Karen's Studio Blog

Lawren Harris image
Lawren Harris, Mt. Lefroy, 1930, Oil on canvas. 52.5" x 60.4". Quote from Lawren Harris, 1969

Greetings and Salutations,

Steve Martin
I read The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris not knowing much about the artist. I had come across a few images of Mr. Harris’s work and fell in love with them. I immediately requested both of the books that featured his work from the library and The Idea of North was one. That’s how I found out that Steve Martin is an art lover and an extremely knowledgeable one at that.

The Canadian Seven
During college, I had briefly looked at the art group called The Canadian Seven. At that time, I was more interested in Tom Thomson so I didn’t remember much about the other six. Mr. Harris was the founder of the group. More importantly, he developed a unique style of Canadian painting that he felt was instrumental in creating a national identity. As interested as I was in Lawren Harris and this exhibition of his work, I became very fascinated by the fact that Steve Martin had curated it and wrote about the experience.

Yes, That Steve Martin: The Wild and Crazy Guy
At first I was expecting the Steve Martin I’ve seen on t.v. The wild and crazy guy, right? Instead, it was the incredibly brilliant Steve Martin that loves art and in particular the work of Lawren Harris. The writing was amazing and his passion is extremely contagious. He talks about being the curator for this exhibition and how he went about choosing the work. It’s a wonderful behind the scenes peek into this process, but also into Steve Martin, the Curator.

Come for the insights and stay for the art
Books that accompany block buster exhibitions, like this one, are best for the images of art and not necessarily the essays contained within. The art of Lawren Harris and the writing by Steve Martin are definitely the highlights of the book.
Have you read this book too? Do you read the essays in books for exhibitions? Do you like them? What was the last book you read about an artist? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Take care and have a beautiful day,

PS: The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris. Curated by Steve Martin in collaboration with Cynthia Burlingham and Andrew Hunter, 2015. © Art Gallery of Ontario, and The Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center, Inc.

The Idea of North exhibition page on the website of The Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center, Inc.

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