Tom Thomson: Trees by Joan Murray
8vo. pp. 128. profusely illustrated in colour & b/w. hardcover boards. dw. Toronto: McArthur & Company, .
ISBN: 1552780929 / 9781552780923
The art of Tom Thomson represents one of the highpoints of Canadian modernism, which flourished in the first two weeks of this century.During his brief art career, lasting just five years, (1911-1917), Thomson evolved a highly intense, naturalistic style, introducing formal innovations and challenging the idiom of the tonal landscape painters popular in his day. Thomson's idiosyncratic Expressionistic landscape art reflected the intellectual and psychological climate of Canada at the time. It developed against the complex cultural background that produced such important figures as the poets bliss carmen and Duncan Campbell Scott and later, the Group of Seven
Despite his short creative life, and only half a decade of mature artistic activity, Thomson, a suberb designer, produced an extensive body of work- more than thirty canvases and three hundred oil sketches in a remarkably personal style characterized by unusual colour combinations and strong pattern. Through the conveyed the existential dimensions of nature, making Algonquin Park, its trees, waters, and winds, the principal subject of his work.
This beautiful book focuses on one series in his work - trees. The motif had been a favourite of his from the earliest days of his art. From 1914 on, the selection of a single tree as a motif was his way of researching and presenting a new painting place, Algonquin Park