Artwork by Bertram Richard Brooker,  Autumn Bouquet
Thumbnail of Artwork by Bertram Richard Brooker,  Autumn Bouquet Thumbnail of Artwork by Bertram Richard Brooker,  Autumn Bouquet Thumbnail of Artwork by Bertram Richard Brooker,  Autumn Bouquet

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Cowley Abbott
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703

Lot #38

Bertram Brooker
Autumn Bouquet

oil on canvas
titled on the stretcher, Brooker estate stamps on the reverse of the canvas; Brooker Estate File Number OC77
30 x 24 ins ( 76.2 x 61 cms )

Estimated: $30,000.00$20,000.00 - $30,000.00

Provenance:
Estate of the artist
Private Collection, Toronto
Exhibited:
Bertram Brooker: A Creative Force, Gallery Gevik, Toronto, May 3-31, 2014
Literature:
James King, Bertram Brooker: Life & Work [online publication], Art Canada Institute, Toronto, 2018
Adam Lauder, “It’s Alive!: Bertram Brooker and Vitalism,” In The Logic of Nature, the Romance of Space: Elements of Canadian Modernist Painting, Cassandra Getty (ed.), The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, 2010, pages 81-105 Joyce Zemans, “First Fruits: The World and Spirit Paintings [Bertram Brooker]”, Provincial Essays, No. 7, 1989
A self-taught polymath, Bertram Brooker was among the first artists in Canada to champion abstract art in Canada, though his groundbreaking experimental works of the 1920s at first failed to captivate contemporary audiences. By the 1930s, Brooker had largely abandoned pure abstraction in favour of a hybrid, more representational manner of depicting human figures and plant-based forms in nature. Joyce Zemans suggests a reason for this marked shift from his early, radical experiments in geometric abstraction: Brooker may have felt that his abstract “‘world and spirit paintings’” were too difficult for contemporary audiences to respond to. Strongly influenced by his friend Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald as much as he was inspired by the theories of philosopher Henri Bergson and the British Surrealists Graham Sutherland and Paul Nash, Brooker spent much of the 1930s and 1940s exploring the potential of abstraction to represent the inner vitality of organic structures.

In the exceptional 1952 canvas “Autumn Bouquet”, Brooker adeptly synthesizes a Cubist formal inventiveness with his knack for conveying the vibrant thrust and energy contained within a painted surface and the earth itself. Warm, rich pigments and a lattice-like network of active, intersecting diagonal lines suggest leaf and floral forms reduced to their most essential, symbolic states. As Adam Lauder has noted in his discussion of Brooker’s final paintings, for the first time since the austere, almost Vorticist canvases of his very early career, Brooker’s extraordinarily refined paintings from the 1950s verge on the completely abstract. In spite of “perceptions of diminished radicalism” following his (un)official departure from abstraction in the 1920s, Brooker’s later canvases “attest to a relentless spirit of experimentation and inquiry.”

Bertram Brooker’s ink and pencil drawing work from the artist’s illustrations of canon literature will be featured in “This Tremendous Ark”, an exhibition at the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie, Ontario from November 30th, 2019 to February 23rd, 2020. Further details of the exhibition can be found at www.maclarenart.com/project/bertram-brooker-this-tremendous-arc .
Sale Date: November 19th 2019

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Cowley Abbott
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703


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Bertram Richard Brooker
(1888 - 1955) Canadian Group of Painters, RCA

Born in Croydon, England Bertram Brooker moved with his parents to Portage la Prairie in 1905 and later to Toronto in 1921. He acquired a reputation as a writer, painter, musician, and poet. Brooker was a charter member of the Canadian Group of Painters and he won the Governor General's Award for fiction in 1936 for "Think of the Earth".
Bertram Brooker is an artist of several mediums and is a key example of liberation and innovation in the extensive history of Canadian art. Through a diversity of artistic interpretations and styles, Brooker captures both spiritual and commercial perspectives.

He preferred realism during the late '20s and early '30s. It was during this time that he was influenced by LeMoin FitzGerald, a friend of Brooker's and contemporary artist.