<LAWREN STEWART HARRIS, 1885-1970>   LAWREN HARRIS, Canadian iconic painter and member of the Group of Seven, is making his debut in Los Angeles at the Hammer Museum, partly thanks to actor, comedian and art collector STEVE MARTIN. Reporter Mike Boehm of the Los Angeles Times writes “Martin is using his star power to couch for a little-known talent he thinks the public should know and love – a Canadian landscape painter who died in 1970, famed in his homeland but all but unheard of in the United States.”

LAWRENHARRIS2“By anointing Martin as curator, the Hammer joins a number of museums that have bestowed curatorial laurels on pop-culture celebrities and reaped the attendant publicity. It also reopens a long-running art world debate over whether people who collect a given artist’s work — as Martin does with Harris — should have a hand in curating nonprofit museum exhibitions that have the potential to increase the value of their own art holdings.”

LAWRENHARRIS3<North Shore Lake Superior, Lawren Harris, 1926, National Gallery of Canada>  Mr. Boehm goes on: “auctioneers in Canada who sell Harris’ work think that the L.A. show will boost prices, which regularly top $1 million for prime pieces, with an auction high of $3.5 million.” . . . .  “It could prove a watershed moment for Lawren Harris,” said David Heffel, president of Heffel Fine Art Auction House in TORONTO. Already, the L.A. show has sparked queries from new potential buyers interested in three Harris paintings he’ll be auctioning Nov. 26.  To read the entire Los Angeles Times story go to http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-hammer-steve-martin-20151010-story.htmlLAWRENHARRIS4<PHOTO ABOVE – Group of Seven artists at the Arts & Letters Club in Toronto – Frederick Varley, A.Y. Jackson, Lawren Harris, Arthur Lismer and J.E.H. MacDonald>LAWRENHARRIS1

Mr. (Steve) Martin takes Mr. (Lawren) Harris to LOS ANGELES

LAWRENHARRIS1<STEVE MARTIN, photographed by Kirk McKoy, Los Angeles TimesThe Art Gallery of Ontario has announced that actor-musician-comedian-banjo player-contemporary art collector, STEVE MARTIN, will co-curate a major exhibition of work by Canada’s LAWREN HARRIS for the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles in 2015.  Plans are to tour the exhibit after its California debut, to other American cities, ending up back at the AGO.

LAWRENHARRIS9<LAWREN HARRIS, photographed by M. O. Hammond, April 25, 1926>  Mr. Harris, founder of the Group of Seven, is a Canadian iconic painter.  There are large collections of his work on exhibit at the AGO in TORONTO and the McMichael Collection in KLEINBERG, Ontario.  <IMAGES BELOW – Lawren Harris paints Toronto streets in the snow, 1920-1930;  “North Shore, Lake Superior”, 1926; and “Mount Lefroy”, 1930>




TORONTO’s francophone neighbour, MONTREAL, delivers a ‘Canadien’ winter

MONTREAL5<Corner of Peel and Sainte-Catherine, 1948, Montreal, Adrien Hébert>  As winter approaches, thoughts turn to MONTREAL, that snowy metropolis 350 miles (560 kilometres) northeast of TORONTO.  In Canada, that’s practically next door.  It’s a go-to wintertime destination for Torontonians, searching for a change of scene without crossing an international border.  The two cities are roughly the same size, and each offers an abundance of art, music, dining and architectural experiences, nightlife and theatre.  There’s efficient rail, bus and airline service between them.TORONTOSTREET-HARRIS<Toronto Street, Winter Morning/Lawren Harris, 1920>