La Trilla signed and dated 'Chambers 59' (lower left); titled 'Threshing #4' on a gallery label oil on canvas 121.9 x 113cm (48 x 44 1/2in).
Provenance: Collection of the artist Purchased circa 1960 by Mr. and Mrs. Edwin B. Walker, Madrid (later Pacific Palisades, California) Private collection, California
Exhibited: John Chambers, Lorca Galeria de Arte, Madrid, #4, 1961 Forum Gallery, New York, NY Jack Chambers: A Retrospective. Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, September 23-October 18, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, November 7-December 6, #26, 1970
In 1954 Chambers left Canada and went to Spain to study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid; while there he was awarded the State Prize for Painting in 1958. In 1957 or 1958, Chambers met Peggy Walker, wife of Edwin B. Walker, when he was employed to take her through the Prado; he would also act as chauffeur and interpreter as she toured the leper colonies in Spain in her duties with the World Health Organization. The Walkers would later purchase La Trilla. Chambers would stay in Spain until 1961, having a one man show at the Lorca Gallery that same year, returning to Canada shortly thereafter.
This important work from 1959/1960, La Trilla or Threshing, is heavily influenced by Surrealism and the Latin American social realist painters of the mid twentieth century. The extremely stylized forms and figures also call to mind the works of Sir Stanley Spencer, both artists using modernist techniques to capture traditional subjects.
We would like to thank Gregory Humeniuk for his assistance with cataloguing this lot.