This exhibition celebrates the year 1924, which has proven to be so significant 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 JasperNational Park to paint. It was Harris's first trip to the Rocky Mountains, Jackson's second. Together they explored MaligneLake, ShovelPass, the ColinRange and the Tonquin and AthabascaValleys.
It was the beginning of six years of trips west for Harris, a period full of change, intellectual and philosophical exploration and a time in which 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. The trip must have been quite an adventure - two remarkable painters in a remarkable setting.
This exhibition was conceived by Calgary curator Lisa Christensen and first presented at the EdmontonArtGallery in 1999. 15 years later, we are bringing the work 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.