ArtworksA.J. CassonThe Village Church (at Barry's Bay), 1955 (circa)1898-1992Sold
Inscriptionssigned, ‘A.J. CASSON’ (recto, lower right); titled, signed, and inscribed in black ink, ‘THE VILLAGE CHURCH / AJ Casson / 60.00’ (verso, upper left)
Roberts Gallery, Toronto, Stock No. 1779, as The Village Church, at Barry's Bay.
Galerie Walter Klinkhoff Inc., Montreal, as The Village Church at Barry's Bay.
Canadian Fine Arts, Toronto.
— “...I’ll never forget some of the tips Lawren [Harris] gave me. For instance, I painted an old house one time with a hill on the left and it disappeared behind the house. Lawren said ‘Look if you would just bring a little of that hill out on the other side, the hill would go back and the house would come forward.’”
A.J. Casson is well known as the replacement to make for a 7th member of the Group of Seven. However, he has always been difficult to categorize within the original Group spirit. In his own words written in 1978 at age 80, the text that follows serves to contextualize appropriately our Church at Grenville (Quebec) and The Village Church (at Barry's Bay).
“If I had to define my own contribution to the Canadian art scene, what was particularly mine were really the rural villages and houses. In a way it is a record of a disappearing society and disappearing world - in fact, it has almost disappeared already.”
“To define my work is difficult. It has been called all kinds of things and yet I can’t put a label on it. I have never followed any school in my life. Up to the age of 35 I was influenced by the Group but then I broke away and began to do my own things. I guess I am a little too independent. I never wanted to be tied to any “ism” or anything like that.
You could say my pictures are historical records in that they crystallize the mood that would otherwise be lost. There are things I can remember as a boy about places I’ve painted, places that haven’t been written about too much. Something should be written about them.”
An exhibition organized by the Art Gallery Of Windsor to Mark A.J.Casson’s 80th Birthday and in celebration of 60 years of his painting career - Art Gallery of Windsor May 14-July 9, 1978 / Art Gallery of Ontario July 22-August 27, 1978, p.3