Revolutionary Modern Art

Style Guide II

Images

Expressionism

Representation or mimesis fell out of favour quickly at the turn of the 20th century. First, the Impressionists fragmented colour and created hazy atmospheric effects, and then the Post-Impressionists advocated artistic vision over verisimilitude. As Expressionism claimed preeminence, the revolution was accomplished.

The Post-Impressionist vision forged a completely modern and comprehensive artistic and philosophical aesthetic. In his works, Vincent van Gogh practised a loose, distorted handling of paint that celebrated emotional intensity; Paul Gauguin developed a symbolic use of colour and line; and Paul Cézanne advanced reforms in composition.

The Group of Seven artists brought a consolidated form of this modern art to Canada, informed it with uniquely Canadian subjects, and made it their own. In doing so, they defined our national art.

Early Houses, c.1913
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Lawren S. Harris  (1885-1970)
Early Houses  c.1913
Oil on board, 27.0 x 33.5 cm
Gift of the Founders, Robert and Signe McMichael
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
1976.25.5

St. Pie Church, Quebec, c.1913
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A.Y. Jackson  (1882-1974)
St. Pie Church, Quebec  c.1913
Oil on wood panel, 21.6 x 27.1 cm
Gift of the Founders, Robert and Signe McMichael
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
1966.16.95

Agawa River, Algoma, 1919
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J.E.H. MacDonald  (1873-1932)
Agawa River, Algoma  1919
Oil on paperboard, 21.6 x 26.6 cm
Gift of Mr. R.A. Laidlaw
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
1966.15.14