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Inward Journey

The Life of Lawren Harris

by James King

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artists, architects, photographers, historical
list price: $24.99
also available: Hardcover
published: 2014
publisher: Dundurn

The first complete biography ever published of Group of Seven artist and spokesman Lawren Harris.
Lawren Harris (1885-1970) is among the most iconic of Canadian artists. Harris was an outspoken defender of modernism, and a very private person. In this gripping, sympathetic account, James King writes about Harris' public persona as the spokesman for the Group of Seven as well as his championship of Canadian art and artists.
Born to great wealth, Harris spent much of his existence selflessly promoting Canadian painting and the interests of his fellow artists. But Harris' own personal struggle to become an artist was long and complex, and he was beset by much turmoil throughout his life. When, early in 1930, he achieved his creative peak – in paintings such as North of Lake Superior – he turned his back on representational art and spent the remainder of his career becoming an abstract painter.
Harris' unhappy first marriage, his flight to New Hampshire and New Mexico, his sometimes overbearing attitude towards younger artists, and the full magnitude of his inner struggles are all dealt with fully in this sensitive, engaging narrative that captures the complexity of the man behind the mask.

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Editorial Reviews

King's perspective is much more than the traditional description of an artist's output, parsed for clues pointing to stylistic influences and the development of a personal expressive mode. King does this, but he also lifts his subject's story by telling other truths about this complex, complicated man whose restraint and courage marked him as both an individual and a man of his times.

— New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal

...King teases out the artist's 'strangely compounded temperament,' as one critic called it, with empathy and insight.

— Canada's History

...an extensively researched, utterly comprehensive overview of Harris' life...Inward Journey is just a beautiful book, an invitation to flip through time and again, and just appreciate the works.

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About the Author

James King

James King is the author of six novels and ten biographies, including books on David Milne, William Blake, Margaret Laurence, Jack McClelland, Farley Mowat, and Lawren Harris. His biography of Herbert Read, The Last Modern, was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, James lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

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