The turning-pointfor Adamsonismarkedbythepicture'AboveLakeSuperior ' c Fromthattimeon Harrisbecame moreandmorepreoccupied with hisTheosophical beliefs,and in the mostinterestingsections of histext Adamsonanalyzes Harris'sLake Superior,RockyMountain,and Arcticcanvases asexpressions of Theosophical theories ofcolourandcomposition. This discussion isgreatlyenriched byincluding contemporary Theosophical discussions of Harris's art.
The pictureof Harrisasan artistthatemerges from Adamson's studyisin factquitesimilarto theonepresented byNorthropFryein hiscommentary upontheHarrisretrospective attheArt Gallery ofTorontoin Harris,he argued, wasa painter with 'a stronglyintellectualmind which imposesa pictorialform onnature.
All art imposes form, and one can as Adamsonhasdone studythe Theosophical blueprintsfrom whichHarris projected ontothecanvas hiswilderness landscapes. The other sideof this question,however,needsto be analyzed.
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Harris, ratherunfortunately, did notunderstand hisrelationship to 'nature'in these terms. At anumberof points inAdamson's study thewords of Harrishimselfunderlinethepowerof thisconviction; butin thisstudyHarris remains anintellectual painterratherthanamystical one. Therearetwootheraspects ofAdamson's interpretation thatonemightalso query. The chaptersalternatebetweenurban scenes and wilderness landscapes , butthetextdoesnotanalyze effectively therelationship between the twocategories of pictures. The 'key'pictures inAdamson's studyarealmost all landscapes, andyettheurbanscenes seemto haveprefigured thewilderness pictures inbothatheological andaformalsense.
Mortonhasspeculated upon a rural-urbanrhythm in Canadianlife: thismight wellbe an overly romantic notion but it is one which the title of the exhibition and Harris's own lifestrongly suggest should beexploredin ananalytical fashion.
Behind the Scenes: Wilderness Team
The secondissuealsorelatesto the interpretationof the urban scenes. Adamson discountsthe role Of Harris and hisart asa form Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.
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Wild western scenes : a narrative of adventures in the wilderness : wherein the exploits of Daniel Boone, the great American pioneer are particularly described; also, accounts of bear, deer, and buffalo hunts--desperate conflicts with the savages--wolf hunts--fishing and fowling adventures--encounters with serpents, etc.
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Author Jones, J. John Beauchamp , Published