Posts Tagged ‘Lawren Harris’

looking down at the sidewalk, the words walk here are pressed into a grey stone brick.

below: ‘Greetings from Bloordale’, a painted Bell box by Faussy

painted bell box near east entrance to Dufferin station, Greetings from Bloordale, yellow background with pink and blue images on it

below: A mural on the exterior of the Russett Ave entrance to Dufferin subway station painted in 2017 by Ted Hamer and a group of students from the Toronto School of Arts ( Sonja Clarke, Stephanie Steele, and Maryam Sadeghpour).

 

mural on the exterior of west exit from Dufferin station by Ted Hamer, of a country scene, a fox, and some people walking

below: Another Bloordale mural, this one on the side of TL Variety on the northwest corner of Bloor and Emerson

intersection of Bloor and Margueretta looking towards corner of Bloor and Emerson with Bloodale mural on the side of a building on the northwest corner

TJ Variety store on Bloor, northwest corner of Emerson, a cyclist passing by

below: Mr. Sundown

little white graffiti ghost character with stick arms, Mr. Sundown

below: Weathered sign at Bloor Christian Fellowship

weathered sign beside Baptist church

below: Torn awning at Five Star Variety

torn blue awning above Five Star Variety

below: Walking past a vacant lot on Bloor (once was a used car lot)

a man walks by a vacant lot on Bloor street

below: On the east wall of the Bee Shop

bee mural on the east exterior wall of the Bee Shop on Bloor

below: The beehive of qualities and virtues

close up of part of the bee mural on the side wall of the bee shop. green woman, trees, bees, honeycomb, words, the beehive of qualities and virtues

below: mural in an alley

mural on a red brick building in a lane

below: Bloor & St. Helens, construction fence around the parking lot of Value Village

construction fence around Value Village parking lot on Bloor, with apartment building at Bloor and Dundas in the background

below: Vito’s Barbershop in bright yellow

vitos barbershop and other two storey buildings on Bloor

below: Northwest corner of Bloor and Lansdowne

24 hour hasty mart on an intersection of Bloor

below: On the fence, north side of Bloordale Collegiate a shared map project by Shel Kahn and DMG+.  Choose a ribbon and pin it on the map to show where you would like to be.

an interactive art installation involving maps, on a fence outside Bloordale Collegiate

below: Also on the fence at Bloordale Collegiate, empty milk bottles.  “The milk from these bottles fed my daughter.   What wisdom to nourish a child you love?  How to make this country sweeter to First Nations children?”

empty white milk bottles arranged on the fence beside Bloordale Collegiate

below: hearts and flowers in a laneway

blue spray paint heart on a wood utility pole in an alley, by a wooden fence with a flowering shrub

yellow flowers growing in the laneway, in front of a yellow and green garage and fence

below:  Pumpkins growing on a trellis over the frontyard.

pumpkins growing on a trellis above a front yard

below: Julie Dzerowicz is the Liberal MP (federal) for the Davenport riding. I am not sure of the meaning of this window except as a protest of some sort?

protest in window, Freedom is slavery, ignorance is

top of two storefronts, Economy fruit, and a pizza place

below:The kitten mural has been partially painted over and the store is now empty.

empty store on the corner, mural of cats has been tagged

below: It looks like its got a face of an apple, shrimp legs, and a pickle on its forehead.

big red faced, apple?, character, street art on a garage door

below: Butterfly mural

butterfly mural in an alley

graffiti on a white garage door of a character's head with bowtie and one hand waving, words that say lookin' sharp

below: Lakes, mountains, and trees in a somewhat Group of Seven looking mural.  It is difficult to see in this photo but written in blue in the bottom right corner is a poem, ‘Blasphemy’, by Lawren Harris that appears in his book, “In the Ward: His Urban Poetry and Paintings.  I have included the poem under this image.

ivy on a wall of a building, a mural on the other wall, facing an alley. lake and mountains and trees in the mural

“It is blasphemy
To be merely mortal
To wilt under the weight of the ages
To succumb to second hand living
To mumble of catch phrases
To praise far off ways things
And sneer at your neighbour’s clumsiness
To say nay, nay, and smile at aspirations, dreams, and visions.”

*****

More poetry, this time on a door.

Top:

When I remember a boat
it yaws at the mouth of an inlet
And that’s all
From my bedroom window
You could make out the gull-white trim
And from the shore
listen to its restless guests
No water splashes against the prow it splits calmly to both sides
One sail booms and dies down
No wildlife
No sense of my mother’s voice, far away
the supper prepared
Much too much time
#whenirememberaboat #mine

a white door on a concrete block wall in an alley with poetry written on it

Bottom:

The sad instability and inscrutability
Of this impossible universe
Felt more deeply in the skin with each passing maritime hour
Our souls’ absurd sobbing
Over unfamiliar ocean expanses with islands in the distance
Over distant coastlines of land not visited
Over the ports that grow clearer with their houses and people
As the ship approaches
#maritimeode #alvarodecampos #fernandopessoa

Alvaro de Campos (1895-1935) was a Portuguese poet who also wrote under the name Fernando Pessoa.

 

*****

More Bloordale doors

below: Pale green (seafoam green?) leaves and flower rising upwards at 1195. “Floral Impressions”, painted by Julia Prajza.

painted doorway at number 1190. Pale green leaves rising upwards on a pink and greenish blue background painted by Julia Prajza

below: A happy musical gate, “Joy in Little Things” by anastatica.art aka Anastasia Tarkhanova

a gate painted in orange, maroon, sand white by anastatica art

below: “Portals” was part of BIG on Bloor Festival at the end of July. Some residential doorways (six?) were painted like the two above as well as this one: “Shoals” by Andre Castro.

a door on Bloor Street painted in pink, blue, and white dabs

below: Martin Luther King surrounded by stained glass patterns and tiny beige tiles at 1179A

door alcove with small beige tiles, a black mailbox with number 11 on it, and an image of Martin Luther King and stained glass patterns on the door

******

Other graffiti and street art

below: Bell box painted by Gosia Komorski

bell box painted by gosia komorski, woman with teal face in profile, hair is black with circles of flowers and eyes

below: Truck with a pink blossom tree on the back and an orange bird on the side

truck with street art painted on it, a tree with pink blossoms on the back and a bird with large wings on the side

paste ups and paint on a wall, skulls, zonr,

below: Purple man

purple drawing of a man wearing a hat, on a yellow wall

below: Garfield trying to be incognito

graffiti slap, garfield the cat in a green costume

below: Vandalized words on a phone box

poster on a blue phone box that is torn and tagged, a woman on a bicycle is riding by

small painting of a red headed woman torso, amrs, and head, in a gold frame on a wall with lots of other paintings, except on e is missing and there is a white sign saying why its missing

All kinds of thoughts went through my head as I stood and looked at this painting at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).  A little ho hum and a little melancholy and a little well what next.  There were no new exhibits since the last time that I visited the AGO and quite a few galleries were being prepared for new showings (i.e. closed).   A little bit of that’s a waste of time.   Even here there’s a painting missing.  … no, it’s only a waste of time if I let it be.

I stood and studied her face, the expression on her face, the tilt of her head and one hand held up.  What was going through her head?  Was the artist trying to tell us something about her?  Or was he just playing with composition in a limited space?  And that’s when the game began – what expressions hang on the walls of the AGO?  A sample:

 

below: part of “Time Dissolve” created around 1992 by Carl Beam (M’Chigeeng Ontario 1943-2000) using photo emulsion, acrylic and pencil on canvas.

part of Time Dissolve, an artwork by Carl Beam. Old photo of a woman seated on the ground bRed letters saying my mother are written on the woman and a red circle is around the boy's head

below: manipulating a series of portraits by Will Gorlitz (b. Argentina 1952).  The paintings were done in 1984 and are called Genre IV, Genre XVI, etc.  Nameless.   Unless her name was Genre and he’s painted her 6 times (one of the paintings in the row is not included here).

a series of 5 women's faces hung in a row on the art gallery wall, paintings by Will Gorlitz

below: Two pieces.  A sculpture called  “Eskimo Mother and Child” (about 1938) by Frances Loring and the portrait “Bess” by Canadian painter Lawren Harris.   I have talked about Loring in a previous post.

a sculpture of a woman with a child on her back, called Eskimo Mother and child by Frances Loring. She stands by a painting by Lawren Harris called Bess which a portrait of a woman in a black hat and black coat

below: part of “Melancholy”, oil on canvas, by Hendrick Terbrugghen (The Netherlands, 1588-1629)

a painting of a young woman sitting, with her hand resting on her hand, elbow on table, lit by candle light, called Melancholy painted by Hendrick Terbrugghen

below: part of “Waitress”, oil on canvas, by Shelley Niro, 1986  (b. USA 1954)

a painting of a waitress wearing black glasses serving a plate of food to a surprised looking red head woman with green eyes, called Waitress, painted by Shelley Niro

below: Engraving on paper, “Drunken Men at a Table” by Gillis Van Breen, Dutch, around 1600.

engraving on paper called Drunken men at a table, by Karel Van Mander, done late in the 1500's

below: The last picture is obviously from a painting with a religious theme. Unfortunately, the photo that I took of the tag with the artist’s name is too blurry to read.  I tried a google search on the image and the first hit was the Wikipedia page for Paul Bernardo.  Oh dear, Google that’s a fail… apparently it’s similar to a figure in a painting by Bernardo Carbone who was a painter in the 1600’s.   So Google put 2 and 2 together and got 17.   Hopefully you (and I) don’t get many 17’s!

part of a religious painting of a young man in a red robe kneeling before another man in white who has one hand on the young man's shoulder.

A comparison of sorts.  Two painters from two different time periods.  One looked north and the other looks south.  The north with its barren cold and blue in comparison to the south and its lush greenness.  A famous anglo Canadian painter who went searching for simplicity and a relatively new British painter with Jamaican roots who explores complexities.

Lawren Harris and Hurvin Anderson.  You should know which is which!

I didn’t purposely set out to compare them.  I saw the ‘The Idea of North’ exhibit that features the Steve Martin paintings of Lawren Harris first.  As much as I like the Group of Seven, Harris’s minimalist snow and ice paintings have never been my favorite.  Still, it was an interesting collection to see.  After I finished there, I headed up to the contemporary art floors.  The fifth floor is still closed (new installation opening later this week) but I discovered that the fourth floor is devoted to the works of Hurvin Anderson.  As I walked around the Anderson installation I kept thinking of similarities and differences between him and Lawren Harris.

many people in a room in an art gallery, standing around and looking at paintings.

below: Mountains in Snow: Rocky Mountain Paintings VII, 1929.  One of the many famous Lawren Harris snow and ice paintings.  Light, reflected light, shadows, and contrasts.  The elements reduced to their simplest form.   The landscape itself is almost secondary.  Or the landscape is the medium, not the message.

a Lawren Harris painting of a snow covered mountain, blue sky in the background.

below: The large painting on the right is ‘Pic Island’ painted about 1924.  Pic Island is an unpopulated island along the north shore of Lake Superior.  Today the island is part of Neys Provincial Park.

a woman walks through a gallery with paintings on the wall. She stops to look at one of them.

below: Two of Hurvin Anderson’s paintings from his Caribbean landscape collection.  On the left is ‘Beaded Curtain – Red Apples’, 2010.

three young women sitting on a couch with their backs to the camera, they are looking at two large paintings on a wall, by Hurvin Anderson.

below:  ‘Constructed View’, 2010.  Anderson’s Caribbean paintings have grilles incorporated into them.  These are the security features prevalent on houses and businesses in the Caribbean (and elsewhere in the world), metal fixtures over windows and doors to keep out the unwanted.  They contain what’s inside.  They are a barrier.  They intrude on the landscape and cut it up.  Again, the landscape is almost secondary.  The message, or emotion, is more important.  [aside – There is a grille in the painting above (right) but it’s more subtle.]

a landscape painting in shades of green with fragments of white grille overlayed, repeating pattern of 4 circles with a square

Lawren Harris painted his famous mountain pictures in the late 1920’s.  In 1930 he visited Baffin Island and a few paintings resulted from that trip.  I learned that although I associate Harris with icebergs and arctic scenery, most of his snow and ice paintings were from the north shore of Lake Superior or from the mountains around Banff Alberta.

The repetoire of both painters is not limited to landscapes.  Harris painted many houses and street scenes from downtown Toronto including houses and streets that were demolished years ago.  The examples of Anderson’s non-landscape work were interiors.  Both men used bold colours but Anderson tends to show more detail in his paintings.

below: ‘Welcome: Carib’  The Welcome sign of the bar in  juxtaposition with the red metal work covering the window.  The picture beckons to us but keeps us out.

a man in a straw fedora stands in front of a painting called Welcome: Carib by Hurvin anderson, it features a red star patterned grille over the painting, over the window that is in front of the interior scene.

below: One of the paintings from Anderson’s Barbershop collection, ‘Flat Top’ 2008.

two young women walk away from a large painting hanging on an art gallerywall.  two barber chairs in a barber shop, empty.  Bright pink wall with squares of colour.

below: A selection of colourful Toronto houses in winter painted by Harris in the 1920s.

two women look at a line Lawren Harris paintings of brightly coloured houses in winter on a wall in an art gallery

In the 1930’s Lawren Harris’s personal life went awry.  The words on the wall at the AGO says that he divorced, remarried and moved to the states.  That’s a bit of spin.  He didn’t divorce his wife because that would be messy, apparently.  Instead in 1934 he just married the wife of an old friend.   And of course that turned messy and the new couple left for the USA for a few years before eventually settling in Vancouver BC.   Harris’s post-1934 work is very abstract and was never as successful as his earlier paintings.

below:  You can see the influence of the mountain paintings in this,  ‘Painting No. 4’, about 1939, painted when he was a member of the Transcendental Painting Group.  This was a collective of artists in New Mexico that Harris help to found.

an abstract painting by Lawren Harris, circles and diamonds in an egg shape

below: Since I have no idea where the art of Hurvin Anderson is headed, I will leave you with one more of his present paintings (I’m not sure those two ideas actually go together!).  ‘Foska Foska’, the interior of a shop behind yellow bars and black mesh.

a painting by Hurvin Anderson called Foska Foska, shows the interior of a store with a yellow metal gate in front.  and a wire structure covering the ceiling too

 

The Idea of North – until 18 September

Hurvin Anderson – until 21 August

#HarrisAGO | #HurvinAndersonAGO

Douglas Coupland’s
everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything
at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Queen St. West
until 19 April 2015

Secret Handshake
What makes Canadians Canadian?
What do we identify with that others don’t recognize?

close up of part of a quilt.  One of the squares is made from fabric with a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey player on it.  Old chrome hubcaps have been added to the quilt.

A quilt made of plain beige fabric into which dreamcatchers of various sizes have been incorporated.
A low hutch with three drawers.  The handle of each drawer is on old pepsi advertisement on an old bar from a door - the kind of bar that you would push on to open the door.

 One of the rooms of the exhibit features Coupland’s re-imagining of famous Canadian paintings,  paintings by Tom Thomson and Lawren Harris of the Group of Seven to name a couple.
In the center of the room is a black metal structure that is supposed to represent a damaged hydro transmission tower reminiscent of the ones damaged by the eastern Canada ice storm of 1998.

A large metal structure that is supposed to represent  a damaged hydro (electricity) transmission tower is in the center of a room.  There are paintings on the walls.

A large metal structure that is supposed to represent  a damaged hydro (electricity) transmission tower is in the center of a room.  There are paintings on the walls.

***

Growing up Utopian

A portion of three Douglas Coupland creations are visible.  In the foreground are numerous lego houses complete with yards and garages all laid out in a grid.  In the background are wood shelves with household articles from the past.  In the middle are lego towers in bright stripes and interesting shapes.
below: Towers, 2014
An urban jungle of imaginative lego towers created from selected parts of towers that were “crowd-sourced” at building events at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Close up of some of the brightly coloured lego towers in the art exhibit

below: 345 Modern House, 2014
One hundred identical houses built from a kit that was first issued in 1969.

A grid of white lego bungalows with black roofs with detached garages, green lego lawns and red fences.

 

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