Price Realized: $
Date: 1965
Artist: Alfred Joseph Casson
Medium: oil on board
Dimensions: 12 x 15 in. (30.5 x 38.1 cm)

signed lower right; signed, titled & dated verso
Provenance: Roberts Gallery, Toronto, ON (label verso); Canadian Fine Arts, Toronto, ON (label verso)

Casson, the youngest member of the Group of Seven, was introduced to the original members at the Arts and Letters Club in 1920 by Franklin Carmichael. While he soon became a regular at the Club, and an invited contributor to the Group shows, it was not until 1925 that he was invited to sketch with the Group on a trip to Lake Superior. In 1926, Casson agreed to join the Group, bringing membership back to seven (after Frank Johnston’s departure). That same year, Casson was admitted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, a prestigious accomplishment for an artist only 28 years old. It is a notable that Casson was able to gain the acceptance and respect of both the old and new worlds of Canadian art society.

While an important member of the Group of Seven, Casson was always somewhat removed from the Group, and preferred to set his work apart from that of other members. While most aligned with Carmichael, with whom he shared a similar vision and interests, there came a time when Casson even stopped painting with Carmichael; this is a step he felt necessary in order to to fully realize his own, distinct artistic style.

A. J. Casson’s easily recognizable work is well-loved by Canadian art collectors. His design background is evident in his graceful, streamlined compositions, as is his skillful manipulation of pattern, light and colour, creating landscapes that seem to move. Casson is unique within the Group of Seven, focusing on painting the gentler, civilized, southern Ontario landscapes. Of his role in Canadian Art, Casson says:

“If I have to define my own contribution to the Canadian art scene, what was particularly mine were really the rural villages and houses. In a way, it is a record of a disappearing society and a disappearing world. For me it was always an Ontario quest.”
(“A.J. Casson” ; Art Gallery of Windsor; 1978)

LOT: 68

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