|BRITISH COLUMBIA ARTISTS
The current B.C. Artists
summer exhibition, due to run until September
2, lends new life to the Art Gallery and stands out as a major event.
Never before has a collective exhibition of works by numerous leading B.C. painters and sculptors been gathered for display over such a prolonged period.
During the two months' duration, instead of the usual and unsatisfactory fortnight shows, summer visitors and Vancouver residents will be able to estimate recent progress of art in the west.
This stimulating show suggests the main directions along which art here is travelling. A few vital artists are missing, but on the whole the selection of the exhibition committee has been broad and comprehensive. Sincerity and warmth of creative expression are evident in most of the exhibits, which often reveal fine design and vigorous interpretation.
It is difficult not to feel both pride and confidence in contemporary art in British Columbia. The present display contains little of the stuffy or academic.
In a birds-eye view of what has been accomplished in recent years, for a number of the exhibits have already been shown at the Gallery, the observer soon realizes that imitative or illustrative art typical of much in the Royal Academy, the old Paris Salon and similar conservative organizations, finds few followers in our western land.
A spiritual survival of that individuality commonly associated with pioneer regions finds expression among our artists, who apparently refuse regimentation and sheep-like following of one type of painting.
Hung side by side, and yet in harmony, the visitor can enjoy on the same wall such varied products as "The Dancers" by Fred A. Amess, "The Red House" by Bess Harris, a portrait by P.V. Ustinow and an abstract composition by Jessie Faunt.
Paintings by well known artists include a strong example of nonrepresentational art by Lawren Harris, finely creative mountains landscapes by J.W.G. Macdonald, typical canvases by Emily Carr, Jack Shadbolt's admirable "Signature Piece," Molly Lamb's colorful "Main Street, Nanaimo," Harry Hood's really splendid "Red Fence" and two lively paintings by W.P. Weston, A.R.C.A.
Among other prominent exhibitors are Charles H. Scott, A.R.C.A., Nan Lawson Cheney, B.C. Binning, Max Maynard, Irene Hoffar Reid, R.S. Alexander, Dorothy Bell, M.V. Thornton, Emily Sartain, Paul Rand, S.E. Brunst, L.W. Manuel, S.P. Judge, R.W. Major, M. Bain, L. Thomas, Helen West, Marion A. Morham, Arthur C. Erickson, Marjorie Harferd, and Bessie Fry. The sculptors include Beatrice Lennie, Lilias Farley, Olea Davis, Doris Le Cocq.
Following an established custom the Camera Art Club of Vancouver in its seventh annual show at the Gallery has again selected one branch of photography, producing something of an (sic) unified exhibition.
This year the motif is table-top photography, with miniature objects such as porcelain animals and toys as models. Thanks to the artistic skill and sense of human values the photographers have produced astonishing and novel results with very simple means. Humor and fantasy beam forth from the majority of the prints.
Outstanding prints include L.D. Davidson's "Sanctuary" and "Hero Worship," showing a pup admiring a big dog with enlarged grotesque shadows in the background; W.T. Thorne's "Tribal" with a surprising feeling for drama in such a tiny totem pole stuck in the sand; "Professor de Velop at Work" taking the picture of a toy pup and a charming "Escape of a Silhouette" eighteenth centruy lady handed out by a gallant admirer across a broken piece of glass from her frame, and Forbes Helem's strong "Crystal Ballet" with its unusual design in the figure and great space above and his grim but most effective "Horizon 1942."