Harold Town, “Introduction” Tom Thomson: The Silence and the Storm, 1977


People prefer to read about painters, to hear about painting, to speculate in the art market – anything rather than look at painting, anything but make art a re-creative part of their lives. Painting is a pariah waiting to be told by art authorities where to stand and beg, so as not to interfere with the flow of commerce in the marketplace.

In Canada the canvases of Tom Thomson are seen through a scrim of printed supposition on which is projected his death in the waters of Canoe Lake – waters that since that time have been continually muddied by the club-footed wading of art ghouls and plain fools who have turned his creative odyssey into the pedestrian plot for a drug-rack paperback. Unquestionably, Tom Thomson is Canada’s most famous artist, yet only a few of his works are well known and those are mainly his studio machines, the heavy efforts near to his talent but far from his heart.


Source: Harold Town, ""Introduction", Tom Thomson: The Silence and the Storm" in Tom Thomson: The Silence and the Storm, Harold Town and David P. Silcox (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1977), 19

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