Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The art of Moma Markovich

Photos by Barry Wallace
Carrying Place ~ Humber River
Here are two paintings by an artist I had never heard of until recently.   His name is Moma Markovich (1902-1977).   He was born in Serbia and graduated from art school in Paris.   During the Second World War, he escaped a Nazi work camp in Austria.   He arrived in Canada in 1951 and continued to work as an artist, but was hired by what was then the Ontario Department of Highways as a draftsman.   Markovich created almost 200 works in his career and after he retired he created a series of 55 more for the Ministry of Natural Resources.   Although much of his work reflected Ontario's transportation infrastructure, other works offered a journey in place and time.   They travel back to Ontario's infrastructure beginnings of plank and corduroy roads serving ox carts and horse teams.   The painting above is titled 'Carrying Place ~ Humber River', but where on the Humber is not really known.   I choose to think that in the painting above, the distant horizon is the King Ridge, now known as the Oak Ridges Moraine.   The painting below could represent several locations of pioneer river crossings, perhaps even the Humber.   More than 100 Markovich paintings have been saved, cleaned, conserved, re-framed, digitized and preserved for future generations to enjoy.   An exhibit of his work, titled 'Footpaths to Freeways' was presented last fall at the John B. Aird Gallery in Toronto.   The collection is to be found now in the Government of Ontario Art Collection, at the Ontario Archives.   Markovich's work can readily be likened to the work of acclaimed Canadian artist C. W. Jefferys (1869-1951).   See Jeffery's 'Lloydtown Rebellion' at bottom, right.

Please comment
if you wish.

Barry Wallace


  1. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog, I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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  2. His work and style are familiar to me, and do remind me of C.W. Jeffreys' work and that of European illustrators of the day. Have to research him some more. Thanks for this post.