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  • John Little, A Montreal Icon
  • Post author
    Jeff Pollock

John Little, A Montreal Icon

John Little, A Montreal Icon

John Geoffrey Caruthers Little, “John Little” (1928 -)


John Little has been a consistent pillar among Montreal artists from the 1950's onwards. As of late, his works have created a remarkable stir among Montrealers wishing for a glimpse of their past. His love for urban scenery, especially the areas tagged for demolition, aimed to etch the different eras into history. His work can be identified by the strong colours and bold outlines seen in the popular fauvist style. 

JOHN LITTLE - RUE DES RÉCOLLETS - OIL ON CANVAS
Figure 1 : John Little, Ave Coloniale 1990, Daisy Exclusive Collections 

Apprenticeship

John Little began his studies at the Art Association of Montreal. His first mentor would be another great Canadian painter, Dr. Arthur Lismer, who was part of the iconic “Group of Seven”. After two years, Little would leave for New York City to pursue his studies under Will Barnet and Frank J. Reilly at the Art Students’ League. Furthermore, he would pick up a job working on a comic strip (Bruce Gentry), before returning home in 1951.

John Little, Rue Des Récollets, 1971
Figure 2 : John Little, Rue Des Récollets 1971, Daisy Exclusive Collections 

Ascent to notoriety

Working at his father’s architectural firm, Little would begin to paint areas of Montreal, Quebec City and its surroundings. Many of his works would focus on popular areas set out for demolition in favour of urbanisation projects (St Antoine, Sherbrooke west, etc). A Montreal art dealer by the name of William Watson would ultimately guarantee Little’s success by taking a great interest in his paintings and featuring them in his popular Montreal gallery.


John Little, Hockey GameJohn Little's works have continuously been on display at prestigious art galleries throughout Montreal and Canada, and to this day, Little is one of the most asked about Montreal artists.

 Figure 3 : John Little, Hockey Game, Private Collection
  • Post author
    Jeff Pollock

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