Landscape Revealed: The Art of Toni Onley

Landscape Revealed: The Art of Toni Onley

Release date:

2004

Running time:

46 minutes

Formats:

Available on DVD

Closed Captioned:

No

Availability in North America:

Available in CanadaAvailable in the US

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Best known for moody landscapes of Canada's West Coast, Vancouver artist Toni Onley devoted his trademark vigor, passion and sensitivity not only to his celebrated paintings, but also to his philanthropic pursuits, high-profile activism, vast network of personal relationships and, of course, the flying of his beloved plane. Landscape Revealed: The Art of Toni Onley includes recent interviews with the late artist, at work on the BC shores he cherished. It brings to life not only Onley's contemplative artistic process but also his energetic and provocative public life.

An internationally acclaimed artist with works in London's Tate Gallery, NYC's Museum of Modern Art and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, Onley gained notoriety in 1983 when he took on Revenue Canada and its unfair tax laws for artists. A very public battle saw him threaten to burn one million dollars' worth of his paintings on Wreck Beach, before an 11th-hour response from the federal government. He would again use his prominence for political ends when he joined the fight to save the Stein and Carmanah Valleys, two of BC's last stands of old-growth forest. His iconoclasm, though well publicized, did not stop him from receiving the Order of Canada in 1990.

This intimate documentary includes interviews with Onley's many friends, colleagues and admirers-including artists Alan Wood and David Lemon, critics Max Wyman and Susan M. Mertens, Vancouver Art Gallery senior curator Ian Thom, UBC art professor George Knox, National Gallery of Canada curator Denise Leclerc, and Western Canada Wilderness Committee activist Joe Foy. With archival footage of such Canadian luminaries as Jack Shadbolt, George Woodcock and Liona Boyd, as well as a rousing written correspondence with Pierre Trudeau, Landscape Revealed paints a picture of man whose abiding legacy is the zest he had for life.

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