William Henry Clapp, landscape and figure painter (b at Montréal 29 Oct 1879; d at Oakland, Ca 21 Apr 1954). Born of American parents, Clapp lived in Oakland 1885-1900. He studied at the Art Association of Montreal 1900-03 with William BRYMNER, and painted at St-Joachim and Baie-Saint-Paul with Clarence GAGNON. From 1904 to 1908 he studied in Paris at the Académie Julian, the Académie Colarossi and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière with J.-P. Laurens, Tony Robert-Fleury and Lucien Simon, and in Madrid with William Laparra. He painted in Belgium and Spain.
Living in Montréal from 1908 to 1915, Clapp exhibited some of the most advanced impressionist canvases in Canada. Almost a pointillist in touch, his surfaces vibrate with broken colour and dappled light. Clapp left for Cuba in 1915, settling in Oakland in 1917, where he was curator (1918-20) and director of the Oakland Art Gallery (1920-1949). In Canada he was a member of the Canadian Art Club (1913-15) and in California of the Society of Six (1923-28). He stopped exhibiting in Canada in 1918. More on William Henry Clapp
BONAVENTURE ISLAND, OLD FISHING COMPANY HOUSES,
oil on canvas,
14 ins x 21 ins; 35.6 cms x 53.3 cms
From 1957-1959 Pratt studied at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. During the summers, he returned to Newfoundland to work as a construction surveyor at the American Naval Base at Argentia. The training he received in precise measuring was applied to his paintings. In 1959 Pratt returned to Mount Allison University to complete in 1961 a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. During this period he began to make silkscreen prints. The early screen print Boat in Sand, 1961 in the National Gallery’s collection was produced at this time and included in the Gallery’s fourth Biennial Exhibition.
In 1961, Pratt accepted the position of curator at the newly opened Memorial University Art Gallery in St. John's. He remained at the gallery for two and a half years before deciding to concentrate on his painting full-time, moving his family to Salmonier, Newfoundland. More
ARTHUR LISMER, 1940, at the age of fifty-four, Arthur Lismer moved to Montreal to take up the position of educational supervisor at the Art Association of Montreal, which commenced in January 1941. He also began teaching fine arts and aesthetics at McGill University on a sessional basis that Fall. This change of location was to have a noticeable effect on his art, for in Montreal, Lismer was able to observe how Modernism was developing in Quebec through the work of the Contemporary Arts Society and the Automatistes around Paul-Émile Borduas. Also, beginning in 1945, Lismer began to make sketching trips to Cape Breton Island (in addition to Georgian Bay and later, Vancouver Island) up until 1954. Killicks was one of several small pictures that resulted from that final trip.The paintings that Lismer made in Ingonish and Neil's Harbour on the east coast of Cape Breton differ significantly from his earlier, better-known work at Georgian Bay. In this picture, the focus of the tightly knit composition is the dock litter that he encountered --barrels, buoys, killicks (stone anchors), etc. The maritime landscape appears only in the upper left corner through a window. Lismer was drawn to the well-worn, hand-made objects as subject matter because they had "the same feeling of weather as pine trees," as well as "a human quality." They also symbolized the fishermen's resourcefulness in crafting objects which they could use to make a living from the ocean. The influence of contemporary Montreal painters can be seen in Lismer's selective use of thickly applied paint (here, confined to the netting, rope and patch of sea) in which the artist has drawn with the end of his brush to create details descriptive of water, netting, fish scales, etc. The close-up focus has an abstracting effect; it forces us to appreciate the abstract interplay of shapes and colours--blues and greys, punctuated by touches of brown and amber, and a red rope for contrast. Lismer never abandoned the subject in favour of pure abstraction, but a work such as Killicks clearly demonstrates that he had an affinity for it. More
Joe Norris painted seven days a week in his little yellow house he had built himself in the early 1970s. He often painted for about twelve hours solid each day. Generally he began with no preconceived idea, no drawing or sketch. He just worked at his brightly painted pictures of the world around him using several very small brushes. In addition to the pictures he also painted the occasional piece of furniture including tables, chests and mantles.
As he worked there was often a steady flow of children, neighbours, and near-by relatives going in and out of his house. Joe, a bachelor, missed the fishing life. He once said "I'd rather be fishing. I'm out in the air and stuff, and I like working... hard old life fishing." When asked if his paintings would ever make him famous, "no" was his answer. Joe Norris died in 1996. More on Joe Norris
Initially he was influenced by the works of geometric abstractionists such as Sol LeWitt, Kenneth Noland, and Frank Stella. His first exhibition was in Calgary, Alberta featuring his geometric abstractions, while studying Environmental Psychology in the early 1980s. In the mid-1980s while working for Arthur Erickson he was influenced by abstract expressionists such as Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, and Sam Francis.
His current works are generally characterized as meaningful abstraction with bold contrasting colours. His works have been shown at the Toronto International Art Fair, Fort Myers Alliance for the Arts, Singapore International Contemporary Art Fair, and the Huitai National Art Center in China. He is represented in art collections in Canada, USA, Japan, China, and Singapore. More Charles Gibbons
THE ASSASSINATION OF MARAT BY CHARLOTTE CORDAY, 1987
In the 1930's, Roberts belonged to a Montreal-based group of painters called The Contemporary Arts Society, which was formed partially because their members disagreed with the beliefs of The Group of Seven.
In 1943, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and was appointed war artist in Europe. In 1944 he returned to Canada with 116 drawings and watercolours for War Records. In 1967, his work was exhibited at the Canadian Pavilion at Expo 67 and at the Centennial Ehibition of the National Gallery of Canada.
Many art historians still lament the fact to this day that Roberts is, and was, unfairly overshadowed by the lose fame of the Group of Seven in public. More on William Goodridge Roberts
After his release from service, deGarthe obtained his passport – declaring his profession as “artist” -- and emigrated to Canada in the fall of 1926. Landing in Halifax, he boarded a train for Toronto intending to join other expatriate Scandinavians in the northern Ontario forestry trade. The work was hard and the climate unforgiving; after only two months he left the woods bound for Montreal. Virtually penniless, he made his way to a mission where he showed the supervisor some of his drawings. Impressed with the work and with the 19-year-old’s determination, the man introduced deGarthe to a local publisher who hired him as an illustrator in January of 1927 at a rate of $7 a week.
It was around this time that the young artist changed his name from the Scandinavian Degerstedt to the French-sounding deGarthe. While continuing his work as a commercial artist, deGarthe continued his formal art studies in Montreal. Declaring he was on a quest to find “the most beautiful spot on earth”, in 1930 deGarthe quit his job in Montreal and travelled by rail to Halifax to board a ship bound for South America but on disembarking he was struck by the similarity between Nova Scotia and the rugged seacoast of his native Finland. He later declared, “I didn’t have to travel any farther.” More on William Edward (Bill) deGarthe