Out of the Maze (1973), William KurelekOut of the Maze (1973), William Kurelek
Out of the Maze (1973), William Kurelek

While Manitoba Party shows strong faith and recovery, Out of the Maze insinuates that the painter’s surety and sanity are under constant threat of relapse. Reminders of death are glimpsed: a skull on the prairie grass (lower left) rocks in the lake, and a gathering storm (upper right). The distant storm, particularly, suggests Kurelek’s fear of an impending world apocalypse, a nagging fear, probably exacerbated by the ravages of liver cancer, from which he died in 1977 (at 50). In his final moments, he had a vision of Toronto in flames.

Justin Platnar

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