A new exhibition will soon be on view at the Kelowna Art Gallery, showcasing a rarely seen aspect of Canadian art history.
Northern Pine: Watercolors and Drawings by the Group of Seven from the McMichael Canadian Art Collection presents 66 largely unknown works at the gallery to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Group of Seven exhibition in 1920.
The exhibition features watercolor studies, graphite sketches and a rare portfolio of lithographs.
“The works are very accessible,” says Kelowna Art Gallery Executive Director Nataley Nagy.
We hope visitors are as fascinated as we are to see these working sketches and stripped-down studies – they really give us a window into who these seven artists were and how they influenced the Canadian artistic landscape.
Artists Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, AY Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, JEH MacDonald and FH Varley formed the Group of Seven which was responsible for the first major national art movement in Canada. They are perhaps best known for their vivid oil paintings that depict the Canadian landscape.
The Group of Seven were cartoonists who worked as commercial artists while sketching their own artistic practices, before being recognized as accomplished artists. Visitors to the exhibition will have the chance to see this aspect of their work.
Most of the works on display are from the McMichael Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario.
“The McMichael collection of drawings and other works on paper by members of the Group of Seven is a glory for our museum’s collections too often hidden from view,” says Sarah Milroy, chief curator of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
“Often accomplished works of art in their own right, these works provide us with a behind-the-scenes look at how the Group works, and they defy the canonical gravity with which their paintings are increasingly seen. They were a group of upstarts and adventurers after all, and their designs bring us back to that fact.
The exhibition runs from October 24, 2020 to March 7, 2021.