LOT 107

1885 - 1969

Light in the Forest
oil on canvas
signed and on verso titled on the Canadian Group of Painters exhibition label and inscribed variously
30 x 20 in, 76.2 x 50.8 cm

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000 CAD

Sold for: $61,250

Preview at:

Private Collection, Vancouver

Canadian Group of Painters Exhibition, Vancouver Art Gallery, 1961, listed, unpaginated

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canadian Group of Painters, 1961
Vancouver Art Gallery, Canadian Group of Painters Exhibition, November 8 - December 4, 1961, and London Public Library and Art Museum, January 1962, catalogue #30
Elsie Perrin Williams Memorial Art Museum, London, Ontario

Compositionally, Light in the Forest is a classic example of Arthur Lismer’s work during his time in British Columbia. When sketching on site, Lismer would routinely flip his sketch box sideways so as to capture the verticality of the old-growth trees. Here, he successfully transfers that dramatic sense of upsweep into this studio work, expressing the forest interior’s lush verdancy. It is important to note that while staying true to the off-hand immediacy found in his oil sketches of 16 x 12 inches, larger canvases such as this one are rare, with works of this subject not often exceeding his mid-size works of 20 x 16 inches.

Throughout his long and well-traveled career, Lismer would gravitate towards bustling, overflowing visual arrangements such as this one. In them, one is conscious of his jubilant colour choices and distinctive textures, but one’s understanding of these works can be strengthened when they are viewed in relation to the artist’s sense of line. Lismer was a remarkable draughtsman, and his fluidly mobile line is an essential aspect of these paintings, providing structure to compositions that might otherwise tumble into chaos.

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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