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Halifax Harbour 1918 / Le port d’Halifax 1918: Harold Gillman & Arthur Lismer

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A year after the city was devastated by the Halifax Explosion Harold Gilman (British, 1876–1919) and Arthur Lismer (Canadian, 1885–1969) were working in Halifax as war artists. Both commissioned by the Canadian War Memorials Fund to record the war activity on the home front, the two men struck up a friendship and worked side-by-side on occasion.

With the effects of the explosion still clearly visible, Gilman and Lismer turned their attention to the bustling harbour. Gilman seemed to wipe clean the desolation, ignoring the site of a human-made catastrophe in favour of a glowing landscape. In contrast, Lismer, a founding member of the Group of Seven, recorded the port’s activity up close, producing a series of drawings and paintings of camouflaged battleships embedded in the Maritime landscape.

With more than 30 reproductions and essays by Anabelle Kienle Poňka, associate curator, European and American Art at the National Gallery of Canada; Lily Foster, Gilman scholar, and Sarah Fillmore, chief curator, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax Harbour 1918 traces the artists’ meticulous approach to their mission, the challenges of working during the aftermath of the tragedy and their role during a critical moment in the history of Canadian landscape painting.

Halifax Harbour 1918 accompanies an exhibition that will open at the National Gallery of Canada in the fall of 2018 and at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in the spring of 2019.

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From the Back Cover

In the year after Halifax was devastated by the Explosion, Harold Gilman and Arthur Lismer were working in the city as war artists. Commissioned by the Canadian War Memorials Fund to record the war activity on the home front, the two men struck up a friendship and sketched side-by-side on occasion.

With the effects of the Explosion still clearly visible, Gilman and Lismer turned their attention to the busy harbour. Gilman wiped clean the desolation, ignoring the site of a human-made disaster in favour of a serene landscape. His large-scale painting, Halifax Harbour, was his most ambitious canvas and his last undertaking before his early death in 1919. In contrast, Lismer, a founding member of the Group of Seven,recorded the lively activity of the busy naval hub, producing dynamic paintings, prints, and drawings of camouflaged battleships cruising through the Maritime seascape.

Halifax Harbour 1918 examines the genesis of Gilman and Lismer’s evocative and powerful responses to the First World War.

C’est un an après l’explosion qui a provoqué la dévastation d’Halifax qu’Harold Gilman et Arthur Lismer deviennent artistes de guerre dans la ville. Les deux hommes se lient d’amitié en faisant ensemble des esquisses à l’occasion pour le Fonds de souvenirs de guerre canadiens, qui leur a demandé d’immortaliser les activités militaires sur le front intérieur.

Les effets de l’explosion encore visibles, l’attention de Gilman et de Lismer se dirige toutefois sur le port animé. Gilman ignore la désolation, car il choisit de représenter ce site dans un paysage lumineux et non comme un lieu marqué par une catastrophe humaine. Sa très grande toile Le port d’Halifax est l’une de ses plus ambitieuses et la dernière réalisée avant sa mort prématurée en 1919. Quant à Lismer, qui figure parmi les fondateurs du Groupe des Sept, il rend compte des activités portuaires florissantes, en réalisant une série dynamique de tableaux, de dessins et d’estampes intégrant les navires en camouflage aux paysages marins des Maritimes.

Le port d’Halifax 1918 examine la manière évocatrice et puissante avec laquelle Gilman et Lismer ont dépeint la Première Guerre mondiale et l’origine de cette réponse.

About the Author

Anabelle Kienle Poňka is Associate Curator of European and American Art at the National Gallery of Canada where she has curated exhibitions on Van Gogh, Picasso, and Duchamp. A native of Germany, she holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Münster and has worked in Germany, the USA, and Canada.

Anabelle Kienle Poňka est conservatrice associée de l’art européen et américain au Musée des beaux-arts du Canada où elle a organisé des expositions sur Van Gogh, Picasso et Duchamp. Originaire d’Allemagne, elle est titulaire d’un doctorat en histoire de l’art de l’Université de Münster et a travaillé en Allemagne, aux États-Unis et au Canada.

Halifax Harbour 1918 / Le port d'Halifax 1918: Harold Gillman & Arthur Lismer, Goose Lane Editions

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Current Price C $30.03 October 29, 2020
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Anabelle Kienle Poňka

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9781773100876

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EAN List Element: 9781773100876

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Height: 1000, Length: 880, Width: 80

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Height: 80, Length: 1000, Weight: 137, Width: 880

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Halifax Harbour 1918, Le port d'Halifax 1918: Harold Gillman & Arthur Lismer

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