Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Doris McCarthy one more time

Fantasy Iceberg #40   1989  by Doris McCarthy






Today I was reading Robert Genn’s newsletter, where a young woman from Brazil wrote to him saying that she was having difficulty getting back to painting after the death of her grandfather.  Robert said how important it was for her to get back to work, it’s what her grandfather would have wanted. He said, “His passing is your gift; it is his breath you continue to breathe, and the brilliance that was within him is now passed on to you. It is a legacy not to be passed up".  Robert mentioned how, "We the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Artists need to be aware of the continuum.

Mentioning the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Artists, made me think of the funeral service held yesterday for the young Sgt. Ryan Russell, a member of the Toronto Police Force, who was killed last week in the line of duty. Twelve thousand members of police forces, RCMP and military came to Toronto from across Canada to attend his funeral at the Toronto Convention Centre. The funeral procession wound through the city all morning, arriving at the Convention Centre in the early afternoon.  The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario was there.  In their very numbers, the police presented a strong, ‘family’ show of support for their fallen member and his young family. It made me somewhat envious of their close sense of comradeship. 

As artists we normally work alone in our studios.  There is some degree of competition between us as we vie for grants, for our work to be hung in juried exhibitions, for sales in galleries, for public gallery exhibitions.  Perhaps it’s our individualistic personalities that create this relative isolation or the nature of our work.  Imagine so many other artists from across Canada coming to the funeral of one of us. There were not twelve thousand artists at the funeral of Doris McCarthy last November.  She was a 100-year-old icon in the Canadian art world.  She enriched the lives of all Canadians with her work and made a huge contribution to the history of Canadian art.

Alan Bryce, who holds the largest private collection of Doris McCarthy’s paintings, opened his exhibition of her work last week at Spazio dell’arte, 400 Eastern Ave. Suite 201, Toronto.  The exhibition, called:  Honouring Doris McCarthy, A Collector’s Passion runs until February 12, 2011.

In the entranceway you are met by these words of the artist:

“oh, I love the world!
I love nature!
I love creation!”

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