Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Tangled Garden by JEH MacDonald

You Tube video presented by ngc media

"The Tangled Garden was painted from sketches at MacDonald's place at Thornhill and is essentially a domestic picture as the building in the background which stretched almost the full width of the work, makes clear.  There are no figures but one feels that they are somehow implied.  The luxurious greenery
in the lower half of the painting, however pulls its spirit in the direction of an almost jungle-like wilderness.  The relative flatness of the pictorial space gives the picture a strong feeling of profuseness and rich colour, and a kind of sensual indulgence.

E.R Hunter, MacDonald's first biographer, called these paintings, (The Elements and The Tangled Garden), "The two masterpieces of (his) second period.:  Contradictorily enough, they elicited some of the harshest critisism to which he was ever subjected, including stentorian denunciations from the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Daily Star and Saturday Night.................neither the Tangled Garden nor The Elements sold during MacDonald's lifetime."

pg. 33  
JEH MacDonald; 'New Views of Canadian Artists',
Bruce Whiteman
Quarry Press, Kingston, On.
c 1952

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