Kelowna Art Gallery hosting exhibits from Canada’s Group of Seven | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna Art Gallery hosting exhibits from Canada’s Group of Seven

Franklin Carmichael, Lake Superior, 1926, watercolour on paper, 28.5 x 34.2 cm. Gift of Mrs. R.G. Mastin. McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
Image Credit: Submitted/Kelowna Art Gallery
October 22, 2020 - 6:30 AM

While best known for their iconic depictions of the Canadian landscape, a special Group of Seven display opening this weekend at Kelowna Art Gallery gives a glimpse of who these artists were before they became famous.

Called Northern Pine: Watercolours and Drawings by the Group of Seven from the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, it features 66 largely unknown works.

Lawren S. Harris, Untitled (Mountain Sketch), graphite on paper, 20.5 x 25.4 cm. Gift of Mrs. James H. Knox. McMichael Canadian Art Collection. © Family of Lawren S. Harris.
Lawren S. Harris, Untitled (Mountain Sketch), graphite on paper, 20.5 x 25.4 cm. Gift of Mrs. James H. Knox. McMichael Canadian Art Collection. © Family of Lawren S. Harris.
Image Credit: Submitter/Kelowna Art Gallery

“Before they were recognized as accomplished artists, the members of the Group of Seven plied their trade as draughtsmen and found work as commercial artists, while still sketching and honing their artistic practices,” states a news release from the gallery. “It is this intimately revealing aspect of their work that visitors will get a chance to see.”

The exhibition was organized by the gallery to mark the 100th anniversary of the Group of Seven’s first exhibition in 1920. It includes watercolours, graphite sketches and lithographs that have rarely been viewed by the public.

One is this 1912-13 sketch by Arthur Lismer of fellow artist Tom Thomson.

Arthur Lismer, Tom Thomson, 1912-1913, ink over graphite on paper, 25.7 x 30.8 cm. Gift of the Founders, Robert and Signe McMichael. McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
Arthur Lismer, Tom Thomson, 1912-1913, ink over graphite on paper, 25.7 x 30.8 cm. Gift of the Founders, Robert and Signe McMichael. McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
Image Credit: Submitter/Kelowna Art Gallery

“Often accomplished works of art in their own right, these works provide us a backstage pass to the workings of the Group, and they challenge the canonical gravity with which their paintings have increasingly been viewed,” Sarah Milroy, Chief Curator at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, said in the release. “This was a band of upstarts and adventurers after all, and their drawings return us to that fact.”

The Group of Seven was made up of Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald, and F.H. Varley.

The exhibition runs from this Saturday, Oct. 24, through to March 7. It will be accompanied by a 116-page catalogue that features essays and reproductions of the works.

J.E.H. MacDonald, Northern Pine, 1925, ink over graphite with gouache on paper, 11 x 10.5 cm. Gift of the Founders, Robert and Signe McMichael. McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
J.E.H. MacDonald, Northern Pine, 1925, ink over graphite with gouache on paper, 11 x 10.5 cm. Gift of the Founders, Robert and Signe McMichael. McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
Image Credit: Submitted/Kelowna Art Gallery

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