Emily Carr is a household name in Canada, but now — nearly seven decades after her death — the work of the iconic West Coast painter is taking the spotlight at the Documenta art show in Germany.

Held every five years, Documenta is a prestigious showcase of international modern and contemporary art, with a section of its programming earmarked for historical artists.

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The Aboriginal and forest themes explored by Emily Carr, seen in her studio in 1939, have sparked interest in Europe and in China, says art collector and philanthropist Michael Audain. (Vancouver Art Gallery)

This year, Victoria-born Carr is among those featured artists, with Documenta curators calling on the Vancouver Art Gallery to loan seven significant canvasses from its permanent collection for the show in Kassel, Germany.

"I believe her star is still ascending and she's going to be discovered by the world," celebrated art philanthropist and collector Michael Audain told CBC News.

"It was a dramatic moment for me personally to see Carr's work on display at Documenta," said Ian Thom, the gallery's senior curator, historical.

"I'm very much looking forward to so many people from around the world having this opportunity to see her work."

The last edition of Documenta, held in 2007, drew more than 750,000 people from around the globe.

Documenta 13 opens Saturday and, as per custom, runs for 100 days. Other Canadians invited to exhibit at this year's edition include Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Geoffrey Farmer, Brian Jungen and Gareth Moore.

"Vanquished"

Emily Carr's oil-on-canvas painting Vanquished, dating from 1930, is one of the seven works the Vancouver Art Gallery loaned to the latest edition of Documenta in Germany. (Trevor Mills/Vancouver Art Gallery)

With files from Zulekha Nathoo