SOURCE: Audain Art Museum

Audain Art Museum

SOURCE: The Audain Foundation

The Audain Foundation

December 11, 2017 12:30 ET

Rare Emily Carr Painting Headed for Whistler

WHISTLER, BC--(Marketwired - December 11, 2017) - One of the most important paintings of Canadian artist Emily Carr has recently been acquired by the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. Entitled Le Paysage, the picture was painted in 1911 during the period in which Carr was studying in Brittany, France, under British artist Harry Gibb.

"What makes this painting phenomenally important in Canadian art history is that it is definitely one of two Carr works that were accepted for the 1911 Salon d'Automne at the Grand Palais," says Darrin Martens, the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chief Curator at the Museum.

The Salon d'Automne is an annual art exhibition held in Paris since 1903 which became the showpiece of innovation in 20th century art. In 1905, the Salon bore witness to the birth of Fauvism and in 1910 the launch of Cubism by artists such as Picasso and Braque.

"It's amazing to think that a virtually unknown artist from Victoria, B.C. had two paintings accepted by the jury of this prestigious exhibition, particularly given that works by women were so rare," says Michael Audain, whose family foundation put up just under $1 million for the Museum to acquire the picture from a private collector. "But, on this occasion, Emily Carr had two works up on the wall in the same company as great artists of the day: Bonnard, Braque, Leger, Matisse, and Picasso. Imagine what that must have done for her self confidence," Audain adds.

Originally called Le Paysage and later just "Brittany", the picture is known to be genuine as Emily Carr sent it to Dr. Max Stern at the Dominion Gallery in Montreal with this information. She also wrote on the back in her own hand "exhibited in Paris Salon." The other painting, Autumn in France, which accompanied this work has been in the National Gallery of Canada's collection since 1948.

"It is tragic that when Emily Carr returned to Victoria with art which reflected shades of French Impressionism, it provoked such ridicule that for a decade she virtually gave up painting," says Martens. "Yet, the acceptance of this picture by the Salon d'Automne is a testament that Carr had the potential of becoming an important artist even if she had never returned to our shores."

In recent years, Emily Carr has been receiving international attention. In 2012 her work was featured at the important documenta (13) exhibition in Kassel, Germany, then in November 2014 at the Dulwich Picture Gallery near London, and early this year at the d'Orsay Museum in Paris.

Whistler's Audain Art Museum houses one of the leading collections of Emily Carr's works, along with in-depth holdings of First Nations and contemporary art from the Northwest Coast. In 2019 the Museum will mount the first exhibition of Emily Carr's French work, which so influenced her later development to become Canada's best known artist.

Background

The Audain Art Museum is located on Blackcomb Way adjacent to Whistler Village.

Opened in 2016, the Museum houses a large portion of the art collection that Michael Audain and his wife Yoshiko Karasawa amassed over the past 40 years. Their world-class Northwest Coast art collection is on permanent display, plus there are galleries for special exhibitions of Canadian and international art. Open year round, the Museum is an attraction for Whistler's 12,000 residents and the three million annual visitors to the four-season mountain resort.

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