Two iconic Canadian paintings brought together side by side
On view at the National Gallery of Canada Until January 4, 2015
OTTAWA, June 25, 2014 /CNW/ - As part of its series Masterpiece in Focus, the National Gallery of Canada presents Tom Thomson: The Jack Pine and The West Wind. On view until January 4, 2015, this exhibition sponsored by Heffel Fine Art Auction House is organized by the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of
The exhibition brings together two large canvases painted during
Thomson's last winter: The Jack Pine and The West Wind. Both paintings have been recently restored and are now as close to
their original appearance as possible. The Jack Pine underwent conservation treatment in late 2011 and The West Wind was treated more recently.
Both iconic images, the paintings seem to represent the grandeur and
beauty of a uniquely Canadian environment: vast, elementally sublime,
Thomson, who died by drowning in early July 1917, made small oil
sketches outside in the open air, painting directly from the Canadian
landscape. In the depths of winter, when Algonquin Park was too cold
and inaccessible, he would work these sketches into larger paintings in
his modest studio in Toronto.
Also presented in the exhibition are the small sketches from which the
paintings were conceived, as well as other sketches made in that final
year. These provide the viewer with a sense of the complexities of
recording nature in paint, then transforming these impressions into
Tom Thomson (1877 - 1917)
Tom Thomson's landscape paintings in oil created an enduring image of
the Ontario North. His art both reflected and reinforced developing
Canadian nationalism. Although he was associated with the Group of
Seven, he was not a member. His early death helped make him an iconic
After a brief business career in Seattle, Thomson became a Toronto
commercial artist in 1905. He began painting in 1911, and (with the
support of Dr. James MacCallum) became a full-time artist in 1913.
Thomson first visited Algonquin Park in 1911, and worked there as a
wilderness guide. He sketched mostly in the spring or summer, wintering
in Toronto where he worked his sketches up into larger canvases. By
late 1915, Thomson's approach to landscape painting was more
imagination-based. He often sought some natural feature corresponding
to his pre-existing ideas, or painted landscapes in his Toronto studio
from memory. Thomson's design experience permeates his late canvases,
which feature stylized tree branches and flat areas of strong colour (The Jack Pine, 1916-1917). The National Gallery of Canada owns many of Thomson's
sketches, as well as the larger paintings he made from them. Thomson
drowned in Canoe Lake in 1917. To know more about the artist, read his biography on the Gallery's website.
Art From Above
Daily in July and August from 11 am to 4 pm, families are invited to
take part in making a massive fabric copy of The Jack Pine on the floor of the Great Hall.
Saturday November 29, 2014 at 2 pm. Screening of the film West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson (2011) by Michèle Hozer and Peter Raymont. In the Lecture Hall. In English.
To learn more about the activities surrounding the exhibition, visit gallery.ca.
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About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections
of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains
Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st
century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous
Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and
photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played
a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its
principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for
all Canadians. To do so, it maintains an extensive touring art
exhibition programme. For more information: gallery.ca.
SOURCE: National Gallery of Canada
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