Focus on Doris McCarthy_ the Arctic and beyond

Doris McCarthy, Pressure Ice in Late Light, Broughton Island, 1984, oil on canvas

Pressure Ice in Late Light, Broughton Island, Doris McCarthy, 1984, oil on canvas, 40″ x 54″

McCarthy _the Arctic and Beyond is the first of the Focus series presenting for sale selections of work by many of our artists from over the last 54 years.

Previews: November 25-26, by appointment

November 27-December 11, open by appointment,
Wednesday through Friday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm;
Saturday, 1:00pm to 4:00 pm.
email:; phone: 416-504-7731
Located in the east end of The Beach, Toronto.
COVID protocol applies.

You can almost feel the warmth of the sun scuttling along over the pressure ice in Pressure Ice in the late light, Broughton Island, as the open water and ice floes push and creak their way along in never ending abstract patterns (-a boon for Doris). And the sun tipped mountains with patterns of snow reflecting those of the floes. A wonder that Doris made even more dramatic in this stunning painting.

In 1984, when first exhibited at the Wynick/Tuck Gallery, it was one of a small number of larger scale canvases that Doris painted, during each body of work, at Fool’s Paradise, (FP) her Scarborough home and studio. Through the winter months, Doris referred to her plein-air panels, watercolours and photographic documentation, recalling the most recent trips, in the studio warmed by its Franklin wood stove, keeping Doris and her oil paints ready to go.

Doris McCarthy, Untitled, (Boulders opening to the distant sky), 1973, oil on panel

Untitled, (Pangnirtung Fiord with floes), Doris McCarthy, 1973, oil on panel, 12″ x 16″

Following her retirement from teaching art in 1971, her sketching trips traditionally began in April, whether in Canada or abroad. During May, Doris preferred to be at FP to catch the re-awakening of her surroundings, the garden, her veg. patch, the apple trees she had planted, blossoming, and the ever changing light on her pond.

Before heading up to the Georgian Bay studio in July and August, most years she travelled to the Arctic, at the time when the ice was beginning to melt and the water opening up just a bit around the icebergs and floes allowing for the reflected light and fractured colours that Doris could capture so well. Pangnirtung Fiord with Floes (above) is one of the brilliant and rare works completed on her second trip in 1973 -a revelatory view down the Fiord!

Doris McCarthy, Untitled, (Boulders opening to the distant sky), 1973, oil on panel

Untitled, (Boulders opening to the distant sky), Doris McCarthy, 1973, oil on panel, 12″ x 16″

On the same trip, centred with friends in Frobisher Bay, she painted this “monumental” work (above), rocks bursting out of the frame loaded with quick colour strokes and highlighted by the abstract drifts of white snow in the foreground. Then the swirl of open water, brilliant blues beyond and the striations of snow on the mountains, blue sky above the distant view framed by the urgency of the boulders!

Doris McCarthy, Brigus South, 1983, watercolour on paper

Brigus South, Doris McCarthy, 1983, watercolour on paper, 16″ x 23.5″

Doris McCarthy, 1910-2010, studied at the Ontario College of Art having won a full scholarship, awarded to her by Group of Seven member, Arthur Lismer, in 1926.

McCarthy was the recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario, as well as numerous fellowships and honorary doctorates from institutions across Canada, including the University of Toronto and the Ontario College of Art and Design. She was also named the first Artist of Honour by the McMichael Canadian Collection. McCarthy wrote a two-part autobiography: A Fool in Paradise and The Good Wine, with two subsequent books, My Life, an abridged version of her autobiographies written with Charis Wahl and Ninety Years Wise. Three major retrospective catalogues, Celebrating Life, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Doris McCarthy: Everything Which Is Yes and Roughing It In The Bush published by the Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto, Scarborough.

Her work has been widely exhibited and collected, joining the Wynick/Tuck Gallery in 1979. Among the numerous private and public collections across Canada and abroad are the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Glenbow Museum, Calgary, the London Regional Art Gallery, the High Court of Australia, Canberra; The Royal Collection, Windsor Castle; and the Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto, Scarborough, where her archives are also housed.

Wynick/Tuck Gallery Limited, established 1968
Contemporary Canadian and International Art
Gallerists, Art Appraisers, Secondary Market (sale of your work)

Posted November 25th, 2021, by admin.