1904 - 1987
oil on canvas
signed and on verso dated late 1930s on the gallery label
32 x 26 in, 81.3 x 66 cm
Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Sold for: $3,438
Heffel Gallery Ltd., Vancouver
Private Collection, British Columbia
Thom, Ian, Art BC: Masterworks from British Columbia, Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver Art Gallery, 2000, page 54
British Columbia’s first professional woman sculptor, Beatrice Lennie was part of the first graduating class of the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Art in 1929. When Frederick Varley and Jock Macdonald started the BC College of Fine Arts in 1933, she was hired to lead the sculpture department. She studied further under Charles Marega (known for sculpting the Lions of the Lions Gate Bridge in Stanley Park), as well as Diego Rivera. After the closure of the BC College of Fine Art, she opened the Beatrice Lennie School of Sculpture in 1936 at 13th and Granville in Vancouver. After a few years she closed the school and began teaching at Crofton House School at 41st and Blenheim. Solo exhibitions of her work were held at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1948 and posthumously in 1997.
This abstract work was likely painted in the latter half of the 1930s during the peak years of her creative output, a time in which Vancouver Art Gallery curator Ian Thom stated that Lennie produced “the first significant wholly abstract art in British Columbia.” A stylistically similar painting of hers, described by Thom as her most important painted abstraction, entitled The Atom, circa 1938, is in the collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
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