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Arthur Lismer
L'automne 2010 - 2e séance Vente en salle

Lot # 158

Arthur Lismer
AAM CGP CSGA CSPWC G7 OSA RCA 1885 - 1969 Canadian

Small Islands, Georgian Bay
oil on board
signed and dated 1948 and on verso signed, titled and inscribed "$200" on the Royal Canadian Academy label
18 1/4 x 22 3/4 pouces  46.3 x 57.8cm

Provenance:
Acquired directly from the Artist, January 13, 1949 for $200
Estate of Theodosia Dawes Bond Thornton, Montreal

Référence:
Dennis Reid, Canadian Jungle: The Later Work of Arthur Lismer, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1985, page 54
Theodosia Dawes Bond Thornton, Personal Art Collection Catalogue, reproduced, unpaginated, catalogue #R21

Exposition:
Art Gallery of Toronto, Royal Canadian Academy, November 19 - December 12, 1948, catalogue #96

In this windswept Georgian Bay scene, Arthur Lismer vividly expresses the rhythm and pervasive life-force of this unique place through the wind-whipped trees, churned-up water and an overall directional angle in the work that leans to the left. The rocks are rounded and smooth, scraped into left-leaning forms by time, as water, wind and the relentless forces of nature beat against them. Sunlit and bright, the work seems to almost writhe in the wind. Clouds in the distance, lying low over the waters of the lake, churn in patterns that repeat the shapes of the rocks and reinforce the feeling of movement. The trees on the distant island move together as one synchronized unit and are beaten bare of branches on the one side. In the shelter of a rock, a small patch of delicate green growth defiantly thrives.

In the latter part of his career, Lismer’s teaching duties occupied much of his time, but these duties also exposed him to many new ideas. He experimented with different techniques, including wax resist and oriental brushwork, producing large pen and ink and ink wash drawings. Between lectures, conferences and his full-time posts, his art production was greatest while he was holidaying with his family. He drew more and more in ink and charcoal, and sketched in oil. The materials required for these techniques were smaller, lighter, and traveled well. His oil sketching evolved dramatically in the 1940s, and shows his interest in drawing. He was a fine draughtsman, a skill that allowed him to make sense of the tangled little corners of nature that he was so fond of depicting. In sketches such as Small Islands, Georgian Bay, he mixed his paints on the board much more than he had in the past, blending colours with repeated brush-strokes. The thick impastos of the past are smoothed and controlled, and the works have a consistent surface treatment overall, despite the complexity of the jumbles he chose to paint. Even the smallest of marks – the dots and dashes that denote leaves, pebbles, flowers and such – are consistently rendered. The most obvious change in Lismer’s work of this period is his use of white, which makes his palette much lighter than it had been in the past. He used white throughout his works in both a blended and pure state. The result is that red becomes pink, indigo becomes turquoise, brown becomes pale sandy tan, and so on. There is a delightful lightness to these later sketches, a quality of translucency that reminds us of watercolours, where crisp white paper is the ground and the colours applied to it are transparent. Dennis Reid writes, “It is only in the oil sketches that we can enjoy Lismer’s eccentric yet masterful use of colour..…The opalescent hues he discovered at the bottom of tidal pools drew him back again and again.” Lismer’s choice of subject changed too – he selects the smaller details of nature over her panoramas. Rocks on the shore were preferred to grand lakes, and instead of depicting the vast, powerful ocean, he focused instead on the items it has tossed onto the beach. He was endlessly fascinated with the little bits of the natural world, and they seem to be presented to us without any adjustments, that is, they are just as he found them. In Small Islands, Georgian Bay, he has found a small, windswept corner of a very familiar place that he had visited many times over the course of his painting life, and captured it in this brilliantly sun-drenched, windswept, energized sketch.

Estimation: 60,000 $ ~ 80,000 $ CAN

S'est vendu pour: 99,450.00 $ CAN (prime d'achat incluse)


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