Anthropology 2216F/G Lecture Notes - Theosophy, Prudence Heward, Emily Carr

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JANUARY 23, 2014
20th Century Canadian Art
Landscape and Nationalism 1910-1940s
LAST WEEK:
-Ozias Leduc, Boy with Bread 1892-99
-Maurice Cullen, Last Loads 1916
Landscapes and urban/rural the majority
Not a group of concentrated artists, incorporating artists from abroad too
Atmospheric conditions important
Brymner and Morrice Canadian Art Club experimenting with post-imp and
Tonalism with interest in atmosphere as a thread that goes through almost all
Canadian painters of this time
Diversity of landscapes
Canadian Art Club not consciously developing a Canadian art style
Hill Reading
-Myths used to create a spirit of Nationalism
-More complicated of a story than appears
Background of the Group of Seven
-Arthur Goss, Luncheon at the Arts and Letters Club 1920, 5 of 7 Group members
-Met earlier than 1920, many met at the Arts and Letters club, membership only male
club where they talk of literature, visual arts, and theatre
-Some had already been exhibiting their works
-Fluidity of relationships within the Group
-Thomson died before the group formally came together in 1920
-Patrons Lawren Harris, wealthy family, university education, had access to wealthier
people in Toronto, which helped collecting of their work and financial support
-Dr. McCollum also a supporter; constructed Studio Building, 1914: developed an art
community
-Tom Thomson, Northern River, 1914-15: inspired by Impressionist approach to being IN
nature
-JEH MacDonald, By the River, Early Spring 1911: oil sketch, logging scene, rougher
application,
-Lawren Harris, Gas Works, 1911-12: muted, soft blended brushstrokes, how
atmosphere and effects of light important
-1913 a Toronto critic “hot much school”, painting looking like globs of porridge
-American Scandinavian Society, cover of catalogue by Charles Brinton (1913)
-Lawren Harris, Winter Morning 1914 & Snow 2 1915
Art of the soul of the woods
Foundations planted on good red earth
Began with nature before art
-Interest in Canadian landscape that made Canadian art specific in representing the
Nation, a goal of theirs
-1914 common energy/goals, desire to paint in the landscape from nature to develop
Canadian art, but War ensued, couple enlisted, couple were war painters
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-1914-18 disrupted energy
-James Wilson Morrice, Waiting for the Boat, Tangiers, 1911-13 & Tom Thomson,
Decorative Landscape, Birches 1915
Location important, Canadian soil
Focus on detail important for Thomson
Both inspired by similar art styles but their interpretation differs
Interest in flattening of picture plane
Increase of decorative nature in Thomson
-Thomson, The West Wind, 1916
Last study before death
Single tree has become an iconic image, symbol of Canadian character
Stand for a search for authentic experience: anti-modern in certain aspects,
wanting to be in natural landscape away from cities (spiritual)
Art also relates to tourism literature, attempting to sell Canada to tourists by
emphasizing wildlife experiences
-Charles Hill, film clip
Curator is Canadian art (Tom Thomson)
Reduction and recession of space
-1944 The West Wind: The Story of Tom Thomson film clip
National Film Board production for National Gallery
Mythology, mystical figure, epic, dramatic
Emphasis on his love of nature, outdoorsman
-1919 Exhibition
JEH MacDonald, The Wild River 1919 & Leaves in the Brook, 1918
Critics described left as having a distorted colour scheme and disproportion, un-
restful texture
Right image met with praise
Context when shown will hinder certain responses and critics
-1920 year they officially formed, First Group Expo Art Gallery of Ontario
1970 reconstruction of 1920 exhibition
Differ from Can Art club (withdrawn from older art societies) the Group wanted to
bring people together
Curator: hanging work in line with one another, contrasting size of works, showing
oil sketches and pre-final work “process”, painted golden walls gallery
contextualizes, framed works substantial frames, conventional hanging, “serious
art”, chronology of work focusing on important moments, narrative thread of
development and significance of the group, sets them up as developers and now
release into the world
JEH MacDonald, Sunflowers, Thornhill, 1916 & Tangled Garden, 1916: in 1920
show described as “gorgeously decorative”, almost quiet compared to the Wild
River (1919), fantastical, move away from realism of the study, reinterpreting your
own first impression, moving away from naturalism of Impressionism to more
decorative
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