MMFA, purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, Photo: MMFA, Christine Guest
Prudence Heward, "At the Theatre," 1928
oil on canvas, 40” x 40”
Organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
The Beaver Hall Group is inextricably linked with the history of art in Montreal, Quebec and Canada. Initially considered to be a Montreal counterpart to Toronto's Group of Seven, the group stood apart through their work: rather than offering an image of Canadian identity through depictions of the untamed landscapes of a northern country, the Montreal artists imbued the inhabited landscapes of a northern culture with the colours of modernity. They also painted many portraits that convey this same quest for modernism; these works rank among the most remarkable in the history of Canadian art. The male-female parity within the group - a first in Quebec as in Canada - is another resolutely modern trait. The exhibition 1920s Modernism in Montreal: The Beaver Hall Group presents works by its official members as well as by artists associated with them through friendship and solidarity; it demonstrates that the group's diversity fuelled rich and fruitful exchanges.