Maloney writes: "The paintings in The Idea of North are fluid, frictionless semblances of place, composed of rhythmic forms that fold and undulate. They are ideas instead of sites. Each group shares the distinctive traits that signal the artist’s style during this period: centrally composed landscapes with slaking light and scant vegetation. Trees are bare or dead. The time of day is indistinguishable. Mountains and clouds predominate, homologously shaped by the same forces: wind, water, snow. Architecture is almost entirely absent ... Harris’s landscapes are unpopulated, and we are situated at their edge, peering in, as if not to sully them."
Milroy writes that "Ross King [recently] debunked the popularly held Canadian view of these artists as pioneer woodsmen-savants, revealing instead their ties to the painterly traditions of Britain, France and Holland. This well-timed exhibition thus allowed us the opportunity to reconsider their accomplishments in light of this argument, demonstrating how their passionate love of the land was married to a painterly sophistication honed in dialogue with inherited artistic traditions."
Enderby writes: "United by a common aim to challenge accepted authority, the modus operandi of Thomson and the group was to create a visual language and artistic identity to express the Canadian landscape, breaking all previous moulds... However, we also gauge from the work how these artists were interested in exploring and grappling with the desire for a new artistic identity through experimentation with style, such as (post) impressionism and fauvism."
Painter Philip Koch writes about Lawren Harris "a Canadian landscape painter active in the earlier years of the 20th century... a northern equivalent of the American regionalist painters Charles Burchfield and Grant Wood." Koch admires, among other things, the way Harris "can combine the most muscular massive shapes ... with the most delicate and lace like pattern."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.