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Emily Carr
Vente en salle d'art canadien du printemps 2007 Vente en salle

Lot # 167

Emily Carr
BCSFA CGP 1871 - 1945 Canadian

Forest Breeze
oil on paper on board circa 1935
signed with estate stamp
34 5/8 x 23 3/8 pouces  87.9 x 59.4cm

Private Collection, Montreal

Emily Carr, Hundreds and Thousands: The Journals of Emily Carr, 1966, pages 264 – 265
Doris Shadbolt, The Art of Emily Carr, 1979, page 124

Emily Carr turned to the medium of oil on paper in the early 1930s. The use of this medium as a replacement for watercolour was a breakthrough for Carr. Since she liked to sketch out-of-doors, she did not have to burden herself with as many supplies as in the past. She mixed her oil paint with turpentine and even gasoline, which enabled her to achieve different paint textures – at times the thinness of a watercolour wash, and at others the density of undiluted oil paint. The medium dried quickly, a great advantage for working outside, and still kept the intensity of colour given by oil paint. Its fluid nature enabled her to spontaneously work through more variations of her ideas. Carr discovered that these oil on paper works were more than just sketches to be used as raw material for canvases produced in the studio, but were strong works in their own right.
Carr often wrote about her ecstatic experiences while sketching out in the forest, and in the fall of 1935 wrote, “Air moves between each leaf. Sunlight plays and dances. Nothing is still now. Life is sweeping through the spaces. Everything is alive. The air is alive…Moss and ferns, and leaves and twigs, light and air, depth and colour chattering, dancing a mad joy-dance…” Forest Breeze seems directly born out of this vision with its focus on the exuberant dance of the tree in the wind, its trunk bending and its branches waving. Rather than the dark and solid deep forest works of the formal period with their smoothly modeled, sculpted forms of the late 1920s and early 1930s, Carr is focused on light and movement, from the great sweep of wind in the tree tops down to the nervous tremble of undergrowth foliage. This shift in her work was as profound as the one from her French period to the formal period. Her choice of medium certainly played a part in this evolution, for as Shadbolt writes, “The innovation of the oil-on-paper sketch played a large part in the development of Carr’s concept of movement, since it allowed the brush to be used spontaneously, continuing large arm movements. The strokes thus become forms of movement in themselves…” Carr was interested in what animates form, rather than creating an illusion of three-dimensional volume. This new liberating phase in her work allowed her a new way to express her profoundly spiritual experience of nature, her feeling that God was manifest in every part, from the smallest to the greatest. In works such as Forest Breeze, Carr achieved integration between the outer reality she observed in the landscape and her inner self.
Carr’s expression of joy through movement is often seen in the work of the mid- to late 1930s, and was even sometimes communicated directly in her titles, such as Dancing Sunlight (collection of the McMichael Canadian Collection), Laughing Forest and Happiness. In Forest Breeze, Carr communicates a lightness of being. Everything swirls in a rush of air and light, and all that shows of smaller trees behind are spindly trunks, as Carr de-materializes their branches and the forest floor under them into pastel strokes of paint. The viewer is close to the dominant single tree, sharing its view down into the open forest and sky beyond, feeling its “mad joy-dance”. Permeating this lyrical and exceptional painting is Carr’s love of the forest and her spiritual vision of all of nature animated by a vital force.

Estimation: 200,000 $ ~ 250,000 $ CAN

S'est vendu pour: 253,000.00 $ CAN (prime d'achat incluse)

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