Magnetic North: Imagining Canada in Painting 1910-1940 available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Magnetic North: Imagining Canada in Painting 1910-1940

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A generously illustrated book reviewing Canada's modernism in art history

The early decades of the 20th century were marked by artistic, economic, and social transformation in Canada and around the world. Starting in Toronto, a group of young modern artists, including Tom Thomson, Lawren S. Harris, or Emily Carr in British Columbia, desired to create a new painting vocabulary for the young nation coming into its own cultural identity.

They turned away from city life and explored Canada's landscape, painting sublime vistas, monumental rivers, ancient forests around the great lakes, the mighty Rocky Mountains, and the arctic tundra, determined to break away from European stylistic traditions Together, their paintings imagined a mythical Canada, expansive and rugged, that added to their country's growing sense of national pride. Featuring paintings, sketches, photographs, film stills, and documentary material, this catalogue examines the language of Canadian modernism. It also includes essays and interviews that offer contemporary indigenous perspectives on the impact of industry on nature, issues surrounding national identity, and modern Canadian landscape painting.


  • Author: Martina Weinhart
  • Hardcover: 280 pages | 140 colour illustrations
  • Date published: March 2021
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-3791359946
  • Product Dimensions: 27.5 x 23.5 cm

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