Important Works by John Little

Alan Klinkhoff Gallery proudly presents an important selection of fine works by John Little, one of Canada's foremost post World War ll urban artists. Alan Klinkhoff

We are proud to offer for your purchase a fine selection of paintings by John Little, an artist who must be considered one of the foremost post World War ll urban artists in Canada. 


The 1950s and through the 1970s  were extremely important decades in the social and economic history of Quebec and Montreal as well as other regions across Canada.

The World’s Fair (Expo 67) and the Olympics (Summer 1976) became catalysts to invest in development projects including a massive demolition of older buildings, streets and even neighbourhoods in the city accompanied by equally massive development of the suburbs in all directions outside of the city core, major investments in highway infrastructure, the Montreal metro system, Place des Arts, Place Ville Marie, Place Bonaventure, and the Port Royal among other major landmarks. This period of rapid development was prosperous for the city.  Many projects were considered controversial at the time but prevailed because of their alignment with Mayor Jean Drapeau’s plan for urban renewal.. Interestingly, with the evolution of the city, the suburbs, traffic congestion caused by the commute suburbanisation caused, contemporary urban planning is reversing the exit of urban dwellers.

From his earliest days as an artist Little had taken a keen and critical interest in development projects underway during this period of transformation. His work often reflected his desire to preserve the streets. As an artist the best he could do was to preserve the memories of the various streets and neighbourhoods before major projects eradicated them forever. Little would regularly find inspiration in the announcements of new developments of apartment complexes, parks, commercial buildings and highways and also observation of demolition of small buildings , even houses of vintage, motivated him to paint them a particular area for the only conservation he could offer. As the “material” of interest for Little to paint disappeared from the urban landscape , Little revisited his archives of photographs and sketches and found renewed inspiration compositing work from those sources.

Occasionally, Little would offer critical insight into his intent by leaving an editorial  remark on the back of a particular painting, citing the subject being as it appeared “in happier times” or “before the construction” of a certain building. 

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