A compelling biography of two important artists at a pivotal period in Canadian art history.
In 1947 Leonard and Reva Brooks left for Mexico where Leonard planned to study painting for a year. In Mexico they discovered a vibrant, sometimes even dangerous, society and a dynamic artistic community, unlike the mundane world they had left behind in Canada with its stale and unwelcoming artistic scene. Invigorated by their new environment Leonard and Reva ended up staying for over half a century, playing a key role in establishing San Miguel de Allende as a world-famous art colony. In this new biography, John Virtue chronicles the lives of these two important artists and offers an intimate look at these complex and creative people.
Virtue describes how they were caught up in the McCarthy era of Communist witch hunts and blacklisted in the United States. He details their close friendships with luminary figures such as Marshall McLuhan, Earle Birney, and the Mexican art icon David Alfaro Siqueiros, as well as a host of others. As Leonard became a fixture in the Mexican art scene Reva's photography quickly garnered international recognition, applauded by photographers Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. In 1975 the San Francisco Museum of Art selected her as one of the top fifty female photographers of all time.
With tales of deportations, shootouts, murder attempts, failures, and triumphs, Leonard and Reva Brooks is a biography of two creative people caught up in interesting times.