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Poetry and Perception / Poésie et Perception
James Wilson Morrice and/et Tom Thomson

2 September through 10 December

James Wilson Morrice, (1865 - 1924), and Tom Thomson, (1877-1917), were two of Canada's greatest colourists, yet their paintings evoke very different worlds. Trained in Paris where he lived from 1890, Morrice lived a peripatetic existence travelling to Normandy, Brittany and the south of France as well as Tangiers, Trinidad and Jamaica and Algiers. He painted rural France and urban cafés, North African towns and West Indian villages and, only rarely, Canada. Influenced by the art of Paul Gaugin and of the Nabis, he created through colour a world of graceful harmony and rhythm, distance from the observant eye of the artist.

After working in the graphic arts in Seattle and Toronto, Tom Thomson only began to paint in 1911. The direction of his art was established in 1914, and he died only three years later in 1917. All of his paintings depict Canadian subjects, mostly the landscapes of Georgian Bay and Algonquin Park. Colour plays an entirely different role in Thomson's art. His sketches follow the seasons from late winter to early spring, through the summer to the brilliant colours of autumn and oncoming winter. The paint is applied in vigorous brushstrokes, revealing all the subtleties of the Canadian nature. Bold and unexpected juxtapositions of colour reveal his enormous sensitivity to nature and his desire to express his responses to it through his paintings.

Comprising forty oil sketches by the two artists, (twenty each), this exhibition shows the changing character of the artists' use of paint and reveals their differing visions of nature and of the world. Given that each artist, in his own distinct way, concentrates on the evocation of specific places, this exhibition is also a perfect counterpoint to The Nickle's feature fall exhibition, Sense of Place.

 

 

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