March 12–June 12, 2016

Lawren Harris

Modern Connections from the MFA Collection

Gain further insight into Lawren Harris and connections to his US contemporaries in nearby galleries in the Art of the Americas Wing’s third level.

The MFA’s outstanding collection of American modernism offers a special opportunity to create a strong dialogue between major works by Lawren Harris and other modern American paintings, photographs, and works on paper. In Gallery 334, the MFA’s traditional home for paintings from the Lane Collection, Steve Martin, a knowledgeable and avid collector of American modernism, selected works that resonate with his understanding of the work of Lawren Harris as an important modern painter of the Americas. Martin came to the MFA in September to view the American paintings collection in storage, looking at works by artists such as Arthur Dove, Georgia O’Keeffe, Rockwell Kent, and Marsden Hartley, and discussed the various connections between American modernism and Harris’s work. The final group of works on view has been shaped by Steve Martin in collaboration with the MFA and Andrew Hunter, curator of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

The Robert and Jane Burke Gallery, 335, includes works on paper by Lawren Harris relating to two paintings he sent to the International Exhibition of Modern Art, held at the Brooklyn Museum in 1926, as well as works by artists like Alfred Stieglitz, Max Weber, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Joseph Stella, who were also represented in the 1926 exhibition, with different selections. This installation explores how, through an alternate lens of city, industry, and nature, artists of the United States were contemplating similar themes of spirituality and stillness that Harris sought in his paintings of the North.

Above: Arthur Garfield Dove, Square on the Pond, 1942. Wax-based paint on canvas. Gift of William H. and Saundra B. Lane and Henry H. and Zoe Oliver Sherman Fund, M. Theresa B. Hopkins Fund, Seth K. Sweetser Fund, Robert Jordan Fund and Museum purchase. © Estate of Arthur G. Dove.

  • Saundra B. and William H. Lane Galleries (Gallery 334)
  • Robert and Jane Burke Gallery (Gallery 335)