signed lower left; titled on the exhibition label verso
Exhibition: Royal Canadian Academy of Arts
Provenance: Estate of Bill and Peggy Code, Calgary AB
London played an important role in shaping Max Bates’ career. Bates first visited London as a youngster in 1912, on an extended trip with his family. Later, when he felt rejected in Alberta, and confined by the traditional local art scene, Bates travelled to London in 1930/31. This marked the beginning of a transformative 15 year absence from Calgary. While in London, Bates grew and flourished as an artist. He reportedly took in two thousand art exhibitions; he exhibited regularly; he became a member of the Twenties Group (1932-1939), an association of prominent Expressionists and Surrealists; and his work was included along with many of the great masters in the politically important Artists International Association Exhibition of 1937. Following this period, Bates enlisted with the British Territorial Army and spent five years as a prisoner of war, leaving a forever-changed Europe for Calgary in 1946.
Bates returned to Europe once again during 1958/1959, with his wife Charlotte, visiting a number of sites he had seen prior to the War, including some in London. During this trip, Bates sketched and took notes for paintings that he would develop upon his return home.