Kinsman Robinson Galleries have proudly represented the Estate of Stanley Cosgrove for the past ten years. We are indebted to Ann Cosgrove for bestowing this honour and for her continued assistance with this undertaking.
Stanley Cosgrove, R.C.A. (1911-2002) is best known for his distinctive paintings of trees. Described as “clusters of dreamy, spindly-branched trees full of silence,” they were typically painted in soft, pastel colours. Cosgrove’s gentle treatment reflects his interest in the fresco technique. While on a Quebec Provincial scholarship, Cosgrove studied in Mexico with the great Mexican muralist, Jose Clemente Orozco.
His wooded landscapes are noted for their “purity and certainty of expression; in their unusual transparency and depth of colour and texture; as well as in a certain mystical sense of detachment from the hurly-burly of everyday life...” Cosgrove did not represent the Quebec countryside, where he sketched, but rather presents a self-contained fantasy without time or place. For Cosgrove, he simply painted “perpendiculars and horizontals.”Trees were an excuse to paint, repeated because of his interest in how he painted and because of an appreciation for constant study. Cosgrove focused on masses of colour, form and patterns. To the viewer, his work reflects states of beings and metaphors for feelings.The paintings are “finished” works, unique during a time when visualizing the process of a work was essential.
Cosgrove’s work gained critical acclaim during his evolving career as draftsmen, painter, teacher and muralist. His work is widely collected and displayed by private collectors and public institutions such as the MOMA, the AGO and the National Gallery of Canada. Cosgrove’s signature style can be summed up as having “great vitality tempered with gentleness and lyricism.”
The National Gallery of Canada; Art Gallery of Ontario; Hart House; McIntosh Gallery at The University of Western Ontario; Mendel Art Gallery; Montreal Museum of FIne Arts; Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec; Vancouver Art Gallery; Museum of Modern Art