books | Art | 9780864929655
Higher States
Higher States
204 pages
Pub date: February 7, 2017
Rights: World
Goose Lane Editions & McMichael Canadian Art Collection
coming soon
Higher States: Lawren Harris and His American Contemporaries
Roald Nasgaard (Author)
Gwendolyn Owens (Author)

Lawren S. Harris is best known for his iconic landscape paintings that declare a sense of cool Canadian resilience. Yet, in the 1920s, an audacious and more colourful interior world began to emerge in his work, and by 1934, he had taken a seemingly unexpected turn toward a transnational career in abstract painting.

The social, intellectual, and aesthetic milieu of American transcendentalism shaped a movement of abstract art across North America. Inspired by the ideas of Kandinsky and informed by the writings of Emerson and Whitman, Harris and his North American contemporaries — Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Katherine Dreier, Raymond Jonson — turned to abstraction to express higher states of consciousness.

As Harris’s career progressed, as he ascended from mountain tops to inner states of mind, he sought greater and more ethereal spiritual heights. This magnificent volume features reproductions of more than 75 paintings by Harris and his contemporaries. Essays by Roald Nasgaard and Gwendolyn Owens investigate Lawren Harris’s exploration of modernity and the evolution of his work towards a form of abstraction that enthusiastically embraced the energies of the ambient visual culture.

Higher States: Lawren Harris and His American Contemporaries accompanies an exhibition organized by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection that will open in February 2017, followed by a North American tour to the Glenbow Museum in Calgary and the Americas Society in New York.

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