THE IDEA OF NORTH Paintings by Lawren Harris
AGO, Toronto - Curated by Steve Martin
July 1 - September 18, 2016
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!