Grosvenor & Sherbrooke, the Pink Umbrella, 1972
Inscriptionssigned, 'Surrey' (lower right)
ProvenanceContinental Gallery, Montreal as Grosvenor Avenue at Sherbrooke Street, Westmount;
Acquired from the above, private collection, Montreal, September 6, 1985.
ExhibitionsGalerie Walter Klinkhoff, Montreal, Philip Surrey Retrospective Exhibition, September 18-October 2, 2004, no. 34.
Daigneault suggests that Surrey’s cars sometimes become, “powerful images symbolic of the human condition” .... “which plastically condemn the stupid aggressiveness of the male’”. With the aforementioned in mind, and combined with Robert Ayre’s suggestion that, “…apprehension and fear lurk in the threatening shadows..."), in this painting the cars, the evening illuminated by artificial light, the wet pavement, the light standard showing yellow and a young lady walking alone reflects a number of Surrey’s anxieties.
Surrey’s anxieties about the threatening nature of cars, trucks and buses we have seen in many of his works dating back to the late 1940s. In the year 2022, reports of pedestrians being struck by vehicles is in the news daily. The aggressiveness is not confined to that of the male species. I am a pedestrian, who like Philip Surrey, walks to and from the office daily. It is commonplace that both men and women driving cars that bear names LX 350, GLE 450, Diablo, Raptor, Gladiator, Defender appropriate to those of combat aircraft (see F-15, F-16, JAS 39, SU-27, MiG 29 ) sail through the stop sign outside our home, driven by heavily caffeinated men and women anxiously driving their child to one or another of the schools in our neighborhood. That DEFENDER, “the toughest Land Rover ever”, is increasingly popular. MotorTrend ranked it “victorious” in their 2021 SUV of the year competition, tests which included “ having trekked one across Africa”. (https://www.motortrend.com/features/land-rover-defender-off-road-suv-history-in-photos/)
In my opinion this is hardly a requirement to carpool 6 year old Lizzy and her friends to Westmount’s Miss Edgar and Miss Cramp's School for Girls. My wife, Helen, and I walk a short block to the park regularly on weekends with our young grandchildren. Many motorists think that STOP is only a suggested action. It is dangerous out there as a pedestrian.
One cannot help but reflect on the potential of discussing Surrey’s individual contribution to Canadian art with a trio including Alex Colville and Jean Paul Lemieux.
 Gilles Daigneault, "The expressionism of Philip Surrey", Texts in English, Vie des Arts, Vol 24, No. 96, Fall 1979, p. 101.