Lawren Harris

Lawren Harris

Style: Group of Seven

Lived: October 23, 1885 - January 29, 1970 (20th century)

Nationality: Canada

Abstract art is a creative interplay between the conscious and the unconscious, with the conscious mind making all the final decisions and in control throughout.

Beauty is a living abiding presence completely untouchable by all the devices of man, such as moral codes, creeds, intellectual analysis, games and cliches, the acquisitive instinct, or lust for anything whatsoever.

Every work of art which really moves us is in some degree a revelation – it changes us.

It requires a conviction that every people has a unique contribution to give to mankind, and that this they must make or remain sterile, subservient, sallow, and that this contribution they must have commenced to make before they can hope to understand the spirit that informs all great works and inspires all noble living.

It requires courage to face and to conquer the immense weight of inertia and the dead and dying traditions and sophistications that clutter the minds of men and mould them into the mimicry of living ways...

If we view a great mountain soaring into the sky, it may excite us, evoke an uplifted feeling within us. There is an interplay of something we see outside of us with our inner response. The artist takes that response and its feelings and shapes it on canvas with paint so that when finished it contains the experience.

Art is not an amusement, nor a distraction, nor is it, as many men maintain, an escape from life. On the contrary, it is a high training of the soul, essential to the soul's growth, to its unfoldment.

In the inner place where true artists create there exists a pure child.

The truth is that works of art test the spectator much more than the spectator tests them.

We were told, quite seriously, that there never would be a Canadian art because we had no art tradition.

Art is long, life is short. A picture can become for us a highway between a particular thing and a universal feeling.

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