The lecture will explore the work of two groups of Canadian artists: those with an indigenous background whose work comes from a tradition developed over thousands of years; and those with an immigrant background (mostly European) going back only as far as the start of the colonial period in the 18th century.
The principal focus under the immigrant heading will be the Group of Seven: Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J. E. H. MacDonald, and Frederick Varley. They were a loose association of men with a British background who set out to develop a distinctly Canadian style of landscape painting. Associated with the group, other important artists that we shall look at include Tom Thomson and Emily Carr.
Indigenous artists paint relatively few landscapes and often portray myth and traditional culture. Their styles vary geographically. Those whose backgrounds and work we shall explore include, on the west coast, Bill Read and Mungo Martin; in northern Ontario, Daphne Odjig and Norval Morrisseau; and in the Arctic, Kenojuak Ashevak, and Peter Kooyoo.