David Milne
(1882-1953)

Though never a member of the Group of Seven, David Milne is considered one of the greatest Canadian landscape painters of the 20th century. Born in the small Ontario town of Burgoyne, Milne studied at the Art Student’s League in New York City before joining the Canadian army and shipping to Europe in 1917 where he painted scenes of training facilities and deserted battlefields in France and Belgium. After the war he returned to New York State but eventually settled in Ontario. He often traveled through Algonquin Park on painting trips. His works were included in the hugely significant modernist Armory Show of 1913 and the prestigious American art critic Clement Greenberg counted Milne as one of the three most important North American artists of his generation. In 1955, shortly after the artist’s death, the National Gallery of Canada hosted a retrospective exhibition of his work. The British Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and the Art Gallery of Ontario have all hosted major shows of Milne’s paintings and in 1952 his work represented Canada at the Venice Biennale.

Mastering a particular aesthetic style all his own, Milne’s austere images reduce the visual elements of his subjects down to their barest essentials. He often used the blank surface of the paper or canvas as an active element of his compositions. In “Boston Corner” (1947-1953), the only work he contributed to the Sampson-Matthews silkscreen art program and the only Sampson-Matthews image to depict a scene outside of Canada, Milne offers a wintry rural village scene near his home in Boston Corner, New York State. This work is based on a painting of the same name now in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada.

Artwork for sale by David Milne