MAGNETIC NORTH. IMAGINING CANADA IN PAINTING 1910-1940

February 5—May 16, 2021

Ancient forests in remote regions, majestic vistas of the Arctic, the magic of the northern lights— Canadian modernist painting conceives a mythical Canada. At the beginning of the twentieth century, artists such as Franklin Carmichael, Emily Carr, J.E.H. MacDonald, Lawren S. Harris, Edwin Holgate, Arthur Lismer, Tom Thomson, and F.H Varley ventured, full of pictorial experimentation, away from urban centers and deep into the nature. They sought to create a new pictorial vocabulary for a young nation coming into its own cultural identity.

In a captivating visual language, these paintings and sketches epitomize the dream of a “new” world, constructing the idyll of a magnificent landscape beyond the reality of the Indigenous population, modern city life, and the expanding industrial exploitation of nature.

Lawren S. Harris (1885 -1970) Mt. Lefroy, 1930, oil on canvas 133.5 x 153.5 cm, Purchase 1975, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1975.7 © Family of Lawren S. Harris

The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt will be presenting Canadian modern landscape painting from a current-day standpoint, bringing together principal works from major Canadian collections, which are on view in Germany for the first time.

The comprehensive exhibition, featuring some 90 paintings and sketches, as well as films and documentary material, will examine and critically review the works by artists around the Group of Seven, which are extremely popular in Canada. As a counter-narrative that holds equal resonance in Canada, Indigenous perspectives are explored in the show, such as those of the Algonquin-French artist Caroline Monnet or the Anishinaabe filmmaker Lisa Jackson.

Caroline Monnet, Mobilize, 2015, Single Channel Video, 3 Min., Filmstill, National film board of Canada, © Caroline Monnet

CAROLINE MONNET

Transatlantic

Parallel to the exhibition the Algo­nquin-French artist Caroline Monnet presents the immersive video installation "Transatlantic" in the Schirn Rotunda.


Press Information on the exhibition "Magnetic North"

30.09.2020 | On the occasion of Canada being Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt will be presenting major aspects of Canadian modern landscape painting from a current-day standpoint, bringing together principal works from major Canadian collections, which are on view in Germany for the first time.

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Franklin Carmichael. Autumn Hillside, 1920. oil on canvas, Overall: 76 x 91.4 cm. Gift from the J.S. McLean Collection, Toronto, 1969; donated by the Ontario Heritage Foundation, 1988. © Art Gallery of Ontario L69.16

Emily Carr, Blunden Harbour, ca. 1930, Oil on canvas, 129.8 x 93.6 cm, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Photo: NGC

Emily Carr. Trees in the Sky, 1939. oil on canvas, Unframed: 111.6 × 68.7 cm Gift of Richard M. Ivey, 2008. Photo © Art Gallery of Ontario 2008/224

Lawren S. Harris (1885 -1970) Icebergs, Davis Strait, 1930 oil on canvas, 21.9 x 152.4 cm, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Spencer Clark, McMichael Canadian Art Collection 1971.17 © Family of Lawren S. Harris

Lawren S. Harris (1885 -1970) Mt. Lefroy, 1930, oil on canvas, 133.5 x 153.5 cm, Purchase 1975, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1975.7 © Family of Lawren S. Harris

Tom Henderson, Hereditary Chief, 'Nakwaxda'xw First Nation, From the film How A People Live, Lisa Jackson (Dir.) © Gwa'sala and 'Nakwaxda'xw First Nations 2013

A.Y. Jackson, Terre Sauvage, 1913, Öl auf Leinwand, 128.8 x 154.4 cm, Purchase 1936, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa Photo: NGC

A.Y. Jackson (1882 -1974) Lake Superior Country, 1924 oil on canvas, 117 x 148 cm, Gift of Mr. S. Walter Stewart, McMichael Canadian Art Collection 1968.8.26, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021

J.E.H. MacDonald. The Beaver Dam, 1919. Oil on canvas, Art Gallery of Ontario. Gift from the Reuben and Kate Leonard Canadian Fund, 1926. Photo © Art Gallery of Ontario, 840.

J.E.H. MacDonald. Falls, Montreal River, 1920. oil on canvas, Overall: 121.9 x 153 cm. Purchase, 1933. Photo © Art Gallery of Ontario 2109

Caroline Monnet, Mobilize, 2015, Single Channel Video, 3 Min., Filmstill, National film board of Canada, © Caroline Monnet

Tom Thomson (1877 -1917) Abandoned Logs, 1915 oil on board 21.6 x 26.6 cm Purchase 1974 McMichael Canadian Art Collection 1974.3

Tom Thomson, Claremont, Ontario, 1877 - Canoe Lake, Ontario, 1917, Northern Lights, About 1916-1917, Oil on wood, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, purchase, A. Sidney Dawes Fund, Photo MMFA, Jean-François Brière