P.11 Painters Eleven

Biographies

Alexandra Luke

Alexandra Luke (Margaret McLaughlin), Canadian abstract painter, was born in Montréal, Quebec in 1901. Her early works were more traditional and heavily influenced by the Group of Seven. It was in 1945 that she began to move away from more conventional painting when she trained under Jock MacDonald at the Banff School of Fine Arts. From 1947-1954 she studied with the German American painter Hans Hofmann in Provincetown, Rhode Island. After her positive leaning experience she encouraged William Ronald and Jock Macdonald to take up Hofman’s instruction.

Between 1952-1953 Luke organized the Canadian Abstract Exhibition at the Simpson’s department store which lead to the formation of the Painters Eleven. It was also Luke and partner Ewart McLaughlin that financially backed the opening of the 1967 Robert McLaughlin Gallery. The Gallery, named after Heart's grandfather, was dedicated to regularly exhibiting the work of the Painters Eleven. Luke exhibited with the group in Montréal, New York and Toronto until they formally disbanned in 1960.

She was best known for her sharp sense of color intuitively, her ability to create a work that encompassed a “universal language” and her positive and spiritual outlook that art could be as “pure as music”. Alexandra Luke died in Oshawa, Ontario in 1967.

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