: Works on Paper

This is the first book devoted exclusively to Susan Point's works on paper.

Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast

Through their own words and artwork, Ian Thom examines the careers, working methods, and philosophy of forty active Native American artists, all of whom he has interviewed. Featured here are their works, often combining new materials and old traditions, as well as extensive passages from conversations with these established and up-and-coming artists from the Pacific Northwest Coast.

Alex Janvier

Alex Janvier is one the most significant aboriginal artists in Canada. This book celebrates Alex Janvier's work, includes images from a recent exhibition and essays by scholars. 

Seekers and Travellers: Contemporary Art of the Pacific Northwest Coast

A celebration of contemporary northwest coast art, showcasing the works of thirty-six acclaimed artists of Canada and the U.S.

Dana Claxton: Fringing the Cube

Known for her expansive multidisciplinary approach to art making Vancouver-based Dana Claxton, who is Hunkpapa Lakota (Sioux), has investigated notions of Indigenous identity, beauty, gender and the body, as well as broader social and political issues through a practice which encompasses photography, film, video and performance.

Tales of Ghosts: First Nations Art in British Columbia, 1922-61

Argues that this was a critical period during which the art played an important role in public discourses on the status of First Nations people in Canadian society.

Mythic Beings: Spirit Art of the Northwest Coast

Mythic Beings presents an outstanding collection of 75 works - all in vivid colour - by 34 of the best First Nations artists working on the Northwest Coast today. The power of their art comes from its deep roots in an ancient culture that is rich in ceremonial and aesthetic traditions.

Faces in the Forest: First Nations Art Created on Living Trees

 Blackstock details this rare art form through oral histories related by the Elders, blending spiritual and academic perspectives on Native art, cultural geography, and traditional ecological knowledge.

Susan Point: Spindle Whorl

Survey[s] Point's entire career through more than a hundred artworks that take the spindle whorl as their starting point.

Carrying on Irregardless: Humour in Contemporary Northwest Coast Art

Collected here are artworks that act as political weapons, bold challenges to stereotypes, and nods to the Trickster. They satirize, ridicule and play. And, above all, they make us laugh, and think, and laugh again.

Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast

In Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast, Hilary Stewart introduces the elements of style; interprets the myths and legends which shape the motifs; and defines and illustrates the stylistic differences between the major cultural groupings.

The Trickster Shift: Humour and Irony in Contemporary Native Art

The Trickster Shift not only presents some of the most stunningly original examples of contemporary Native art but also allows the artists to offer their own insights into the creative process and the nature of Native humour.

Cultural Memories and Imagined Futures: The Art of Jane Ash Poitras

Cultural Memories and Imagined Futures situates Poitras's work in the national context of Canadian First Nations art during the late 1980s and early 1990s, the period when she began to receive wide recognition. 

George Littlechild: The Spirit Giggles Within

Littlechild has never shied away from political or social themes. His paintings blaze with strong emotions ranging from anger to compassion, humour to spiritualism. Fully embracing his Plains Cree heritage, he combines traditional Cree elements like horses and transformative or iconic creatures with his own family and personal symbols in a unique approach.

Inuit Art

Annie Pootoogook

Annie Pootoogook: Cutting Ice accompanies an exhibition organized by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the gallery of record for works on paper from Annie Pootoogook's Inuit community of Kinngait (Cape Dorset).

Isuma: Inuit video art

In-depth interviews with the people of Isuma and a thoughtful analysis of their films reveal how the producers combine their vision of Inuit wisdom and honour with the demands of modern filmmaking to create compelling and visually stunning films that share Inuit culture with an international audience.

Creation and Transformation: Defining Moments in Inuit Art​

Creation and Transformation describes the genesis and evolution of contemporary Inuit art from 1949 to the present day, from carvers in the 1950s to today's graphic artists.

Pitseolak: Pictures Out of My Life

Pitseolak: Pictures Out of My Life is an illustrated oral biography created from recorded interviews by Dorothy Harley Eber in 1970. In these interviews, and through her drawings and prints, Pitseolak makes what Inuit call "the old way" come alive, reflecting on life on the land, its pleasure and trials.

Images of Justice: a legal history of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut as traced through the Yellowknife Courthouse collection of Inuit sculpture

At a time when alternative legal systems for Native peoples are being debated, Images of Justice provides a lively, accessible account of the northern courts, their evolution, and their future a changing northern society.