Alex Colville in 1945
|Birth name||David Alexander Colville|
|Born||August 24, 1920 (age 92)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Training||Mount Allison University|
Early life 
He attended Mount Allison University from 1938–1942, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
Marriage and military service 
Colville married Rhoda Wright that year and enlisted in the Canadian Army under the War Artist Program. During his four-year deployment to the European Theatre, he was one of Canada's most prominent war artists, famously painting troops landing at Juno Beach on D-Day.
Colville returned to New Brunswick after the war and became a faculty member with the Fine Arts Department at Mount Allison University where he taught from 1946-1963. He left teaching to devote himself to painting and print-making full-time from a studio in his home on York Street; this building is now named Colville House.
Alex Colville lived in St. Catharines, Ontario, for three years before moving to Nova Scotia. In 1973, he moved his family to his wife's hometown of Wolfville, where they lived in the house that her father built and in which she was born. The Colvilles have three sons, a daughter, and eight grandchildren. In contrast to many of his contemporaries, Colville aligned himself with the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and was a card-carrying party member for many years.
Colville has exhibited extensively across Canada and internationally including at the Tate Gallery in London and the Beijing Exhibition Centre in Beijing. In 1983 an international touring retrospective of his work was organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Alex Colville's work is found in many collections including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Cape Breton University Art Gallery in Sydney, Nova Scotia, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne and the Kestnergesellschaft in Hanover, Germany.
Notable works 
"To Prince Edward Island" 
This 1963 painting is perhaps his best-known work.
"Horse and Train" 
This 1954 work was inspired by two lines from the poet Roy Campbell:
- Against a regiment I oppose a brain
- And a dark horse against an armored train.
"Horse and Train" is a part of the Art Gallery of Hamilton's permanent collection; Dominion Foundries and Steel, Ltd. (Dofasco Inc) donated the painting in 1957. It appears on the cover of the album Night Vision by Bruce Cockburn. Alex Colville and "Horse and Train" are mentioned in the introduction (and in the story itself) of Nova Scotia fiction writer Barry Wood's short story Nowhere to Go published in England's Postscripts #14 in 2008.
"The Circuit Rider" 
His mural in Tweedie Hall at Mount Allison University, known officially as "The History of Mount Allison" or "The Circuit Rider," features a centrepiece of a large rear end of a horse. This "horse's ass painting," as it is often known, is viewed by some as brilliant and by some as appalling. Colville chose not to explain the significance of the work.
His 1967 painting "Pacific", showing a man leaning against an open door looking out to sea while a Browning Hi-Power pistol rests on a table in the foreground, inspired one of the definitive scenes in the 1995 film Heat with actor Robert De Niro.
"Man on verandah" 
Painted in 1953, its sale at auction for $1.287 million set a record for a work by a living Canadian artist. Part of the estate of the late G. Hamilton Southam (1918–2008), it was sold at an auction of Canadian post-war and contemporary art by Heffel Fine Art Auction House on November 25, 2010. Expected to get up to $600,000, the price inflated during a three-way bidding war between two Canadian phone bidders and a person at the auction.
Works in other media 
In 1965, Colville was commissioned to design the images on the Canadian 1867-1967 centennial commemorative coin set. The set consists of the following designs: Rock dove on 1 cent coin, rabbit on 5 cent coin, mackerel on 10 cent coin, lynx on 25 cent coin, wolf on 50 cent coin and goose on the 1 dollar coin.
On 22 March 2002 Canada Post issued 'Church and Horse, 1964, Alex Colville' in the Masterpieces of Canadian art series. The stamp was designed by Pierre-Yves Pelletier based on a painting "Church and Horse" (1964) by Alex Colville. The $1.25 stamps are perforated 13 X 13.5 and were printed by Ashton-Potter Limited. 
See also 
- CBC Television, "Life and Times"
- Tim Groves and Costas Thrasyvoulou, "Against the Flow of Time: Michael Mann and Edward Hopper", Screening the Past, 2008
- Tamsin McMahon, "Alex Colville painting auctioned for $1.287-million", The National Post, November 25, 2010
- Virtual Museum: "Art of Atlantic Canada"
- Canada Post stamp
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Alex Colville|
- Alex Colville in the Canadian Encyclopedia
- Office of the Governor General of Canada. Order of Canada citation. Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 26 May 2010