Lawren Stewart Harris

Introduced a remarkable body of work that significantly informed an image of Canada and remains deeply rooted in the country’s identity. For many Canadians, his scenes of cold and empty northlands, isolated peaks and expanses of dark water washing up on barren shorelines are essential images of their country. – Art Gallery of Ontario

Lawren Stewart Harris, CC (Oct. 23, 1885 – Jan. 29, 1970); Canadian painter. He was born in Brantford, Ontario and is best known as a member the Group of Seven who pioneered a distinctly Canadian painting style in the early 20th century. A. Y. Jackson has been quoted as saying that Harris provided the stimulus for the Group of Seven. During the 1920s, Harris's works became more abstract and simplified, especially his stark landscapes of the Canadian north and Arctic. He also stopped signing and dating his works so that people would judge his works on their own merit and not by the artist or when they were painted.

In 1969 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Though largely unknown in the US, Lawren Harris was a pioneering modernist and a leading figure in defining Canadian art in the 20th century.

...From the early 1920s through 1933 Harris produced a remarkable body of work that significantly informed an image of Canada that has remained deeply rooted in the country’s identity. His scenes of a cold and empty northland, isolated peaks, and expanses of dark water beyond barren shorelines (all cast in stark, clear light and crisp shadow) remain for many Canadians and non-Canadians the essential images of the country. Harris’s vision was distinctly modern and idealized; his landscapes offered a bold “idea of north” (to borrow a phrase from the Canadian pianist, composer, and broadcaster Glenn Gould). A founding member of the Group of Seven, Harris progressed from a defiantly...
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Suzan Hamer


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