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Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Sun, Fog and Ice, Smith Sound (Arctic Painting IV), 1931
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Galerie Alan Klinkhoff - Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
 
 
 
LAWREN S. HARRIS, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Sun, Fog and Ice, Smith Sound (Arctic Painting IV), 1931
Oil on canvas 40" x 50"
titled and signed in ink by artist, ‘“SUN, FOG AND ICE / SMITH 3865SOUND” / LAWREN HARRIS / 25 SEVERN ST. / TORONTO’ (verso: top stretcher bar);
written in ink on printed label of Department of Graphic Arts by Doris Mills, ’Sun, fog and Ice, Smith Sound 40 x 50 / Lawren Harris / Arctic Paintings IV’ and in graphite in an unknown hand, `VAULT’ (verso, upper left);
torn printed label, ‘MONTR…OF FINE ARTS’ (verso, upper left corner);
written in ink on a torn label, ‘750’ (verso, top centre);
stamped, ‘WALTER KLINKHOFF GALLERY / 1200 SHERBROOKE ST. W. MONTREAL’ (verso, top centre);
marked in white chalk ‘72’ (verso, upper centre cross bar);
inscribed in ink, ‘ROLANDE DUMAIS, ARCHITECTE, MONTREAL’ (verso, upper right stretcher bar).
 
 
 
Provenance
Artist;
Fine Art Galleries T. Eaton Co. College Street, Toronto, 1953;
Private collection, Toronto;
Roland Dumais, Montreal;
Christie’s in Canada, 14 Oct. 1971, lot 72, Montreal;
Galerie Walter Klinkhoff, Montreal;
Private collection, Montreal.
 
Exhibited
Toronto, Art Gallery of Toronto, May 1931, Arctic Sketches by Lawren Harris and A.Y. Jackson, R.C.A., no. 390 as Sun, Fog and Ice, Smith Sound; Vancouver Exhibition, 22-29 August 1931, Exhibition of Paintings and Photography, Sketches of the Canadian North by Lawren Harris, R.C.A. [sic] and A.Y. Jackson, R.C.A., no. 317 as Fog and Ice, South [sic] Sound; Toronto, Art Gallery of Toronto, December 1931, Exhibition by the Group of Seven, no. 64 as Sun, Fog and Ice, Smith Sound $750; Toronto, Canadian National Exhibition, 25 August - 9 September 1939, no. 95 as Sun, Fog and Ice, Smith Sound; Toronto, Canadian National Exhibition, 25 August – 9 September 1950, no. 150 as Sun, Fog and Ice, Smith Sound oil on canvas 40 x 50, Lent by the artist
 
Literature
E.W. Harrold, "Seventh Group of Seven Show," The Morning Citizen (Ottawa), 29 December 1931; The paintings of Lawren Harris compiled by Mrs. Gordon Mills, July-December 1936 as Arctic Paintings, no. 4; Jeremy
Adamson Urban Scenes and Wilderness Landscapes (Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1978), pp. 190-195
 
 
   
  More about this painting  
   
 
In August and September 1930 Lawren Harris travelled to the Arctic with A.Y. Jackson on the government supply boat, the S.S. Beothic. The ship went directly north to Godhaven on the Greenland coast, and then up the coast through Smith Sound to Etah and into Kane Basin, along the coast of Ellesmere Island to Lancaster Sound, around the top of Baffin Island, down the east coast to Hudson Bay and Chesterfield Inlet, then southward along the Labrador Coast to Nova Scotia. As Harris wrote in 1948, “While we were on this trip Jackson and I painted a large number of sketches, although painting was difficult as we usually saw the most exciting subjects while steaming through channels or while being bumped by pack ice. On many occasions we had to take rapid notes. These notes we worked up into sketches, crowded in our small cabin, seated on the edge of our respective bunks with only a port-hole to let in the light.”

In spite of the difficulties, the trip was very productive and Harris exhibited thirty Arctic sketches in a joint exhibition with Jackson at the National Gallery in December 1930. (Thirty-eight Arctic sketches were inventoried in 1936). By the time they showed their Arctic work at the Art Gallery of Toronto in May 1931 Harris had already painted six canvases, including Sun, Fog and Ice, Smith Sound.

The subjects of Harris’ Arctic canvases include floating icebergs or coastlines and mountains viewed from off shore. The effects of colour and light range from drab browns and greys to blues and off whites, to evocative studies of the effects of sun and ice as in this canvas painted from a sketch acquired by his friend, the Toronto collector Charles S. Band (fig. 1). Harris remained faithful to the sketch in working up the canvas. The ice and pool of water in the foreground, the open sea beyond, the dramatic movement of the fog rising from the water, the almost three-dimensional pointed clouds moving in from the right and the spotlight effect of sun rays emerging from the sky appear in both. But he has enlarged the height to confirm to the proportions of the canvas and thereby increasing the illumination in what must be the most lyrical and animated of all Harris’ Arctic paintings.

When exhibited in the December 1931 Group of Seven exhibition, E.W. Harrold wrote in the Ottawa Citizen, “The most striking work is still being done by Lawren Harris. Seven years ago, Harris startled the art world with his ‘Above Lake Superior.’ In this Harris threw tradition to the wind. He did not paint a specific stretch of country so much as a summing up of a whole region… Marvellous light effects are obtained in … “Sun, Fog and Ice, Smith Sound.” This picture mocks all our preconceptions of Arctic scenery. Here is no drab desolation but lights and surfaces that play against each other in the most enlivening way. The conception is vastly original. Again this is not a locality, but the sum of locality.”

In 1953 this painting was acquired by the couple who had purchased Lawren Harris’ house at 2 Ava Crescent, designed in 1931 by Alexandra Biriukova. The canvas would have been a remarkable complement to the restrained yet lush severity of the house’s Art Deco interior.

Charles C. Hill, C.M.
From Lawren Harris & Canadian Masters, Alan Klinkhoff Gallery, 2017

Charlie Hill began working at the National Gallery of Canada in 1972 and was Curator of Canadian Art from 1980 to 2014. The exhibitions he organized  and publications he wrote include “Canadian Painting in the Thirties” (1975), “To Found a National Gallery. The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts 1880-1913” (1980), “Morrice A Gift to the Nation The G. Blair Laing Collection” (1992) and “The Group of Seven Art for a Nation” (1995). He was co-curator and contributed essays to the catalogues of “Tom Thomson” (2002), “Emily Carr A New Perspective” (2006) and “Artists, Architects, Artisans Canadian Art 1890 - 1918” (2013). He was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2000, received an Honorary Doctorate from Concordia University in 2007 and the Award of Distinguished Service from the Canadian Museums Association in 2012.
 
   
 
  
Lawren Harris Biography
 
 
 
Lawren Stewart Harris, a Canadian painter, was born October 23, 1885 in Brantford, Ontario. He was a key figure in the creation of the Group of Seven, also a founding member and first president of the Canadian Group of Painters. Harris also later became a leading abstractionist who believed that colour and form were capable of expressing spiritual truths. Coming from a wealthy family, he was able to devote himself entirely to his art.

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Lawren Harris studied in Berlin, Germany, from 1904 to 1908, where he became interested in theosophy, a mystical branch of religious philosophy that would influence his later painting. He then returned to Toronto. In 1908 he went on a sketching trip to the Laurentians; in 1909, with J.W. Beatty, he sketched in Haliburton. That fall he went to Lake Memphremagog. At the same time, he drew and painted street scenes of the older and more modest areas of Toronto.

Harris developed into a magnificent landscape painter, transforming the powerful forms of nature into works of force and elegance. In 1913, he financed the construction of the Studio Building in Toronto with his friend, Dr. James MacCallum. The Studio provided artists with cheap or free space where they could live and work. Later, in 1918 and 1919, Lawren Harris with J.E.H. MacDonald financed boxcar trips for the artists of the Group of Seven to the Algoma region. Another painting trip after Algoma was to Lake Superior North Shore with A.Y. Jackson. In 1920 Harris, J.E.H. MacDonald, Frank Hans Johnston, Franklin Carmichael, A.Y. Jackson, F.H. Varley, and Arthur Lismer founded the Group of Seven.

Harris was so passionate about the Lake Superior’s North Shore and fascinated by the theosophical concept of nature, he returned annually for the next seven years. There he developed the modernist style he is best known for. Harris’s paintings in the early 1920’s were characterized by rich, decorative colours that were applied thick, in painterly impasto. He painted landscapes around Toronto, Georgian Bay and Algoma.

During the 1920s, Harris’s works became more abstract and simplified, especially his stark landscapes of the Canadian north and Arctic. His first of three annual trips to the Rockies was in 1924. In 1930, Harris’s landscape paintings became even more simplified as he sailed to the Arctic with A.Y. Jackson aboard a supply ship.

From 1934 to 1937, Harris lived in Hanover, New Hampshire, where he painted his first abstract works, an artistic direction in which he would continue for the rest of his life. In 1938 he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and helped found the Transcendental Painting Group, an organization of artists who advocated a spiritual form of abstraction.

Harris settled in Vancouver in 1940 and became a leading figure in the Vancouver arts community. He was a strong supporter of younger artists and of the Vancouver Art Gallery. In 1969 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.

He died in Vancouver on January 29th 1970.
 
   
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Lawren S. Harris paintings for sale
 
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Morning Sun Over Hill, Lake Superior (Lake Superior Sketch XXVII), 1922
Oil on Beaverboard 10 3/8 " x 13 5/8"
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Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
A Row of Houses, Wellington Street (Street Painting I), 1910
Oil on canvas 25" x 30"
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Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Rock, Spruce and Hill (Lake Superior Sketch C), c. 1921
Oil on wood 10 1/2" x 14"
Detailed view
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Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Rock and Hill (Lake Superior Sketch CXXXII), 1922
Oil on Beaverboard 10 ½ " x 14" (Sold)
Detailed view
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Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Algoma Sketch XLIII, c. 1920-1921
Oil on wood 10 3/4 x 14 (Sold)
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Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Hubert (Algoma Sketch), c. 1918
Oil on composite wood pulp board 13 5/8 x 10 1/2 (Sold)
Detailed view
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Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Snow Laden Trees, c. 1916
Oil on wood 12 ½" x 10 ½" (Sold)
Detailed view
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Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Mountain Form IV (Rocky Mountain Painting XIV), c. 1927-1930
Oil on canvas 48" x 60" (Sold)
Detailed view
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Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Pic Island Lake Superior, c. 1926
Oil on Beaverboard 12" x 15" (Sold)
Detailed view
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Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Return from Church, 1919
Oil on Beaverboard 10 ½" x 13 ¾" (Sold)
Detailed view
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Mountain Sketch (Lake and Mountain), c. 1928
Oil on Beaverboard 11 ¾ x 14 ¾ (Sold)
Detailed view
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Maligne Lake, Jasper Park, 1924
Oil on Beaverboard 10 ¾" x 13 ¾" (Sold)
Detailed view
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Sun, Fog and Ice, Smith Sound (Arctic Painting IV), 1931
Oil on canvas 40" x 50" (Sold)
Detailed view
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Mitchell Lake, Batchewanna (sic), Algoma (Algoma Sketch CXXII), c. 1918
Oil on board 14" x 10 ¾" (Sold)
Detailed view
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Swan Lake, Algonquin Park
Oil on panel 10 1/2" x 14" (Sold)
Detailed view
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Algoma sketch, c. 1919
Oil on panel 11" x 14" (Sold)
Detailed view
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Lake Superior Sketch, 1923
Oil on panel 11"x 14" (Sold)
Detailed view
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
North of Lake Superior, c. 1921-22
Oil on panel 10 1/2" x 14" (Sold)
Detailed view
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Icebergs
(Sold)
Detailed view
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Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Sand Lake, Algoma, 1921
Oil on panel 10 1/2" x 13 1/2" (Sold)
Detailed view
 
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