National Gallery's Group of Seven Exhibition Travels to China
Ottawa, Canada - March 28, 2001
« L'exposition du Goupe des Sept organisée par le Musée des beaux-arts effectue une tournée en Chine »
"With the breath of the Four Seasons in one's breast, one will be able to create on paper. The Five Colours, well applied, enlighten the World"
...The breath of the Four Seasons must ever be our basic inspiration.
- J.E.H. MacDonald, quoting a Chinese writer
Following the successful presentation over the past two years of a Group of Seven exhibition in Mexico, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, the National Gallery of Canada is pleased to announce the tour of Terre Sauvage: The Canadian Landscape and the Group of Seven to China. Some 73 oil sketches and paintings by Tom Thomson and members of the Group of Seven will travel to 4 venues in China, from 19 April to 23 September 2001.
Terre Sauvage: The Canadian Landscape and the Group of Seven includes major works by Tom Thomson and the artists who would form the Group of Seven in 1920, after Thomson's death. Tom Thomson (1877-1917), Lawren S. Harris (1885-1970), J.E.H. MacDonald (1873-1932), Arthur Lismer (1885-1969), A.Y. Jackson (1881-1969), Fred Varley (1881-1969), Franz Johnston (1888-1949), and Franklin Carmichael (1890-1945) first came together in Toronto around 1913, inspired by the common idea to create an art uniquely expressive of Canada, its land, and its people.
"The artists' goals were idealistic and the source for this New Art lay in the Canadian landscape ," said Charles C. Hill, Curator of Canadian Art, National Gallery of Canada and curator of the exhibition. "Through their painting, Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven attained an international audience for Canadian art and for Canada."
The National Gallery of Canada shared the Group of Seven's vision for Canada's rightful place in the world of art. Despite constant opposition from critics, members of the public, and even Members of Parliament, who saw the work of the Group of Seven as representing the crudest aspects of the Canadian landscape, Eric Brown, the National Gallery of Canada's first Director, saw the importance of this new movement from the start, and boldly supported the artists by acquiring and exhibiting their work.
Terre Sauvage: The Canadian Landscape and the Group of Seven will be on view at the Yanhuang Art Museum in Beijing, from 19 April to 20 May 2001; at the Shanghai Art Museum in Shanghai, from 2 June to 24 June 2001; at the Guangdong Museum of Art in Guangzhou, from 10 July to 10 August 2001; and the Guanshanyue Art Museum in Shenzhen, from 20 August to 23 September 2001.
Terre Sauvage: The Canadian Landscape and the Group of Seven is presented by Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Barristers & Solicitors and supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China under the terms of the Canada-China Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Exchanges and Cooperation. The exhibition is co-organized by the National Gallery of Canada and the China International Exhibition Agency in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada, the Canadian Embassy in China and the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Canada. The Tour Patrons are: the Canadian Pacific Charitable Foundation, McCain Foods Limited, and PBB Global Logistics.
A fully illustrated 80-page catalogue, written by Charles C. Hill and published by the China International Exhibition Agency, accompanies the exhibition. The catalogue, produced in Mandarin only, provides a history of the movement together with biographical notes on the individual artists.
The exhibition consists of remarkable oil sketches and canvases, drawn largely from the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, and includes loans from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, le Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, and the London Regional Art and Historical Museums
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