Lawren Stewart Harris is one of the most important figures in 20th century Canadian art. A founder and leader of the renowned Group of Seven in the 1920s, Harris was instrumental in forging a modernist school and style of landscape painting that has long embodied Canadian national identity. Later influences and experiences in the United States transformed Harris's art and led him to experiment boldly with abstraction. Harris lived in the United States during two distinct periods in the 1930s, first in Hanover, New Hampshire, and then in Taos, New Mexico, where he formed the Transcendental Painting Group (TPG) with Raymond Jonson, Emil Bisttram, Agnes Pelton, and others. In 1940, Harris moved to Vancouver, and for the rest of his life continued to create uncompromisingly original abstract paintings that derived in part from his interests in Theosophy and Transcendentalism, as well as in European and American modernism, including the writings and paintings of Kandinsky. This volume includes an essay exploring Harris's career and his place in Canadian art by noted scholar Ian M. Thom, senior curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and a more interpretive and poetic essay by Andrew Hunter, an independent scholar based in Dundas, Ontario, that constitutes a meditation upon Harris's oeuvre and his journey to abstraction.
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