Ahoy, ahoy!  Here’s my third post of the week!  It’s been a bit of whirlwind, coming back after an absence of a few days, but I’ve definitely missed exploring new topics through this blog.  This Thursday, we learned about Modernist movements in the Canadian art world, and how contemporary ideas were slowly beginning to take the place of traditional ones.


The Card Game


The above painting is by John Lyman.  I really liked this painting when it was shown to us in class, though it was the recipient of bad reviews when it was first shown.  The brushwork is free flowing and how the paint is being used is really central to the effect that this work has on the viewer.  It is layers thickly, and the colours are extremely vibrant.  Though the scene is a simple card game, the use of light and shadow and the colours are what stand out in portraying the female figures around the table lantern.

Lyman was one of the first to recognize that many Montreal based artists needed a way to make their art known when he discovered Goodridge Roberts, literally starving on the streets.  He lent Roberts a helping hand in order to get his name out there, and wanted to look for a way to do the same for countless other Montreal artists.  During the 1930s the Canadian art scene was very much based out of Ontario, and artists from Quebec wanted to be recognized on the same level as artists from Ontario.

The Contemporary Arts Society was founded in 1939 by Goodridge Roberts and John Lyman.  The society was based out of Montreal.  This association of modern artists was easy to join in on.  One simply had to have an interest in promoting modern art to Canadians and to not be a member of the Royal Canadian Academy.  The Royal Canadian Academy, at this point in time, had gained a very conservative reputation, and this was an image that Contemporary Art Society was directly opposing.  One did not even have to be an artist to join, as the Contemporary Arts Society had members who curators, collectors and critics in their midst, as well as active contemporary artists.  However, though it was open to any and all artists interested in joining, almost every member was from Quebec.  The Contemporary Arts Society did not receive much attention outside of Montreal, but it definitely made an impact on the art scene and perception of modern art within the city.

That’s all for now!