Study Guide, Sorted by Date

History of Canadian Art, December 2018 

Homer Watson, The Pioneer Mill 1878-1879 
The son in law of queen Victoria purchased the painting. Sold in 1880, the painting is hung in Windsor castle today.  Homer Watson painting in Barbizon style in Canada. It was there, in 1880 that Watson sold to the Governor General The Pioneer Mill which was purchased as a gift for Queen Victoria. The painting sold for $300. This solidified Watson’s decision to pursue a career as an artist. Watson was inspired by the au plain air style of renaissance Europe and the stylistic landscape carried on to depict the northern Canadian landscape through the early 1800'shis paintings resembled a photograph with great attention to detail. Later in his life, his paintings began to resemble abstract art with very wide brush strokes

William Breymer, Early Moonrise in September 1889  
Born in Scotland, moved to Canada. A mix of barbizon and impressionist work, the painting is expressing and painted the back landscape a idolized landscape. The brushwork is very loose and expressionistic,  focusing on the centre of the painting. As exemplified by Early moonrise in September (1899), his interpretation of the Canadian landscape grew more painterly and concerned with atmospheric effects. Studied architecture in Paris. Taught other great painters such as Holgate, who began studying art at an early age, under the tutelage of William Brymer. 

Mary Heister Reid, Crysthanumns, A Japanese Arrangement 1890, 1990 
During the 19th and early 20th century, at the time of her schooling, women were rarely allowed to pursue art as a career. She met her husband George Agnew Reid through her studies and although they both attended art school, Mary was restricted to traditionally feminine themes, and in turn became known for her flower paintings. She was one of the first women to show at The National Gallery of Canada. 

Reid was inspired by limited palette of Diego Velazquez Artwork exemplified, contemporary life in the city. Japanese flower that symbolizes death, on the back wall there is a framed Japanese print. The first woman to have a retrospective at the Art Gallery of Toronto when she died in 1922 displaying 300 of her paintings. 

H. Mabel May, The Shell Factory, 1919 

Based in Quebec early in her career, and later in Vancouver, she was a well-known painter and member of multiple important Canadian art groups, including the Art Association of Montreal, the Beaver Hall Group and the Canadian Group of Painters. Her works have been displayed at the Canadian War Memorial, National Gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery and many smaller galleries throughout Quebec. She has been commonly referred to as the "Emily Carr of Montreal"[1] due to her interest in landscape and nature. Her art was influenced by her avid interest in French Impressionism

Studied under William Breymer, May was influenced by Brymner’s teachings of French modernism, including Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, and his encouragement for students to find their own individual style. 

Commissioned by the Canadian war efforts resulted in the paintings which influenced Mabel May as she was actually painting a number of women working in an ammunitions factory...  She created view and perspective of the scene that she would not otherwise have access to. Several painters had access to the Canadian War Memorials program which utilised an impressionist technique. Untraditional work, a number of women working in a factory, and is breathtaking. Women working outside of the home as more acceptable, strong and independent. 


Hellen Galloway Mc Nicholl, In The Shadow of a Tree, 1914 
McNicholl was praised constantly for her skill in painting sunlight, she played an important role in popularizing Impressionism in Canada at a time when it was still relatively unknown. Helen began her first serious art training under William Brymner* at the Art Association of Montreal. Example, the picture of a woman in a sleigh with a parasol and the area around the woman speckled with light the image is particularly of interest because of the way that she paints light and shadow. Mc Nicoll often painted women, especially women in a quiet life in the country. Traditionally feminist subjects and a favourite theme in her painting.

Tom Thompson, The Pine Tree, 1916 
They showed the previous place and what the official number was in the group of seven. When Thompson died in 1917 the group thought they lost their guide. In the painting he originally did a sketch on location in the summer months, the final sketch. He completed the sketch and had a wonderful design experience, he could see the stylized tree branches and strong colour. 

The painting was stylized in form and held graceful composition, simply the motif of a tree on a rocky shore. Iconic grandeur, again he was in the group of seven. He produced less then most in his accumulation of painting, he has a yellow background and a number of elements in stylized  history. Stylized for the sculpture and painting, he has a sense of movement and dynamism. Capturing the vitality of the Jack Pine. 

    Lawren Harris, Red House with Yellow Sleigh 1919 
    One of the few artists in the group of seven who painted city and town.  Red house with yellow sleigh displays a post impressionist work reviewing one of the poorer areas of Toronto. He does so in a manner that is reminiscent of Cezanne or Monet, he is making use of a bright colour palate and rough brush stripes and details typical of post impressionistic work. 

      David Milne, 1920, The Boston Corners

      New York landscape, Milne emphasizes the line in the painting. He was the last of 10 children born to Scottish immigrant parents. His early education was in Paisley, followed by high school in Walkerton, Ontario. He performed well in school and soon after graduated began teaching in a country school near Paisley. 

      His series of paintings that are most popular incurred after studying and working in New York for several years and moving to The Boston Corners with his wife. He fought in world war two and painted battlefields in France and Belgium as well as portraiture in Kimmel Park Camp in England. Died in December 1953. 

      Emily Carr, Indian Church 1929 aka Yuquot Village

      A church at  the settlement village Yuquot. The church is surrounded by organic work, graveyards with small white crosses marking graves. Landscape as transformation, when Emily Carr was painting the land was under impact from pressure imposed upon by British settlers. 

      The land was overwhelming with vitality, a white church and white crosses marking graves on the side. Visually the church could be overtaken by wilderness. She documented the gradual influence of missionaries who sought to convert the natives. 

      She was very fascinated when she arrived in 1928, the AGO had renamed the church Yuquot Village as the church burned down and has been replaced.

      The AGO has scrubbed the word Indian from the title of a panting of the late Canadian artist Emily Carr because the word causes pain, instigated by curator Georgiana Uhlyarik although it is often seen as over the top and patronizing. Some people think the change is good, and is scared by what happened. If you go to the ago there is a place next to the painting documenting the change. The name change is a hypothetically a bad idea, because the original title marks how far society has come and it rectifies the issue that there has been mad tragedy in the past.

      Bertram Brooker, Sounds Assembling, 1928
      Moved to Toronto, he was painting by 1926 through abstract shapes and forms. In 1927 he held his first exhibition, organized by his friend Lawren HarrisHe supported his painting by working as a freelance journalist, trying to capture the dynamism of sound and the rushing forward of colour and light. This is actually in a Winnipeg art gallery, some historians consider him the father of modern Canadian abstraction. People hated his work as he was a man well before his time. Explosive cosmic energy. the way the colours combine and rebound endlessly, underlying musical tones to the painting.

      Prudence Heyward, Girl resting in the shade of a tree, 1931
      Heyward, a white female nude, she had apparently hung the painting in her bedroom. The women in the painting seemed out of place, she is actually lying in a semi dark area so she is not suntanning. The painter AY Jackson though that this was the best nude in Canada. Included in December 1931 group exhibition. The body is carefully modelled and sculpted contrasted on the background appearing in the background and was proclaimed to be the most significant nude in Canadian history to date although record and documentation is somehow sparse. 

      JWH, Jock McDonald, Indian Burial, Nootka 1937 
      MacDonald was initially inspired by the Group of Seven's work but began painting abstracts in 1934. Abstraction allowed Macdonald the freedom to create pictures that had no apparent subject matter. He could blend and layer colours on his canvas without worrying whether some people would have difficulty understanding his subject. He continued to paint abstract for quite sometime, later adding Surrealist elements into his work. A member of painters eleven, Toronto’s first abstract society, painting the tow landscapes where a minister, a grave in the centre that is cut where the first nations man on either side, and a totem. A series of first nations people displaying his return to Vancouver. Nootka, the work has an interesting composition, it has a number of burial plots that create such an image, a group of mourners, a strong vertical focus on the centre. 

      Paul Emile Bourduas, Automatisme 4.17, 1947,


      Spontaneous style of nonfigurative painting, inspired by surrealism and impressionist automatism painting. Automatiste painting, that was meant to be spontaneous. The birds eye view of a landscape, in what would appear to be water and what is abstract. The number and the title of the painting at 1.47 the first canvas to be painted in 1947. It creates an interesting background. He painted the ground as the paintbrush, he painted using a palette knife and makes the forms float through the foreground.

      For a long time this canvas was dated 1948, the year the manifesto Refus global was published. When biomorphic forms are suggested, as they are here, the use of a palette knife enables Borduas to avoid the soft forms typical of the style of the painting. This photo, in which Borduas is seated beneath his painting and surrounded by several of his young friends, communicates the importance of the canvas to the group. Leeward of the Islanddepicts an island seen from above whose shores are visible on the right. Green, red, white, and black elements appear above, as if suspended between sky and earth. The landscape format of the Automatiste oil paintings is reaffirmed in this work. The work was originally titled “Automatisme 1.47”; it was Bernard Teyssèdre who identified it as the same painting as Leeward of the Island.1

      Surrealist Salvador Dalí (1904–1989). Borduas always maintained a distance from what he called “dreamlike Surrealism.3  He increasingly favoured the palette knife, which gave a “mineral” character to his images that explicitly resemble cliffs, the mountain faces at Saint-Hilaire, rocks, sea ice, or glaciers—features that are reflected in the titles of many of his paintings.

      Anne Kahane, Political Prisoner 1953
      Born in ViennaAustria. Kahane immigrated to Canada with her family in 1925, settling in Montreal at the age of 5. Kahane's entry for the international sculpture competition organized in 1953 by the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. 

      The figure’s slumped posture and the visual vocabulary suggest confinement and torture. Made of bronze-painted copper tubing, the human figure bristles with spikes that recall barbed wire. The monument project fell through for lack of agreement on where to install it. Kahane's maquette for The Unknown Political Prisoner Monument was the only Canadian entry to take a prize at an international sculpture competition organized by the Institute of Contemporary Arts in LondonEngland (1953). 

      While no financial prize was received from the competition, the reward carried with it prestige that warranted the artist an invitation to join the Society of Canadian Sculptors in 1952.

      However, this model marked a significant break with the realistic sculpture that predominated in Canada at that time. Anne Kahane was the first Canadian woman to participate in the Venice Bienalle. 

      Guido Molinari, Equilibrium 1959 
      Molinari was born in MontrealQuebec to Italian heritage with his parents from Cune. He practised abstraction in New York, inspired by Barnett Newman, and Jackson Pollock, then returned to Montreal where he produced some of the finest pieces of his career. 

      Molinari believed that structure, dynamism and chromatics in time, one of the early french artists who did a study of work. Molinari believed that “structure was a synthesis between the temporal dynamic created by the rhythmic mutation of the colours from left to right & the inherent chromatic dynamism of each stripe. The result was a fundamentally unstable space created afresh by each act of looking. 

      Joyce Weiland, Boat Tragedy 1964
      Light fragments painting the series of disaster paintings where she painted sinking boats plane crashes, reduces the visual information to all that is required. It is very simple, you don't see anything. A simple white triangle and its dependence into the ocean it becomes easy to visualize the boats and the waves. Wieland reduces the visual information required to construct these scenarios. In some frames the boat consists of little more than a white triangle to suggest a sail, and the sea is indicated by an expanse of striated blue paint. Despite this shorthand the geometric shapes are intelligible as objects and spaces, and it is easy to empathize with the boats that have starring roles in these quasi-cinematic sequences. Wieland devises a clever way of manipulating the viewer’s emotional response. The little bobbing boat in Boat Tragedy may be absurd, but it is difficult to remain aloof from the drama, and from the sense of a tragic ending.

      Joyce Weiland, Rat Life and Diet in North America, 1968 
      Rats experimental film tells story of rats held as political prisoner, used to propagate protests against Vietnam War. Cinematic convention. Short film that tells a story about rats (actually pet gerbils) held as political prisoners in the United States (their jailer a cat), who make a heroic escape to Canada. Although this narrative is recounted through wryly worded intertitles, Wieland’s film nonetheless conveys a sense of menace and urgency. For these protagonists “Canada” becomes a utopian destination, promising abundance, pleasure, and peace. The film was created in 1968, a time of international student protests against the military and capitalist establishments, the rise of the New Left, and worldwide demonstrations against the Vietnam War; many young American men were fleeing to Canada to avoid being drafted into the military. 

      Jack Chambers, Victoria Hospital, 1970
      This is a painting of Victoria hospital. The painting is a very horizontal detailed landscape and has a lot of development.  The work also offers chambers practicality and the theories of conceptualism. Its truth when you look at Victoria hospital, the photograph he had taken for the painting was taken from the roof. 

      Chambers is known for his theory of perceptual realism which detailed arts profound and spiritual relationship with primary sensory experience. Photography was a tool, painting and film were the veaehikes of spiritual enlightenment.  35 thousand dollars, finance was important because he wanted to leave his family financially secure. Curnoe’s second painting of Victoria Hospital, conceptual painting that described the view from his studio using only text. The painting ofVictoria Hospital is more Pop Art but has conceptual elements. Painted views from studio window… 

      Greg Curnroe, View of Victoria Hospital, 1969-1971 

      Norwal Morriseau, Androdgeny 1983 
      Representation of life and the connection between all beings. Made by a thunderbird in the centre, head is facing to the right which shows Morrison’s notions of gender identity, at the centre of the painting he has painted a painted cosmic universe, and the outstretched wings of the thunderbird shows the basis of being. It also shows a solitary in individuality within the continued generation. A spirit figure is surrounded by other spirit beings. A snake coming up from the ground, people coming up from the ground. 

      Inside all living beings there is a spirit that is worth a life form, there is a snake coming out of the ground and reaching into the image, snakes sometimes represent something evil although the snakes are still a symbol of life. Mural painted in order to paint his vision of a united Canada. A decolonizing gesture of reconciliation. The theme of the Mural is a shaman is filled with all purger and greatness in Canada, flowers animals and children of mother earth. The government is dedicated the mural to the people. The art is on display at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Anishunaabe artist who transforms the ideas and traditions of Anishwaabe culture, Painted for the people of Canada. The Indian group of seven, at the centre of the canvas, ect. he has the outstretched wings ect. Future generations and time space of being. 

      General Idea, File Magazine No. 1 Vol. 1 1972 
      Group re-exemplifeied the nature of mass culture, general ideas work, as well as other artists. They were very interested and very interested in subverting social structure. They first published Fire in 1972, they were responding to life magazine with the way that they used the image. The artists work as well as other complications that extended performances in the explanation in 1974 that were used in 1974. 

      Jean Paul Riopelle, La Joute 1970 
      Riopelle refused to identify stylistically with anyone in the group, abstract expressionism, medium and colour, by the late 1960’s is marked by the gradual reform and identification of reform. Fountain and monument 30 min sequence of mist and fire. Works only in the night, runs human and animal figures. 30 min long sequence of water mist and fire, located in Montreal. 
      1. Lisa Steele, Birthday Suit with scars and defects, 1974. 
      When she turned 27 she decided to do a tape to document her body and form in time, the take goes over the extent of her body and form. She is completely nude in the video and therefore groundbreaking. Woman artists who use their bodies in their art. Her birthday, displaying her “ birthday suit” with scars and defects, specifying the date and the time where she had receive the scar. 

      Rebeca Belmont, Ayum-ee-aawach Oomama- mowan : Speaking to their mother, 1991
      Incorporates sculpture performance often addresses history and time. What happens is a film of this, a mix of media where people go up towhees people and speak to the ear which is their mother, addresses colonialism racism Ect. with their photograph.

      Greg Curnoe, Whats good for the goose is good for the gander, 1983

      Ballpoint pen and paper, this is his response to criticism, Homage to vanguard sheila, criticized by a number of people complaining about the exploitation of his wife, he paints a self portrait of himself nude, awkwardly, painting himself looking at us, in the background is multicoloured circles resembling modern artist Robert Delinare 

      Stan Douglas, Nut-Ka 1996 

          Pre-Columbian native inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest in North America. similarly utilizes image bifurcation, this time to explore the history of colonialization on Vancouver Island, where English and Spanish fleets battled over trade routes in the 18th century. Films of the landscape—the only imagery shown—are superimposed on one screen so that the footage appears doubled. This formal effect is echoed by the soundtrack, which includes excerpts from the sea captains’ diaries, which become increasingly paranoid and irrational. At key moments in the narrative all visual and verbal elements meld together in exquisite clarity. Spanish and British explorers where there is an indigenous production, hydroponic sound where there is a single channel post production. One of the most noticeable things about projection is the image provocation. Superimposed on the screen, a third soundtrack made up of excerpts of diaries that become paranational. Elements meld together to become one experience. 

          Janet Cardif & George Bures Miller, The Paradise Institute. 2001 
          A plywood pavilion, two stories going on simultaneously. It has an accompanied soundtrack with the spectators where Cardiff investigates perception in various environments. It is actually a mix in multi medium, the other individual in the audience experiences it when the put the headphones on. The sound seems to be coming from in side the theatre. The film is shot from the back of theatre from the perspective of the protector.

          Napachie Pootoogook, Male Dominance 1995-1996

          She took up drawing, she drew personal space provided by others and it is basically tells the story of abusive story by men ( Inuit )

           Translation of artist’s Inuktitut inscription: “Aatachaliuk is scaring women to ensure his domination, before he claims them as wives, after slaying his male enemies.  He did this to hide his soft side.”

          In Male Dominance, Napachie presents the viewer with another disturbing scene: a man who has murdered the husbands of five women so he can claim them as his own.  The man looks out from the page with a self-satisfied smile while the women, who are connected to each other and to the man by a rope, are clearly frightened and grief-stricken.  Inuit women were often abducted against their will to become a man’s wife.  Sometimes, if a desired female was already married a man would simply kill her husband and claim her as his own.  Considering the vast expanses and harsh environment of the Arctic, there wasn’t much the women could do, especially if they became pregnant. They were at the mercy of the man and all they could do was hope for the best.  If they resisted or rebelled, they were subjected to beatings.

          Rebecca Belmore, 2001, Fountain 

          Atom Egoyan, Adoration Street, 2008 
          Installation for Nuit Blanche in Toronto, located by the hart house theatre near u of t, depicting a suburban street in the suburbs. The projections were taken from adoration from self exploring technologies and images of self through webcams.