ArtworksJohn LittleA Boy's Christmas in Griffintown with the Father Boyle Officiating, 19781928 -CAD 18,000
Inscriptionssigned, 'JOHN / LITTLE' (lower right); signed and dated, ''John / Little / '78' (verso, top horizontal stretcher); titled and inscribed, 'pugnacious Griffintown is gone - shall we cancel Christmas? Let us drink to the past. Xmas is for kids / Let us remember the Malfara Bros / reproduction rights reserved by Louis and Fred Wray' (verso, on the stretcher)
ProvenanceGalerie Walter Klinkhoff Inc., Montreal Private collection, Montreal Alan Klinkhoff Gallery Private collection, Toronto
ExhibitionsToronto, Alan Klinkhoff Gallery, Lawren Harris & Canadian Masters: Historic Sale Celebrating Canada's 150 Years, April 1, 2017.As we have published previously, Little set out early in his career to capture the spirit of streets and neighbourhoods being torn up/down in the process of suburbanization and urban renewal of the post WWII period. It was not from any sense of nostalgia that Little was capturing these vignettes. He believed that the heritage of our cities and its citizens is worth immortalizing. Latterly, what was left of these areas is undergoing another generation in its evolution, this time with the objective of densification of the urban core. A visit to Montreal's Griffintown will show Little's location unrecognizable today.
As a tribute, the names Fred & Louise Wray written on the back, they were Montreal based art collectors as well as friends of Galerie Walter Klinkhoff and Continental as well. In the waning years of Continental Gallery, Fred went their pretty much daily to assist the manager, Mariitta Maavara.His mention of the Malfara brothers is significant to the neighbourhood of Griffintown “in the day”. Research uncovered the brothers to be baseball players in local leagues in Griffintown and Notre Dame de Grace in the 1940s. “Tombstones” like this are those pages from the family album Little wanted to conserve in his painting and incidentally to be found in his written notes. For us, these notes are relevant, even important, to an appreciation of Little’s intentions in his art.
Note: In 2017, Alan Klinkhoff Gallery published A Tribute to John Little, City Life from 1951 the only authorized study of the work and career of John Little. In preparation of a sequel, to be considered for publication, we invite owners of John Little paintings to submit images and details to the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org.