FAH248H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Jock Macdonald, Saint Catherine Street, Henrietta Shore

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28 Feb 2018
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FAH248H1 Canadian Painting
Lecture 1: Tuesday January 8th
Introduction
- Kathleen Munn, Untitled, 1926-1928
)n questioning, what Canadian art implies, we would need to look into how Canada
was formed into how it is today. IN discussing Canadian art, it may vary from todays
current Canadian boundaries.
Looking at the dates in the course name, we should recognize Canada as a young
country, with a far older land-usage with native land settlements. Canada has always
been recognized as a mosiac; a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country.
- Fredrick Alexcee, Fort Simpson, ca.1900
This painting was chosen to represent this particular moment in Canadian history,
especially considering reconciliation. This was done by an indigenous artist, trained
in production of ceremonial objects, but also worked with more European art
representation. (es an interesting hybrid figure.
This is also a period of reconciliation in our country happening today, focusing on
indigenous culture and presence in Canada. The ramifications of this renewed
interest are still being played out.
We can look to different media sources to gauge the changes going on in the art
community. Some include Canadian Art magazine, contemporary art journals…
Sadly, these changes have fallen out of the scope of this course, and will not be as
intently examined in class. However, we could apply contemporary art scholarship
to our essays or essay research.
Dennis Reids A Concise History of Canadian Painting is a possible resource in this
class, but has some failings concerning indigenous topics. John OBrian and Peter
Whites Beyond Wilderness in a more contemporary take on Canadian art history,
and we will read several passages from this. However, this is heavily involved in
landscape painting, only one aspect of Canadian art history.
This course will attempt to incorporate non-European perspectives into this history,
hopefully to tell a more thorough story.
- Zacherie Vincent, Self-Portrait
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- Antoine Plamondon, The Last of the Hurons of Lorette (Zacharie Vincent), 1838
Vincent was an indigenous artist, with two interesting depictions of himself. The
first was done by himself, while the other was done by a French artist, projecting
anxieties of a loss of European culture in the image.
The presence of Indigenous people will be present throughout the content of this
class. Rita Letendre is an example of this. She established herself in the early to mid
s, moving from Quebec to Toronto, as an indigenous artist.
- Francois Malepart de Beaucourt, Portrait of a Haitian woman, 1786
We will also study images of the oppressed. This image above was emphasized to be
analysed as a contextualised image painted in a period of slavery in Canada. It was
previously seen only as a touristic image, a painting by the artist in his travels, but
the subject was actually a slave of that artist. (Charmain Nelson wrote about this)
- Henrietta Shore, Cypress Trees, ca.1930
- Agnes Martin, White Flower, 1960
We will look at artists not just who were Canadian, but at artists who came to the
country, willingly or not.
- J.W.G Jock Macdonald, Spring Awakening, 1937
We will also look at how periods of arts, styles, were introduced into Canada.
We will become acquainted with key figures in Canadian art, like Emily Carr, Tom
Thompson, Henrietta Shore…
- Lauren S.Harris, Mountain Forms, 1926
We will also look into the mythology of Canada, influenced by the landscape. One
particular notion was Canada as the mystic north.
Our goal will be to assess these myths critically, looking into the troupes of
whiteness, of paintings having social and racial implications.
- Yvonne McKague Housser, Cobalt, 1931
We will learn that Canada was a hugely industrial country, one that was
mythologized by those like the Group of Seven, yet heavy in resource extraction.
- Paraskeva Clark, Parachute Riggers, 1947
This painting shows women contributing to the war effort in WWII. This challenges
some of the stereotypes of Canadian history.
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