Emily Carr Artwork
Emily Carr Artwork
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- "Metchosin", 1935.
- Estate Stamp, bottom left.
- Oil on paper on board (24" x 36").
- Provenance: Private Collection, William Morris Gallery, G. Blair Laing Gallery, Carr Estate
- One-of-a-kind Painting
About Emily Carr:
Widely regarded as the single most important artist to emerge from Western Canada, Carr's vision and talent spawned a body of paintings freely expressive of the large rhythms of Western forests, driftwood-tossed beaches and expansive skies.
Orphaned in her early teens, Carr showed an early interest in Aboriginal peoples, in their traditional culture and in their houses, totem poles and masks. Carr's forays into this source material established one of the two great themes of her painting career: the visual preservation of Aboriginal culture and her distinctive expression of Canada's west coast landscape. At times the two themes became so intertwined in her vision as to constitute a theme of their own.
Critical recognition and exposure in national exhibitions began to come Emily's way after 1928. There were occasional sales, but it wasn't until after Carr's death that her work was appreciated, particularly at auction. In 2009, Carr's 'Wind in Tree Tops' sold for over two million dollars.
Today the Group of Seven and their contemporaries are among Canada's most famous artists. To many, their art symbolizes the distinct Canadian identity. But despite the importance of their movement, private collectors at the time were often criticized for collecting art so clearly outside the European tradition. The sentiment was reflected in gallery statistics as well. In 1924, just 2% of the paintings sold in Canada were by Canadian artists. No one imagined that these paintings, which sold for around $250 at the time, would come to fetch millions just a few decades later.
Many of the artists who formed the Group of Seven were employed at commercial design firms in their early careers. Tom Thomson, J.E.H. MacDonald, Arthur Lismer, Frederick Varley, Frank Johnston, and Franklin Carmichael first met and discovered their common artistic interests while working at Grip Ltd. in Toronto. The men began to take weekend sketching trips together and often gathered at the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto. It was there that they earnestly discussed possible new directions for Canadian art.
In 1913, Lawren Harris convinced A.Y. Jackson to move to Toronto from Montreal. In that same year, Lawren Harris and J.E.H. MacDonald visited the Albright Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York to view an exhibition of Scandinavian paintings. This show further fuelled the artists' desire to create a Canadian style. In 1920, Harris, MacDonald, Lismer, Varley, Johnston, Carmichael and Jackson decided, for the first time, to exhibit together as the Group of Seven.
Despite the name, membership in the Group of Seven eventually grew to include at least ten artists and contemporaries. Tom Thomson, for instance, was a name synonymous with the Group but his mysterious death in Algonquin Park in 1917 precluded him from being an official member. And it wasn't until six years after the Group's initial show that Emily Carr, the female artist so famously associated with the Group, first met Lawren Harris, who famously declared Carr to be "One of us." Carr, who felt underappreciated as an artist at the time, greatly appreciated the Group's acceptance. It reinvigorated her career and put into motion one of Canada's greatest artistic visions.
As we see, from its birth in 1920 to the early 1930s, the Group of Seven was immensely influential on both artists and the public at large. Though the final exhibition was held in 1931, their legacy resonates to this day, increasing our awareness of the breadth and variety of the Canadian landscape, and heightening our understanding of Canada's cul
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