Friday, December 3, 2010

The Cloud by Bertram Brooker

I was drifting through Paul Dorsey's 'Dali House', and came upon 'The Cloud' by Bertram Brooker. Paul caught my attention when he called Bertram Brooker the best Canadian Painter who ever lived.

Ok, that aside, for we are each entitled to individual opinions. That's what makes the world such an interesting place. But, I found myself taking a long careful look at Brooker's Cloud.

I preface what I am about to write about 'The Cloud' with this quotation by Charles Hill. "They (Brooker’s works) combine abstracted concepts of spiritual awakening and natural phenomena with representational elements.”(Charles C. Hill - Canadian Painting in the Thirties – 1975 – National Gallery of Canada).

To begin, I am unsure of where this painting is set but I don't think that matters a lot, for it is really located in the inner vision of the artist and the imagination of the viewer. That being said, it has a certain Okanagan feeling about it.

On first view, we see a painting that literally rolls and undulates down from the background mountains to the foothills and on down into the rolling shape of the trees and fields.

There is a gentle sublimity about it all. The few hard angles we find are the geometrically cut farm fields on the bottom left where the human presence has attempted to cut order and design into it all. But, for the most part, humanity seems to be a small player in it all. The houses and buildings are small and almost insignficant and there are no people to be seen, and there is no movement of life.

Even these hard angled fields gradually give way to gentle pastures. Human concerns seem to surrender to the unrolling, unending universe.

To view 'The Cloud' and Paul's article on Bertram Brooker, please click here.

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful painting, regardless of whether or not it is indeed painted by "the best Canadian Painter who ever lived", (I in doubt about that). Was very sorry to learn of the death of Doris McCarthy. I very nearly went on one of those Adventure Cruises to the Arctic that she was one of the guest speakers for about ten years ago - didn't have the money. It would have been very special I think.


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