GREGORY RICHARD CURNOE
RETURN FROM MONTREAL
dated “January 23, 1964”
16 ins x 9.75 ins; 40.6 cms x 24.8 cms
Writing on the method of Greg Curnoe’s collages, Pierre Théberge explains: “The elements were placed on the page and glued in an order that seems appropriate to the kind of disorder in which they were originally found. Their contours are very important; they impose a definite limit on this disorder. The pieces of paper take the form of a circle, a square, a rectangle, even a profile (of the artist’s father, for instance) or the outline of ears, lips and eyes.”
As with his early assemblages, Greg Curnoe’s Return from Montreal is a scene of disorder roped in. Two blue painted circles feature prominently atop a collage of orderly scraps and fragments: Late Forms for school children stating “Punctuality is essential to success,” an evangelical pamphlet, the artist’s 1963 Chauffeur’s License, and a centre streak of repetitious spoonfuls of mandarin oranges. Within the blue, Curnoe’s signature block lettering stamps out both the title of the work, “Return from Montreal Number Five Losing It –,“ and lyrics from the 1963 Beatles song, Not a Second Time: “You know you made me cry / I see no use in wonderin.”
Pierre Théberge, Greg Curnoe Retrospective, exhibition catalogue, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts/National Gallery of Canada, Montreal/Ottawa, 1982, page 6.
Wynick/Tuck Gallery, Toronto