John Little, City Life from 1951

Written by Alan Klinkhoff
Alan Klinkhoff, 2017
Softcover 162 pages
Publisher: Alan Klinkhoff Gallery
Dimensions: 28.3 x 21.9 x 2.5 cm

John Little (b. 1928) first offered his paintings for sale at the foremost Canadian art dealing firm, Watson Galleries, in 1951.  Then, in ’57, when William Watson was preparing to close his gallery, he referred young John Little to Mrs. Shima at Continental Galleries. Shortly after granddad, Walter Klinkhoff, moved his gallery up to Sherbrooke Street, John Little shared the distribution of his work with Walter Klinkhoff Gallery as well.


Although John Little’s painting places are primarily the neighbourhoods of Montreal and Québec City, they serve as an allegory for the neighbourhoods throughout North America failed by the forces of post-WWll suburbanization and the ensuing bulldozer approach to urban renewal prevalent from 1950 through the mid 1970s.


 Little is a Canadian original in a narrative sometimes broached by Americans Reginald Marsh, Edward Hopper and John Sloan.  We are inclined to consider John Little as the Jane Jacobs of Canadian painting.