Doris McCarthy at mid-career, experiencing the creative energy of the 50′s and early 60′s, experimented with current painting approaches of abstraction.
In the 1957 watercolour Sanctuary Lake, Haliburton, McCarthy was breaking her compositions into prisms of light and shape while maintaining an overall literal image, each partitioned shape highlighting, but not distorting, a moment in the overall scene and focusing on colour, form and light.
Following this period, and adding hard edge abstraction to her practice during the 1960′s, she painted the rhythmic Grass Tufts, Georgian Bay. The literal was hinted at while shape and colour dominated to great impact.
In the early 1950′s, and before she made her summer studio each year at Georgian Bay, McCarthy spent the summers, when not traveling, at Fool’s Paradise her home and studio on the Scarborough Bluffs, Toronto. In Asters in the Fields at Fool’s Paradise, with FP in its summer glory, she captured this moment, the patterns of the flora, the immediateness of the eroding bluffs, her beloved place nestled within, where she built her life, studio and home. She reveled in this place -it was her touchstone throughout.
These seminal periods, through the 50′s and 60′s, are key to the work that followed and, in fact, the next 40 years of her career. In 1973 following her first sketching trip to the Arctic, McCarthy, within her long tradition of printmaking, celebrated that trip with three large collographic plates, printing only a few impressions off each plate at the time.
In her last year she, in conjunction with the Doris McCarthy Gallery, U. of T. (DMG) and with a master printer at Open Studio, Toronto, revisited these plates, saved in her archives at DMG, and a small edition of each was released for the first time.
The vibrant and dynamic Iceberg Series 2 is one of the three brilliant works, showing the amalgamation of her career to this point and previewing much of what was to come.