M. L. A. F. [Margaret Fairbairn], "YOUNGER PAINTERS DOMINATE THIS TIME AT O. S. A. EXHIBITION", Toronto Daily Star, Apr. 12, 1913

[ Soft Maple in Autumn ]

Soft Maple in Autumn, Tom Thomson, 1914, Tom Thomson Art Gallery Permanent Collection, Oil on plywood. 25 x 15 cm. Gift of Louise (Thomson) Henry, sister of Tom Thomson


Younger Men Dominate

Reviewing this exhibition as a whole, the first and last impressions are that it is dominated almost entirely by the younger men, who, casting aside formulas, start out to record only what are their own individual impressions. The result is virile work, fearless brushing, strange, crude color – all a reflection or echo of the spirit of the times. Sometimes, seen at the right distance, the painting is astonishingly truthful, as in Mr. Elsmer’s “Sunny Afternoon,” or Mr. Tom Thomson’s “Northern Lake,” or Mr. Jackson’s “Yellow Tree”: sometimes it is chaotic, as in Mr. Varley F. Horsman’s “The Hillside”; sometimes it is crudely repellent, as in Mr. Hans Johnson’s “Silver Beech.”

It is well that the younger men should find a place, and a large place, at our exhibitions, but not to the almost entire exclusion of the older element, in whose work are to be found dignity, serenity, sound draughtsmanship, and all the solid qualities of good design and color which are to be found in the great art of all ages.


M. L. A. F. [Margaret Fairbairn]

Source: Margaret Fairbairn, "Young Painters Dominate This Time at O. S. A. Exhibition," Toronto Daily Star, April 12, 1913

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