THE IDEA OF NORTH Paintings by Lawren Harris

AGO, Toronto - Curated by Steve Martin
July 1 - September 18, 2016

Lawren Harris painting, AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Single click on any photo to enlarge

In partnership with the Hammer Museum UCLA, the Art Gallery of Ontario is hosting works by founding Group of Seven painter Lawren Harris. #HarrisAGO). GO to see what inspired and changed this iconic Canadian artist. Photography for personal use is encouraged!

Steve Martin quote, about painter Lawren Harris, AGO exhibit: The Idea of North

Actor, comedian (musician and writer too!) Steve Martin became infatuated with Harris some years ago and has been a one-man band heralding the painter to American audiences. This show is his collaboration with Lawren's hometown of Toronto

about painter Lawren Harris, AGO exhibit: The Idea of North

The city that Harris knew had at its core a gritty poverty-stricken neighbourhood known as The Ward. It stretched from Queen's Park legislature south to Richmond St., more or less between University Ave. and Yonge St.

What a change! High priced condos, office towers and the Entertainment District have replaced those slums.

map of The Ward, Ward 3, Toronto

Lawren's paintings changed with his philosophical views. He turned from dreary urban scenes to colourful landscapes with the Group of Seven, then to idealizing the pristine Canadian arctic. Starkly graphic views of Lake Superior (1923) were part of his journey to a personal vision.

mother and baby view painting by Lawren Harris titled 'Lake Superior', AGO exhibit: The Idea of North
man viewing painting by Lawren Harris, AGO exhibit: The Idea of North

The artist left Canada in 1936, teaching in New Hampshire, then painting in Mexico before his return in 1940. Odd as it seems, in a strikingly modern 1936 painting he envisioned Toronto's new city hall 30 years before its design by Finnish architect Viljo Revell!

painting by Lawren Harris titled 'Poise (Composition 4)', AGO, Toronto, futuristic view of city hall
events schedule about painter Lawren Harris, AGO exhibit: The Idea of North

Paintings shown are the property of Art Gallery of Ontario and Imperial Oil

 

Photos, text and design 

© Gary Crallé 2016 

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