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Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Rock and Hill (Lake Superior Sketch CXXXII), 1922
SOLD
 
Galerie Alan Klinkhoff - Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
 
 
 
LAWREN S. HARRIS, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Rock and Hill (Lake Superior Sketch CXXXII), 1922
Oil on Beaverboard 10 ½ " x 14"
signed ‘LAWREN HARRIS’ (recto, lower left);
titled and signed by artist in ink, ‘ROCK & HILL / LAWREN / HARRIS / NOT FOR SALE’ (verso, upper left);
written on paper by Doris Mills, ‘Rock and Hill / Lawren Harris / Lake Superior sketches CXXXII 10 ½ x 13 ¾’ (verso, upper right); marked in ballpoint, ‘ST#A71’ (verso, upper right);
marked in red crayon ‘3’ (verso, centre left) and in blue crayon ‘4/132’ (verso, centre right).
 
 
 
Provenance
Artist;
Keith McIver, Toronto;
Sotheby-Park Bernet, 13 June 1972, lot 82, Toronto;
Art Emporium, Vancouver;
Private collection, Montreal.
 
Literature
The paintings of Lawren Harris compiled by Mrs. Gordon Mills, July-December 1936 as Rock and Hill (Lake Superior Sketch CXXXII); Peter Larisey, Light for a Cold Land Lawren Harris’s Work and Life – An Interpretation (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1993) p. 90 as Rocks and Hill
 
 
   
  More about this painting  
   
 
Rock and Hill may depict the same hillock as Morning Sun over Hill, Lake Superior, though here the light is clear, the foreground rocks more assertive and the lighter colours are darkly outlined asserting their sculptural form. The naked trunks reach up to the top of the frame, creating a vertical and horizontal rhythm. Water, is glimpsed centre left where the clouds are painted with Harris’ characteristic stylization.

In March 1923 the Russian artist Leon Bakst saw Harris’ painting First Snow, North Shore of Lake Superior (Vancouver Art Gallery) at the Art Gallery of Toronto and noted the painting “was sculpture rather than painting” which Fred Jacob of the Mail and Empire understood to refer “to the fact that everything in the picture seemed hard as granite.” Indeed the sculptural treatment of the rocks is most striking in Rock and Hill, an evocative and austere depiction of this remarkable landscape.

There is considerable confusion over the dating of Harris’ Lake Superior sketches but one letter that may assist in dating them. On 15 February 1927 Harris wrote to Eric Brown, director of the National Gallery, in response to an enquiry from Prudence Heward about purchasing a 1925 sketch of Port Coldwell harbour that Harris had exhibited in the May 1926 Group of Seven exhibition. “Will you tell the lady she can have a sketch for $60.00 including frame. This is less than I have been selling the recent sketches for. They are considerably larger than the sketches of two years ago and earlier and in some cases have received as much attention as large canvases.” From this we can deduce that Harris began sketching on larger panels, approximately 12 x 15 inches, in 1925 and that smaller sketches, approximately 10 ½ x 14 inches, like this work, were painted prior to 1925.

Macintosh HD:Users:charleshill:Desktop:Image-02.jpg
(fig. 1) Above Lake Superior 1924 Oil on canvas 48 x 60 in. (121.9 x 152.4 cm) Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (1335). Gift of the Reuben and Kate Leonard Canadian Fund, 1929


The Art Gallery of Ontario owns the oil sketch from which Harris painted Above Lake Superior (fig. 1), but Rock and Hill bears a number of similarities to the canvas which was first exhibited at the Ontario Society of Artists exhibition in March 1924. The canvas probable dates from 1924 and not c. 1922 as currently catalogued. Dead trees rise from the foreground that is lower and snow-covered in the canvas. The hillock occupies the centre of the composition, while the waters of Lake Superior are glimpsed right and left.

This oil sketch belonged to A.Y. Jackson’s friend Keith McIver, a prospector who lived in the shack behind the Studio Building where Tom Thomson had painted during the last few winters of his life. McIver had an exceptional collection of works by Group members, the result of intimate friendships and a keen understanding of their work.

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.

 Related Pages


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"
Detailed view
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
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"
Detailed view
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
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
Lawren S. Harris paintings sold
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
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
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Algoma Sketch XLIII, c. 1920-1921
Oil on wood 10 3/4 x 14 (Sold)
Detailed view
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
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
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
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
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
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
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
Lawren S. Harris, C.C., LL.D. (1885-1970)
Pic Island Lake Superior, c. 1926
Oil on Beaverboard 12" x 15" (Sold)
Detailed view
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
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
  Lawren S. Harris - Galerie Alan Klinkhoff  
 
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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