A word that stood out if you ask me was theosophist. A few of our most recognizably “Canadian” imagery draws from the works of the Band of Seven, whose stylized depictions of the Canadian landscape (coast to coastline) appear to be well-suited for posters, stamps, book covers and the like. However, in this mass reproduction, something of the urgency in the initial works is lost. King’s approach is meticulously chronological.
He begins with the musician as a guy, growing up in a rich, religious family in Brantford, Ont. Lawren’s grandfather, Alanson Harris, was a devout founder and Baptist of the plantation put into action company that eventually comprised half of Massey-Harris; Lawren’s father, Tom, was a secretary for the family business. Lawren’s mother, Annie Stewart, was the daughter of a Baptist minister turned social reformer.
His religious upbringing would have deep effect on his art. King explains Lawren’s early life as proclaimed by frail health insurance and tragedy – when Lawren was only nine years of age, his father died suddenly, and the grouped family relocated to Toronto to be closer to his Annie’s family. Though bright, Lawren had not been studious particularly.
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After he finished senior high school, he enrolled at the University of Toronto, where it quickly became clear that his mind was – his notebooks were full of sketches elsewhere. Around the advice of his professors, his mother decided he should study in Europe. Though Paris was the original training floor for performers in the first 20th century, Harris finished up in Berlin where his aunt and uncle were living.
Berlin at the convert of the last century was an overcrowded, poverty-ridden city, a change from provincial, uptight Toronto. Harris devoted himself to his studies, learning the mechanics of his art and gaining specialized skills in pulling and painting. ’s mark. As being a calling, this was a demonstration of oneness with the soul of the whole land. He settled in Toronto, rented a studio and got married.
His wife, Beatrice (Trixie) Phillips, was the child of the self-made millionaire. Throughout his biography, King parallels Harris’s artistic growth – from moody metropolitan streetscapes to stylized landscapes to colourful abstraction – to changes in his personal life. Throughout his life, the struggle to balance the noticeable and invisible elements of life, whether it is in the relationship between visible representation and spiritualism in his landscapes, or his ongoing cultural struggles, in his marriage especially. In 1934, Lawren and Trixie divorced a radical step for someone in Harris’s sociable class -.
He subsequently used with (and then wedded) Bess Housser, a fellow painter, theosophist and a close friend. This change grades a freeing of Harris’s creative eyesight. The newlyweds moved south of the border, first to New Hampshire, and then to Santa Fe, N.M., where they colored and resided, and it was during this time period that Harris started to experiment with abstraction. The outbreak of the next World War end their time in the United States.