Excerpt from “Modern Art in Canada – The Beginnings”, 1991

The Effects of Theosophy on the work of Lawren S. Harris. From: “Modern Art in Canada – The Beginnings” Modern and Abstract Painting in Canada, 1991

National Film Board of Canada/National Gallery of Canada

© 1991, Courtesy NFB/National Gallery of Canada. All Rights Reserved.


Lawren Harris... However, his increasingly abstract geometric forms were the expression of a spiritual belief. Harris was a Theosophist. Theosophy has influenced some of the most important abstract painters of our time - Malevich, Mondrian. This mystical philosophy holds that certain geometric forms such as the triangle have almost supernatural properties. That's why Harris took such care painting solitary mountains. They are triangles incarnate. Harris once observed, "Mountains to me are holy places. They mediate between this world and the realm beyond."

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