Featured Painting: Lawren Harris, Spring in the Outskirts, 1922

Featured Painting: Lawren Harris, Spring in the Outskirts, 1922

In 1918, while recovering from his recent nervous breakdown, Lawren Harris began to focus on a new architectural subject: recently constructed houses in Toronto’s unplanned, blue-collar suburbs. Located just outside city limits, these unregulated settlements were widely known as “shacktowns.” In 1920, one art critic described the artist as the “first man in Canada . . . to glorify shacks.” A favorite suburban area for Harris was Earlscourt, a rural neighbourhood that had been under incremental development since 1906.

Featured Painting: Lawren Harris, A Row of Houses, Wellington Street

Featured Painting: Lawren Harris, A Row of Houses, Wellington Street

A Row of Houses, Wellington Street is Lawren Harris’ first major canvas depicting downtown Toronto housing. Signed and dated “L S H ’10” on the face of the picture, a faint inscription on the back of the original stretcher, retained and now attached to the current one reads “Street Painting I.” The site can be identified. On the city’s 1880 fire insurance map, the row of six adjoined, two-and-half story brick dwellings was named “St Catharine’s Terrace” and was located on the north side of Wellington Street West between Dorset and John Streets.

Featured Painting: Lawren Harris Maligne Lake, Jasper Park, 1924

Featured Painting: Lawren Harris Maligne Lake, Jasper Park, 1924

In 1924 Lawren Harris and A.Y. Jackson spent August and early September sketching in Jasper Park in the Rocky Mountains. They first walked from Jasper Lodge to Maligne Lake. By horse they went on to the Colin Range, before hiking over the Shovel Pass to the Athabaska and Tonquin valleys. “We camped at the south end of Maligne Lake on a wide delta of gravel,” Jackson wrote in the January 1925 issue of The Canadian Forum.

Featured Painting: Lawren Harris Morning Sun Over Hill, Lake Superior (Lake Superior Sketch XXVII) 1922

Featured Painting: Lawren Harris Morning Sun Over Hill, Lake Superior (Lake Superior Sketch XXVII) 1922

In the fall of 1921 Lawren Harris and A.Y. Jackson painted in Algoma then travelled on to Rossport on the north shore of Lake Superior. In the autumns of 1922 and 1923 the two artists returned to Lake Superior, painting at Port Coldwell in 1922 and at Port Munro and Pike Lake in 1923. The artists probably didn’t return to Lake Superior in 1924 as they were painting in Jasper Park and Jackson had to return to Toronto to teach at the Ontario College of Art but they returned to Port Coldwell the following year.

Featured Painting: Lawren Harris, Rock and Hill (Lake Superior Sketch CXXXII) 1922

Featured Painting: Lawren Harris, Rock and Hill (Lake Superior Sketch CXXXII) 1922

Rock and Hill may depict the same hillock as Morning Sun over Hill, Lake Superior, though here the light is clear, the foreground rocks more assertive and the lighter colours are darkly outlined asserting their sculptural form. The naked trunks reach up to the top of the frame, creating a vertical and horizontal rhythm. Water, is glimpsed centre left where the clouds are painted with Harris’ characteristic stylization.

Historic Sale Features Lawren Harris’ First Major Canvas of Downtown Toronto Housing

Historic Sale Features Lawren Harris’ First Major Canvas of Downtown Toronto Housing

Lawren Harris’ iconic painting, A Row of Houses, Wellington Street, 1910, is among the works featured in our April 1 sale, Lawren Harris & Canadian Masters: Historic Sale Celebrating Canada’s 150 Years.

Sale – The Estate of William I.M. Turner Jr.

Sale – The Estate of William I.M. Turner Jr.

Carving a long and distinguished career, William I.M. Turner Jr. made important contributions to the spheres of business, community services, education and the arts. He grew up in Toronto, where he earned first a degree in engineering from the University of Toronto and then an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Powerful Psychological Paintings by Philip Surrey

Powerful Psychological Paintings by Philip Surrey

Rarely have we had such a varied selection of works of art available by Philip Surrey. While many, most, are small in size, looking at them as a group allows for a greater appreciation and sense of the importance of artist than seeing them individually here and there.

Arthur Lismer and Georgian Bay

Arthur Lismer and Georgian Bay

In the first half of the twentieth century, Arthur Lismer was a peer among an esteemed group of artists who were defining a distinctive nationalistic style of painting inspired by the wilderness of Northern Canada. For Lismer, the North presented an irresistible atmosphere that promised happiness and vitality, Georgian Bay being an especially compelling site for its sense of natural harmony and its proximity to his Toronto residence.

19th Century Composition Shares Rare Glimpse Into Artists’ Process

19th Century Composition Shares Rare Glimpse Into Artists’ Process

Painter’s Tools by Joseph-Charles Franchère is signed and dated 1894, a year of transition for the then 28 year-old artist. Franchère had returned  to his native Montreal and was embarking upon his professional career after several years spent studying in Paris since 1888. During a brief visit to Montreal in 1890, he received an important […]