ALFRED JOSEPH CASSON, O.S.A., P.R.C.A.
Roberts Gallery Limited, Toronto
Private Collection, Maple, Ontario
The eighth and youngest member of the Group of Seven, A.J. Casson (1898-1992) had a passion for small towns. He often travelled throughout his home province of Ontario to explore its quaint and isolated villages. He was especially attracted to the humble-looking houses that dotted the rural land as if to claim physical ownership of it, or at the very least, provide a landmark in an otherwise endless stretch of open fields and rolling hills. The solitary building in Northern Ontario House does not only serve as the focal point but references human presence that, although unseen, can surely be felt. Its angularity stands in contrast to the undulating, curvaceous hills that precede it in the foreground and the lush and fluid free-form of the tree lines in the background. In this painting, which eloquently defines his artistic practice, Casson combines his love for the unbound natural environment with the villages that characterise each locale.