Aspects of Lawren S. Harris's AestheticsHome
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by Peter Larisey
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30 Lawren Harris, "The Paintings and Drawings of Emily
Carr," Emily Carr: Her Paintings and Sketches (Toronto:
Oxford University Press, 1945), p. 20.
31 Lawren Harris, "Creative Art in Canada" (1928).
32 Lawren Harris, "The Group of Seven and Canadian
History" (1948), p. 37. Harris was quoting verbatim from his
1928 article "Creative Art and Canada," p. 10.
33 Lawren Harris, " Revelation of Art in Canada" (1926),
34 Ibid., pp. 87-88.
37. Bess Harris and R. G. P. Colgrove, eds, Lawren Harris (Toronto:
MacMillan and Co., 1969), p. 48; hereafter referred to as "Colgrove."
38Lawren Harris, "The Federal Art Commission," a letter to
the editor, The Globe (Toronto), 4 June 1914.
39 Lawren Harris, "Creative Art and Canada" (1928), p. 8.
40 Colgrove, p. 48.
41 Ibid., p. 11.
42. Lawren Harris, "Winning a Canadian Background" (1923),
43 Lawren Harris, " Revelation of Art in Canada" ( 1926),
44 Lawren Harris, "Modem Art and Aesthetic Reactions," Canadian
Forum, vol. VII, no. 80 (May 1927), pp. 240-241. Harris was
himself the only Canadian member of the Société Anonyme and was
responsible for the exhibition's coming to Toronto. He argued with
the Exhibition Committee of The Art Gallery of Toronto about it and
threatened to bring the exhibition to Toronto himself and arrange
for its showing, if The Art Gallery of Toronto remained opposed to
it. See letter from Lawren Harris, updated, from Toronto, to the
Exhibition Committee of The Art Gallery of Toronto, on file at the
Art Gallery of Ontario. Harris's correspondence with the American
Katherine Dreier, then president of the Société Anonyme, is at the
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New
In the same year, Harris again contrasts European and Canadian
attitudes - this time to paintings of nudes - in an editorial
article in Canadian Forum, later in 1927." But then what
is commonplace in Paris may be untoward in Toronto." He refers
to the "carloads" of nudes produced by European artists
"monthly," and insists, " Europe accepts them. We
Lawren Harris, "The Nudes at the C. N. E.," Canadian
Forum, vol. VIII, no. 85 (October 1927), p. 391.
45. Lawren Harris, " Revelation of Art in Canada" ( 1926),
46. Lawren Harris, "Creative Art and Canada" (1928), p. 8.
47. Ibid., p. 8-9.
48. Ibid., p. 8.
49. See footnote 32, above. Harris was careful, however, as early as
1928, to dissociate his notions of race and nationalism from the
combative and competitive meanings they were then acquiring. (Lawren
Harris, "Creative Art and Canada" , p. 7.) See also
his condemnation of German racism in his article, "Theosophy
and the Modem World: War and Europe," The Canadian
Theosophist, vol. XIV, no. 9 (15 November 1933), p. 288.
50. The two exhibitions in 1939 in which Harris exhibited as an
American were American Art Today at the New York World's
Fair, and Contemporary Art at the Golden Gate International
Exposition, San Francisco. In the former, Harris's Composition
No. 10 is illustrated on p. 92 of the catalogue, American Art
Today (New York: National Art Society, 1939). Harris is referred
to as coming from New Mexico. In the San Francisco exhibition
catalogue, Harris is referred to as coming from Sante Fe, New
Mexico. His Composition is no. 169 of the list entitled
"The United States" in the Official Catalogue,
Department of Fine Arts, Division of Contemporary Painting and
Sculpture (San Francisco; 1939, n. p.).
However, both at the New York World's Fair and at the Golden Gate
International Exposition, Harris also exhibited as a Canadian. At
New York, in the exhibition of Canadian art, I August - 15 September,
Harris exhibited two works in the exhibition Canadian Group of
Painters. These were Bylot Island, and North Creenland
Coast, nos 20 and 21 in the catalogue, Canadian Croup of
Painters (Ottawa: 1939), p. 9. At San Francisco Harris exhibited
Country North of Lake Superior and Lake and Mountains, nos
7 and 8 in the Canadian section of the same Contemporary Art exhibition
as above. Harris was responsible for the selection of the other
Canadian works for this exhibition (Ibid.).
51 Lawren Harris, "Creative Art and Canada" (1928), p. 7.
52 Colgrove, p. 96.
53 Lawren Harris, 1948, quoted by Sydney Key, in his essay,
"The Paintings," in Lawren Harris: Paintings 1910-1948
(exhibition catalogue) (Toronto: The Art Gallery of Toronto, 1948),
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