Magnetic North. Imagining Canada in Painting 1910–40
This book reveals the magnificent landscape
paintings of the Group of Seven and their
associates and explores how they contributed
to Canada’s modern cultural identity
The early decades of the 20th century were marked by artistic, economic, and social transformation in Canada and around the world. Starting in Toronto, a group of young modern artists, including Tom Thomson and Lawren S. Harris, and Emily Carr in British Columbia, desired to create a new painting vocabulary for the young nation coming into its own cultural identity. They turned away from city life and explored Canada’s landscape, painting sublime vistas, monumental rivers, ancient forests around the great lakes, the mighty Rocky Mountains, and the arctic tundra, determined to break away from European stylistic traditions. Together, their paintings imagined a mythical Canada, expansive and rugged, that added to their country’s growing sense of national pride. Featuring paintings, sketches, photographs, film stills, and documentary material, this catalog examines the language of Canadian modernism. It also includes essays and interviews that offer contemporary indigenous perspectives on the impact of industry on nature, issues surrounding national identity, and modern Canadian landscape painting. This generously illustrated book critically reviews Canada’s modernism in art history.
Edited by Martina Weinhart, with contributions by Katerina Atanassova, Rebecca Herlemann, Jeff Thomas, Georgiana Uhlaryik, Reneée van der Avoird, Martina Weinhart and Interviews with Lisa Jackson and Caroline Monnet
Exhibition Itinerary: Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Germany February 5 – May 16, 2021 and Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands June 12 – October 17, 2021