LIONEL LEMOINE FITZGERALD
GRAIN SILOS, SASKATCHEWAN
oil on canvas, laid down on board
12 ins x 11 ins; 30.5 cms x 27.9 cms
Born in Winnipeg in 1890, FitzGerald was the only member of the Group of Seven to call western Canada home. Despite numerous travels within Canada, Mexico and the United States, the artist remained rooted in Manitoba for all of his life. FitzGerald’s first one-man exhibition was held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1921, where he presented a series of prairie landscapes. “He was particularly attracted to the Prairie landscape. Its minimal topography suited his pared-down aesthetic.”
In this painting, FitzGerald softly renders the warmth of a summer’s day. Through the hazy mood of the prairie light, the scene is dreamlike and ethereal. The artist dollops the strong blue sky with a delicate meringue of clouds. The hearty grain silos and trees that dot the Saskatchewan landscape are transformed into soft layers of mint, pink and ochre tulle. As FitzGerald once remarked, “the prairie has many aspects, but intense light and the feeling of great space are dominating characteristics.”
Ferdinand Eckhardt, L.L. FitzGerald (1890-1956) A Memorial Exhibition, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1958, n.p.
Robert Enright, “Docile nudes, orgasmic trees,” The Globe and Mail, Saturday, March 12, 2005.
Private Collection, New York