Detail of Emily Carr's "Big Raven", 1931. Oil on canvas. Emily Carr Trust; Vancouver Art Gallery (Trevor Mills)
The Winnipeg Art Gallery is celebrating its centennial year with 100 Masters: Only in Canada.
SCENE is counting down the days till the show opens by taking a closer look at several of the works that will grace the gallery's walls. Curatorial assistant Ali King gave us the details about a popular painting by Emily Carr:
Emily Carr, a painter and writer who lived a relatively isolated life in Victoria, British Columbia, stands today as one of Canada's most popular and important artists.
Her first body of mature work, appearing in 1912, consisted of landscapes and paintings of First Nations villages. Observational and ethnographic, this body of work also displayed distinctly modern passages that convey a vivacious and contemporary view of the life of First Nations people.
Big Raven is one of Carr's most popular works from a series of totem paintings completed at this time. The canvas shows a carved raven totem perched amidst the elements of a swirling West Coast landscape.
All aspects of the work - the totem, the trees, the distant shafts of penetrating light - are articulated by the same smooth modelling, bear the same dimensional girth, and together convey great formal unity.
Yet, as Carr writes in her journal, the image is one of "great loneliness," "great broodiness," and expresses a sense of nature's profound impartiality.
100 Masters: Only in Canada opens May 11 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
Winnipeg Art Gallery celebrates 100 years with 100 Masters.