Lot # 143
Canadian, Impressionist & Modern Art Live auction

Alfred Joseph (A.J.) Casson
CGP CSPWC G7 OC POSA PRCA 1898 - 1992 Canadian

Elephant Lake
oil on board
signed and on verso titled, dated 1976 and inscribed "7186H" and "320-218D 210"
9 3/8 x 11 1/4 in  23.8 x 28.6cm

Roberts Gallery, Toronto, inventory #7186H
By descent to the present Private Estate, Calgary

Paul Duval, A.J. Casson, Roberts Gallery, 1975, page 123

During his long career, Group of Seven artist A.J. Casson extensively wandered the small villages and back roads of southern Ontario, sketch materials stowed in his car, in search of fresh subjects. He was always particularly interested in dramatic skies, and here, at Elephant Lake, northwest of Bancroft, he found a fine one. Towering formations with darker layers behind hint at rainstorms about to descend, while the land below waits in suspenseful silence. His use of a palette of golds and greens makes the land glow, a fine contrast to the shades of grey above. After the mid-1940s, Casson used a number of styles in his work, intuitively choosing what was best for his subject. He stated, “Each subject seems to suggest its own treatment and design…It is not a conscious thing of forcing something into an arbitrary mould.” From his experiences with the Group and his respected career in commercial design, which he pursued until 1958, Casson had an innate ability to cut to the essential elements in a composition and create from them an image of harmony and beauty. The evidence is here, in this tranquil yet moody scene.

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