Nature Rhythms, c. 1950
Lawren S. Harris
oil on canvas
101.7 x 129 cm
Gift of the estate of Bess Harris, and of the three children of Lawren S. Harris, 1973
National Gallery of Canada (no. 17160)
© family of Lawren S. Harris
In "Nature Rhythms", Harris incorporates sweeping lines and organic forms that evoke his landscape paintings of the late 1920s and early 1930s. The vigorously rhythmic shapes and overlapping lines are suggestive of a mountain range receding into the distance or a view into the rupture of a cavernous opening.
Four years after creating "Nature Rhythms", Harris published a treatise on abstract painting. There, he articulated a "new realm" of abstract painting in which "the imagination is released into an illimitable range of new subjects and new visions of old subjects." This painting has often been described as an example of abstract expressionism where "the forms of nature work together in a continuous movement of harmonious formation."