At the Art Gallery
B.C. Society of Fine Arts
Previous displays by the B.C. Society of
Fine Arts are surpassed by the tenth annual exhibition now
at the Art Gallery. (sic: actually 32nd Annual, the writer is
confusing this show with the 10th Annual BC Artists exhibition).
Display Sets New High Mark
In fact, it is not unlikely that the present brilliant show
will be remembered as an eventful date in the progress of
art in the province.
Leading artists are represented by new and vital phases of
their work and the element of surprise confronts the
observer on every wall. Not content to rest on their laurels
these painters have combined fresh inspiration with greater
significance and technical skill.
It is with justifiable pride, with a sense of coming of age,
that comparison can be made with an important all-Canadian
event such as the Royal Canadian Academy selective exhibition
recently seen at the gallery.
An astonishing variety of exhibitions includes nothing
commonplace and swings from realism to the abstract or
non-representational. The general tendency indicates an
earnest endeavor by western painters to express their
particular region and assimilate personal expression with
aesthetic progress of the modern international art movement.
Among leading contributors is Emily Carr
with seven paintings, all of great interest with "Beach" as the
As usual her titles can be entertaining. For instance,
"Somewhere" is delightfully vague as to geographical location
but precise in a stirring emotional appeal of a woodland
scene with darting sunshine.
"Typically British Columbia" is another enchanting composition
of the woods, also typical of the noted Victoria artist's genius.
FREEDOM OF SPIRIT
A large painting by Lawren Harris
is in the latest style of one of Canada's most famous painters.
This important work, which will be perplexing undoubtedly to
many, forms part of a group of abstract or semi-abstract
compositions by Bess Harris,
Jessie Faunt, and
Apart from their deep artistic significance, some of these
paintings recall in their freedom of spirit, imagination
and color certain passages in Walt Disney's "Fantasia."
J.W.G. Macdonald's "8000 Feet Up"
reveals an unexpected variation to his usual style. This
exceptionally fine canvas, with its solid and decorative
organization, has more realism than recently seen in the
Likewise Charles H. Scott, A.R.C.A.,
presents in a richly painted landscape a new and most successful
innovation in treatment. Fred Amess
in "Mission" scores high, too, in a new vein. And
W.P. Weston, A.R.C.A., not only
shows examples of his strong characteristic B.C. landscapes
but adds surprising achievement in entirely different
compositions of skunk cabbages.
J.L. Shadbolt's "Signature Piece,"
with a touch of surrealism, and "White House" with masses
firmly disposed in space are both important creations
indicating attainment of individuality and power of realization.
Mildred Valley Thornton's "B.C.
Mining Town, Bralorne" is uncompromisingly vigorous, rich and
vital in color and thoroughly of the west. Other worthwhile
exhibits are by Jane Billaux,
always delightful with her particular charm;
Dorothy Bell with "The Wharf," full
of sincerity and very simple; and Nan
Lawson Cheney with a lively portrait of "Donald Erickson."
Molly Lamb in her colorful "Main
Street, Nanaimo" takes another stride forward as a promising
young artist. Max Maynard shows
strength in his landscapes around Tzouhalem.
Irene Hoffar Reid is better than ever
in her three captivating compositions. B.C.
Binning is always a master draftsman.
Lilias Farley, who is famous as
sculptor and painter, too, exhibits some striking Indian
decorative heads. Paul Rand presents his
most accomplished landscape, Mrs. M.O.
Verral contributes distinguished flower pieces and
Margaret Williams shows sketches of
the Nevada desert.
Kate Smith Hoole's "Old Chinese
Dish," Leon Manuel's vigorous
watercolors, sculptures by Doris Le
Cocq (Mrs. F.A. Tabuteau) and
Marjorie Robertson, a pastel by
P.H. Amsden together with oil and
watercolour paintings by
A.C. Leighton, A.R.C.A.,
Bessie A. Fry,
Lionel A. Thomas,
Nesta B. Horne, and
Miriam L. Peck all contribute much
to this extraordinary show.