Thirty-ninth annual exhibition of the B.C.
Society of Fine Arts at
the Gallery, opened Monday by Mayor Thompson, is undoubtedly one
of the finest displays by this leading professional artist organization.
The show, occupying entire main floor of the Gallery, lasts until May 2.
A lively spirit runs through most of the display, with great variety of
expression and many points of view. As a whole, and excepting a few
distinctly inferior works, one feels that the creative impulse has
been active during the past year among these experienced painters
of the province. Most of the Society's artists, and guest artists,
have not been content to repeat former successes.
While the methods of expression are various, from the abstract to
the representative, the general tendency towards art of our times
is pronounced. In other words modern art, with its modifications
and transitions from older styles, is no longer on the defensive
but is much favored and has apparently strongly influenced many of
the leading painters in the west.
TAKE HIS WORD
In the pronounced swing to the left we find of course
Lawren Harris, with his purely
non-objective "Variations on a Theme" and two remarkable canvases by
B.C. Binning, dealing in an abstract way
with ships and indicating that this younger artist has definitely won
his spurs among the most compelling abstractionists of North America.
In the same field of expression but using richer and more violent
colours are Joe Plaskett,
Lionel Thomas, and
Stanley Brunst. Mr. Plaskett calls one of
his canvases "The Bridge, New Westminster" and most observers, while
probably moved by his composition of rich colors, will be obliged to
accept the artist's word in regard to the title, perhaps deeming it
of secondary importance.
In the more representational school W.P. Weston,
ARCA, refusing to rest on past laurels, show five large paintings into
all of which he has injected a fresh note. Especially fine in rhythmic
movement are his logs on Kew Beach and a majestic view of Anvil Island.
Mildred Valley Thornton's Indian dance,
with a telling native design in the upper part of the canvass (sic),
is easily her best picture. She has entered with much liveliness into
free interpretation of her subject matter.
All of the contributions by Dorothy Bell,
especially her fine "Point Grey ("Street", Ed.) in Winter" show a stride ahead in
this artist's work. Paul Rand's large picture
"Timbermen" is likewise an improvement and the best in his series of
pictures showing men at work in mines.
To attempt to discuss all the worthwhile oil paintings among the
eighty-one exhibits in this medium would be an impossible task
without going into considerable length. However, one can not omit
mentioning the sensitive pictures of mountain scenery by
Bess Harris, the forthright affirmatively
painted oils by Helen West and pictures by
Leon Manuel, and
Another visit to the Gallery is necessary to appreciate the numerous
fine watercolors, pastels, graphic arts and sculpture included in this
unusually impressive display by British Columbia artists.