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Lawren Harris, Athabasca Valley, Jasper Park, 1924. Oil on panel. Art Gallery of Alberta Collection, gift of The Ernest E. Poole Foundation, 1975.
This exhibition celebrates the year 1924—a significant year in the history of art in Alberta. By 1924, members of Canada’s Group of Seven had expanded the subject matter of their paintings to include western Canada. In August of that year, Lawren S.Harris, a founder and key spokesperson for the Group, and fellow Group member A.Y. Jackson travelled to Jasper National Park to paint.
It was the beginning of six years of trips west for Harris—a period full of change, as well as intellectual and philosophical exploration and a time when he would produce many magnificent works. For Jackson, however, 1924 marked the end of mountain painting, his work in ensuing years would include only distant horizons of the mountains where, but for a few exceptions, they played a secondary compositional role.
Lawren Harris and A.Y. Jackson: Jasper/ Robson, 1924 was conceived by Calgary curator Lisa Christensen and first presented at the Edmonton Art Gallery in 1999. Fifteen years later, the exhibition is being brought back together again to celebrate the AGA’s 90th Anniversary. First incorporated as the Edmonton Museum of Art on August 18, 1924, the AGA’s birth was coincident with the Harris/ Jackson trip to Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and Byron Harmon’s expedition to the Columbia Icefield.
This exhibition is organized by the Art Gallery of Alberta and curated by Catherine Crowston.