Lawren S. Harris. Mountains in Snow: Rocky Mountain Paintings VII, c. 1929. Oil on canvas, Overall: 131.3 x 147.4 cm. The Thomson Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario. © Family of Lawren S. Harris
Ahead of the new decade, PANTONE announced the 2020 Colour of the Year would be Classic Blue. PANTONE describes this restful colour as one that instills “calm, confidence, and connection” and “brings a sense of peace and tranquillity to the human spirit, offering refuge.” On your next visit to the AGO, we invite you to embrace the Colour of the Year with our first Art Pick of 2020, Lawren Harris’s Mountains in Snow: Rocky Mountains Paintings VII on view on Level 2 in the Thomson Collection of Canadian Art (Gallery 218).
Harris was a Canadian modernist painter regarded as the catalyst in the creation of the Group of Seven and the first president of the Canadian Group of Painters. Harris and the Group of Seven believed that the Canadian landscape was central to the foundation of national identity and made it the focus of most of their works. An early practitioner of abstract art in Canada, he is credited for influencing a number of Toronto artists to explore abstract painting. His work and the work of other Group of Seven painters helped define 20th-century Canadian art and is regarded as an important part of Canadian culture today.
In Mountains in Snow: Rocky Mountains Painting VII, the isolated peaks and glimmering glaciers are distilled to their most essential parts. The sparse landscape makes use of reduced forms, precise line work and a serene colour palette, translating nature to its "fundamental and purest form". The icy blues and contrasting whites and greys in this painting are something that Harris explored quite deeply as an ode to these Northern Canadian landscapes. Like the promises of PANTONE Classic Blue, Harris’s work evokes a sense of spirituality and peace.
See Mountains in Snow: Rocky Mountains Painting VII in the Thomson Collection of Canadian Art (Gallery 218) on Level 2, and visit the Collection for even more works by Lawren Harris and other Group of Seven members.
And in case you missed the news, the AGO is sending some of its Group of Seven works across the pond in 2020 to bring a taste of Canada to Frankfurt! Read all about it here.
Stay tuned for next week’s Art Pick.