Monday, May 25, 2015

Art for today May 25, 2015 - 11 Works by Canadian Artists - WILLIAM EDWARD DE GARTHE, ARTHUR LISMER, C.I. GIBBONS, CHRISTOPHER PRATT, HENRI LEOPOLD MASSON, JOE NORRIS, JOYCE WIELAND, O.S.A., PELEG FRANKLIN BROWNELL, PETER CLAPHAM SHEPPARD, R.C.A., WILLIAM GOODRIDGE ROBERTS, WILLIAM HENRY CLAPP,

WILLIAM HENRY CLAPP, A.R.C.A. 
THE ARTIST AND HIS MODEL
oil on panel
10.5 ins x 13.75 ins; 26.7 cms x 34.9 cms

:"A Modernist, William Henry Clapp is one of the monarchs of Canadian Impressionism.  Indifferent as an artist to the emotional elements implicit in everyday experience, he extolled landscapes and the human figure - specifically the nude.  In painting these works, he observed the phenomena of light on the generative forces of the organic world.  The body is only a detail, an iconography, subordinate to the pattern in which light and shade govern vision.  Immersed in golden quietude, Clapp's art is all the more credible because of its objective truth - an art of passive reverie that has inspired all Impressionists since Renoir who are preoccupied with light and colour to the exclusion of human issues."A signature of his works, Clapp's setting is diaphanous and diffused.  Mauves and violets blend with rosy white to form his model's supple flesh.  The eye is attracted by the sensuous application of colour, a hazy softness that tempts and beguiles us.  The artist gazes back at the viewer, catching us in our intrigue of this Andromeda, against a backdrop of deep yellow. More

William Henry Clapp, landscape and figure painter (b at Montréal 29 Oct 1879; d at Oakland, Ca 21 Apr 1954). Born of American parents, Clapp lived in Oakland 1885-1900. He studied at the Art Association of Montreal 1900-03 with William BRYMNER, and painted at St-Joachim and Baie-Saint-Paul with Clarence GAGNON. From 1904 to 1908 he studied in Paris at the Académie Julian, the Académie Colarossi and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière with J.-P. Laurens, Tony Robert-Fleury and Lucien Simon, and in Madrid with William Laparra. He painted in Belgium and Spain.

Living in Montréal from 1908 to 1915, Clapp exhibited some of the most advanced impressionist canvases in Canada. Almost a pointillist in touch, his surfaces vibrate with broken colour and dappled light. Clapp left for Cuba in 1915, settling in Oakland in 1917, where he was curator (1918-20) and director of the Oakland Art Gallery (1920-1949). In Canada he was a member of the Canadian Art Club (1913-15) and in California of the Society of Six (1923-28). He stopped exhibiting in Canada in 1918. More


HENRI LEOPOLD MASSON, 
PETITE VALLÉE, GASPÉSIE, 1978, 
oil on canvas, 
22 ins x 28 ins; 66 cms x 56.5 cms


Henri Léopold Masson, painter (b at Spy, Belgium 10 Jan 1907; d at Ottawa 9 Feb 1996). Largely self-taught, Masson combined his narrative abilities with a fluid GROUP OF SEVEN style. He lived in Ottawa from 1921 and began exhibiting nationally in 1938 and internationally in 1946. His themes reflect his belief in the unity of nature and art. Cityscapes and landscapes reveal a sense of place and time. Still lifes and paintings of monks and choirboys, musicians, children and a great variety of commonplace activities deal with subjects that he considered to convey the essence of life. Masson used a loose, vigorous brush style in many media. His best works are full of detail and movement, with a broad range of colour, and convey a sense of immediacy to the viewer. More

PELEG FRANKLIN BROWNELL, O.S.A., R.C.A., 
BONAVENTURE ISLAND, OLD FISHING COMPANY HOUSES, 
oil on canvas, 
14 ins x 21 ins; 35.6 cms x 53.3 cms


Though Peleg Franklin Brownell found his favourite sketching grounds close to his home in Ottawa, he also explored and created works set in the areas of the Lower St. Lawrence, the Little Saguenay River and the Gaspé Peninsula. Brownell's works exhibit great technical ability. His landscapes, which arise out of vigourously applied brushstrokes, are thoughtfully composed. Southeast of the village of Percé, off of the southern coast of Québec, Bonaventure Island was one of the early seasonal fishing ports of New France. What is truly picturesque about this work is not the land nor the old fishing company houses that give it its title, but rather the pensive and invigorating sea of sapphire blue. More

Peleg Franklin Brownell, painter, teacher (b at New Bedford, Mass 27 July 1857; d at Ottawa 13 Mar 1946). After studying at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, he went to Paris to study under Robert-Fleury, Bouguereau and Bonnat. In 1886 he became principal of the Ottawa Art School and subsequently headed the Woman's Art Association of Ottawa (later Ottawa Art Association), retiring 1937. He also painted in the West Indies, the US, the Gaspé and the Gatineau. Besides highly keyed landscapes, he produced portraits, flower studies, marine and genre scenes in oil, watercolour and pastel.

A founder-member of the Canadian Art Club (1907), he was represented in the exhibitions of several art associations and showed internationally at the 1893 Chicago World's Columbian Exposition; the 1900 Paris World's Fair, at which he won a bronze medal for his RCA diploma work, The Photographer, 1896; the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition, St Louis, 1904; and the British Empire Exhibition, 1924-25. His paintings are found in major Canadian collections. Perhaps his best-known canvas is The Beach, St. Kitts (1913). More


PETER CLAPHAM SHEPPARD, O.S.A., R.C.A., 
DRY DOCK, 
oil on masonite, 
10.5 ins x 11.5 ins; 26.7 cms x 29.2 cms

Peter Clapham Sheppard ARCA OSA (1882-1965) Born in Toronto on October 21, 1882, Peter C. Sheppard would go on to study at the Ontario Collage of Art where, like many of the finest artists of his generation, he received an artistic education from George Reid, John William Beatty, and William Cruickshank. He had a very successful career as a student at OCA winning both the Sir Edmund Walker Scholarship in 1912 and the Stone Scholarship for Life Classes in 1913, going on to graduate with honours for painting, drawing and composition. As a youth, he had also served apprenticeships in the commercial engraving houses of Toronto which resulted in his skill as a printmaker. He was a regular exhibitor in the Royal Canadian Academy, the Ontario Society of Artists and Canadian National Exhibition, and his work was among those selected by the National Gallery of Canada for important international shows. He would later teach at the OSA summer school, and in his later years, he and his work were cared for by Canadian artist Bernice Fenwick Martin. He passed away in Toronto on April 24, 1965. His work can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National War Museum and many private collections across Canada. More

CHRISTOPHER PRATT, R.C.A., 
THE GYPSY ON THE NARROWS, 
watercolour, 
18 ins x 22.25 ins; 45.7 cms x 56.5 cms

John Christopher Pratt CC (born 9 December 1935) is a Canadian painter and printmaker. He first started painting watercolours in 1952. In 1953 he attended Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick as a student in pre-medicine. At Mount Allison he quickly became interested in Fine Arts, especially painting. He was encouraged to paint by Lawren P. Harris and Alex Colville.[citation needed]

From 1957-1959 Pratt studied at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. During the summers, he returned to Newfoundland to work as a construction surveyor at the American Naval Base at Argentia. The training he received in precise measuring was applied to his paintings. In 1959 Pratt returned to Mount Allison University to complete in 1961 a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. During this period he began to make silkscreen prints. The early screen print Boat in Sand, 1961 in the National Gallery’s collection was produced at this time and included in the Gallery’s fourth Biennial Exhibition.


In 1961, Pratt accepted the position of curator at the newly opened Memorial University Art Gallery in St. John's. He remained at the gallery for two and a half years before deciding to concentrate on his painting full-time, moving his family to Salmonier, Newfoundland. More

ARTHUR LISMER, O.S.A., R.C.A.
KILLICKS (STONE ANCHORS, N.S.), 
oil on panel, 
12 ins x 16 ins; 30.5 cms x 40.6 cms

ARTHUR LISMER, 1940, at the age of fifty-four, Arthur Lismer moved to Montreal to take up the position of educational supervisor at the Art Association of Montreal, which commenced in January 1941. He also began teaching fine arts and aesthetics at McGill University on a sessional basis that Fall. This change of location was to have a noticeable effect on his art, for in Montreal, Lismer was able to observe how Modernism was developing in Quebec through the work of the Contemporary Arts Society and the Automatistes around Paul-Émile Borduas. Also, beginning in 1945, Lismer began to make sketching trips to Cape Breton Island (in addition to Georgian Bay and later, Vancouver Island) up until 1954. Killicks was one of several small pictures that resulted from that final trip.The paintings that Lismer made in Ingonish and Neil's Harbour on the east coast of Cape Breton differ significantly from his earlier, better-known work at Georgian Bay. In this picture, the focus of the tightly knit composition is the dock litter that he encountered --barrels, buoys, killicks (stone anchors), etc. The maritime landscape appears only in the upper left corner through a window. Lismer was drawn to the well-worn, hand-made objects as subject matter because they had "the same feeling of weather as pine trees," as well as "a human quality." They also symbolized the fishermen's resourcefulness in crafting objects which they could use to make a living from the ocean. The influence of contemporary Montreal painters can be seen in Lismer's selective use of thickly applied paint (here, confined to the netting, rope and patch of sea) in which the artist has drawn with the end of his brush to create details descriptive of water, netting, fish scales, etc. The close-up focus has an abstracting effect; it forces us to appreciate the abstract interplay of shapes and colours--blues and greys, punctuated by touches of brown and amber, and a red rope for contrast. Lismer never abandoned the subject in favour of pure abstraction, but a work such as Killicks clearly demonstrates that he had an affinity for it. More

JOE NORRIS
FOUR SCHOONERS AT ANCHOR, 
oil on canvas, 
24 ins x 36 ins; 61 cms x 91.4 cms

Joe Norris was born in 1924 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The family moved to Lower Prospect when Joe was seven years old. Much of his childhood was characterized by sickness, in particular pleurisy. This kept him away from school a great deal of the time. Being confined, he took up painting to keep himself occupied. Later on he worked as a fisherman and construction worker. A severe heart attack at age forty-nine forced him into early retirement. This is when he went back to painting, and through the encouragement of a visiting nurse he continued painting and eventually nailed some of his pictures to the front wall of his fish house. Through this initial display he found an outlet for his completed paintings.

Joe Norris painted seven days a week in his little yellow house he had built himself in the early 1970s. He often painted for about twelve hours solid each day. Generally he began with no preconceived idea, no drawing or sketch. He just worked at his brightly painted pictures of the world around him using several very small brushes. In addition to the pictures he also painted the occasional piece of furniture including tables, chests and mantles.

As he worked there was often a steady flow of children, neighbours, and near-by relatives going in and out of his house. Joe, a bachelor, missed the fishing life. He once said "I'd rather be fishing. I'm out in the air and stuff, and I like working... hard old life fishing." When asked if his paintings would ever make him famous, "no" was his answer. Joe Norris died in 1996. More

C.I. GIBBONS, 
ORIOLE, AILEEN AND ZELMA, 
coloured pencil drawing, 
19.5 ins x 32.25 ins; 49.5 cms x 81.9 cms

In 1861 the Prince of Wales was asked by members of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (R.C.Y.C.) if he would donate a cup to commemorate his visit to Toronto the previous year. He agreed and so began the annual Prince of Wales Cup Race on Lake Ontario. During the 1880s the Aileen and Oriole - owned by the Gooderham family - were both frequent winners of the Cup.According to RCYC records, "During the season of 1893, the Zelma started in every race for which she was eligible and finished with an unbroken record of first places, nothwithstanding that in many cases she had to compete with boats of double her own tonnage..." More

Charles Gibbons (born June 1, 1957) is an abstract artist. He was born in Montreal, Quebec and studied architecture, arts, and environmental psychology. He worked as an architect for several years, including apprenticing with Arthur Erickson Architects.

Initially he was influenced by the works of geometric abstractionists such as Sol LeWitt, Kenneth Noland, and Frank Stella. His first exhibition was in Calgary, Alberta featuring his geometric abstractions, while studying Environmental Psychology in the early 1980s. In the mid-1980s while working for Arthur Erickson he was influenced by abstract expressionists such as Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, and Sam Francis.


His current works are generally characterized as meaningful abstraction with bold contrasting colours. His works have been shown at the Toronto International Art Fair, Fort Myers Alliance for the Arts, Singapore International Contemporary Art Fair, and the Huitai National Art Center in China. He is represented in art collections in Canada, USA, Japan, China, and Singapore. More


JOYCE WIELAND, R.C.A., 
L'ASSASSINAT DE MARAT PAR CHARLOTTE CORDAY, 1987, 
oil on canvas, 
53 ins x 39 ins; 134.6 cms x 99.1 cms

CHARLOTTE CORDAYIt was on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the sacking of the Bastille, 13 July 1793, that the noblewoman Charlotte Corday, knocked on Jean-Paul Marat's door. Claiming knowledge of an escaped group of Girondins, Corday was permitted entry and recited her list of 18 offenders. In truth, Corday was a Girondin sympathizer, a member of an impoverished aristocratic family seeking to avenge the 'wrongdoings' of the Revolution. After Marat had finished writing down the names, he assured the lady that the 'heads' of the guilty would 'fall within a fortnight.' With her true allegiance called to task, Corday produced a kitchen knife from her corset, and slayed the politician. She would later testify during her four-day trial that she had 'killed one man to save 100,000.'The works of Joyce Wieland are frequently lauded as emblems of patriotism and feminism. "From the beginning of her career, Joyce did not try to paint like a man, even at a time when mainly men's work was considered authentic art. Working from the wellspring of who she was, a woman and a feminist...meant accepting an inescapable identity that modified her position in art; as a woman she was marginal even though she was the country's leading (woman) artist by the late sixties."In this work, Wieland re-infuses the scene, immortalized previously in a work by Jacques-Louis David, with the female voice. The viewer is compelled by the artist to reinvestigate the narrative, the moment captured, and the true hero. As Wieland inscribed: MODERÉE: To "moderate" the story, to make less extreme, the average, the commonplace.This work was executed in 1987, the year in which Wieland became the first living Canadian-woman artist to be given a career-long retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario (16 April-28 June 1987). More

JOYCE WIELAND. Born on June 30, 1931, in Toronto. Died on June 27, 1998, in Toronto.
Celebrated for bringing feminist concerns to the forefront of Canadian art in the 1960s and 1970s, and for her open engagement with nationalist and environmental issues, Joyce Wieland was a mixed-media artist and experimental filmmaker. After studying at Toronto’s Central Tech, Wieland’s career began in painting, with one of her first solo exhibitions happening in 1960 at the city’s Isaacs Gallery. From 1962 to 1970, she relocated to New York, where she produced award-winning experimental video works such as Rat’s Life and Diet in North America (1968). After returning to Canada, Wieland’s work transitioned towards more feminine materials, challenging accepted modernist ideals. Making use of sewing, knitting, rug hooking  and embroidery, Wieland also invited public participation in her quilted works. In 1971, Wieland opened “True Patriot Love,” the first retrospective for a woman artist at the National Gallery of Canada. In 1982, she became an Officer of the Order of Canada. In her later years, sadly, Wieland was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. More

WILLIAM GOODRIDGE ROBERTS, R.C.A, 
SEATED NUDE, 
oil on canvas, 
43.25 ins x 27.75 ins; 70.5 cms x 109.9 cms

"Humans are reserved for the figure paintings and, like Cézanne, Roberts expects his models to sit as still as apples on a plate. All he asks of them is that they be beautiful human beings - he would never paint anyone he considers physically unattractive - and that they hold the pose." Using rapid and loose brushstrokes, Roberts builds his female subject out of ochre and raw umbers, as if breathing life into clay. The earth tones of her body and the onyx of her hair are punctuated by the verdant green and sharp white cloth on which she sits. This lot was a birthday present to the artist's wife, Joan C. Roberts, in 1953. More

William Goodridge Roberts RCA OSA (1924-1990) was born in Barbados while his Canadian parents were on vacation. As a child he moved frequently to England, France, and eventually Fredriction, New Brunswick in 1912. Studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Montreal, in 1923, and the Art Studies League in New York, under Max Weber and Joahn Sloan (1927-29). He taught at Queen's University, Kingstorn, Ontario 1933-36 before moving on to Montreal to paint.

In the 1930's, Roberts belonged to a Montreal-based group of painters called The Contemporary Arts Society, which was formed partially because their members disagreed with the beliefs of The Group of Seven.

In 1943, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and was appointed war artist in Europe. In 1944 he returned to Canada with 116 drawings and watercolours for War Records. In 1967, his work was exhibited at the Canadian Pavilion at Expo 67 and at the Centennial Ehibition of the National Gallery of Canada.

Many art historians still lament the fact to this day that Roberts is, and was, unfairly overshadowed by the lose fame of the Group of Seven in public. More

WILLIAM EDWARD DE GARTHE, 
MORNING LIGHT AT PEGGY'S COVE, NOVA SCOTIA, 
oil on canvas board, 
20 ins x 16 ins; 50.8 cms x 40.6 cms

William Edward (Bill) deGarthe (1907–1983) was a Finnish-born painter and sculptor who lived for much of his life in Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia. He was born Birger Edward Degerstedt in Kaskinen, Finland, a remote island town off the northwest coast. The third-oldest in a family of five brothers. After graduating from high school with his strongest marks in art and drawing, deGarthe studied art in Helsinki while awaiting his call-up for active duty in the Finnish military.

After his release from service, deGarthe obtained his passport – declaring his profession as “artist” -- and emigrated to Canada in the fall of 1926. Landing in Halifax, he boarded a train for Toronto intending to join other expatriate Scandinavians in the northern Ontario forestry trade. The work was hard and the climate unforgiving; after only two months he left the woods bound for Montreal. Virtually penniless, he made his way to a mission where he showed the supervisor some of his drawings. Impressed with the work and with the 19-year-old’s determination, the man introduced deGarthe to a local publisher who hired him as an illustrator in January of 1927 at a rate of $7 a week.


It was around this time that the young artist changed his name from the Scandinavian Degerstedt to the French-sounding deGarthe. While continuing his work as a commercial artist, deGarthe continued his formal art studies in Montreal. Declaring he was on a quest to find “the most beautiful spot on earth”, in 1930 deGarthe quit his job in Montreal and travelled by rail to Halifax to board a ship bound for South America but on disembarking he was struck by the similarity between Nova Scotia and the rugged seacoast of his native Finland. He later declared, “I didn’t have to travel any farther.” More