Meet the Group of Seven
Reviewed: August 31, 2002
By: David Wistow & Kelly McKinley
Publisher: Kids Can Press
48 Pages; Numerous photos and illustrations, $16.95
may actually seem a bit old fashioned now, but when the members of the Group of
Seven started showing their work under that name back in 1920 they raised a lot
more than a few eyebrows with what was then their fresh, new approach to
were used to a European style of representational art, canvases with lots of
people, buildings and human artifacts.
The ten painters usually associated with the group were more interested
in nature, in the shapes and forms they found on the land and the way they
interacted with each other.
follow this interest they tried to get away from the cities and see the land in
the raw, taking annual railway trips into northern Ontario, for instance, and
living in a boxcar on a siding for a few weeks while they made quick sketches
of subjects they would explore in more detail in their studios when they went
of them, A.Y. Jackson for instance, even travelled to the North in search of
landscape to record. Between their own work and that of associates such as
Emily Carr on the west coast, they began to change the way that people looked
at the nation.
it seems a bit old hat today, that's simply an indication of how pervasive
their influence has been over time.
and McKinley's book has been prepared with the resources of the Art gallery of
Ontario behind them, massive resources which I last viewed the summer before
last. Organized into 20 short chapters,
most set up as two page spreads, the book gives a beginning art student of any
age a first look at the group: who they
were, what they painted, what was new about them, and what kind of a mark they
left behind them. It is profusely illustrated with dozens of colour plates and
period black and white photographs.
is an excellent resource for the age range (age 8 and up) and a good review of
the subject for people of any age.