September 22, 2023

SAVE THE DATE – Canadian Premiere – Discovering Oscar Cahén: The Warrior – A documentary by Howard Brull

Tuesday, October 10th, 2023
Contemporary Calgary Theater (formally the Pleiades Theatre)

701-11 Street SW
Calgary, AB T2P 2C4

TrépanierBaer in collaboration with the Cahén Archives and Feheley Fine Arts is pleased to present the Canadian premiere of Discovering Oscar Cahén: The Warrior, a documentary film by Howard Brull. Over two years in the making, this documentary presents insightful and relevant observations on the life and career of the prolific artist Oscar Cahén and his pivotal painting, The Warrior (1956).

With commentaries by Michael Cahén (The Cahén Archives); Sarah Milroy (Chief Curator, McMichael Canadian Collection), Dr. Jaleen Grove (Assistant Professor Rhode Island School of Design and author Oscar Cahén, Life & Work), Dr. Sara Angel: Art Canada Institute (ACI), Yves Trépanier (TrépanierBaer); artist David Urban, and Brian Dedora, artist, writer, among others.

After Oscar Cahén’s untimely death at the age of 40 in 1956, the vast majority and breadth of his work has been out of view, and only occasionally been seen by the public. His works have remained in storage for more than six decades; exhibitions and discussions about his work have been intermittent.

Through this new documentary, his life and career are succinctly presented to a new generation of audiences, along with his masterpiece painting The Warrior, the largest and one of Cahén’s most significant paintings.

“Never is it easy to explain the complexities that nurture the sudden emergence of an art movement which breaks abruptly with the restrictive pressures of its past. However, there is no question whatsoever that Oscar Cahén had a notably significant impact upon the development of the young men who were to group together as Painters Eleven. He was, after all, a worldly experienced man whose technical facility as an artist was surpassed, if possible, by his vitality as a companion. For a young Canadian dealing with the conflict of breaking with the literal representational traditions of his immediate past, Oscar Cahén’s agility in moving back and forth between literal drawings and bold abstract paintings must have been a consolation as well as an example.

Who could doubt the strength of his abstract compositions in which form, and space were dealt with in new terms even as colour was handled with a flamboyance that must have almost seemed, at times, a joyful scandal. This new Canadian indeed made a great contribution to his new home…

No-one can deny that the art historical fact of the importance of his influence being put aside, Oscar Cahén was essentially a splendid imaginative figure.”

Dr. Evan H. Turner, Director
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1968

To view the trailer for the film, please click here. We look forward to seeing you at this screening.

Image Credit:
Oscar Cahén
The Warrior, 1956
Oil on canvas / 80″ x 102.5″