Artwork by Doris Jean McCarthy,  Reflections in the Melt Water

Doris McCarthy
Reflections in the Melt Water

acrylic on canvas
signed lower right; dated “840722” (July 22, 1984) on the reverse
36 x 48 ins ( 91.4 x 121.9 cms )

Auction Estimate: $15,000.00$12,000.00 - $15,000.00

Price Realized $64,900.00
Sale date: November 22nd 2021

Mountain Galleries, Jasper Park Lodge, Alberta
Private Collection, Nebraska
Dr. Nancy Campbell, “Doris McCarthy: Roughing it in the Bush” [online publication], Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto, Scarborough, 2010
Nancy Campbell writes in her curatorial essay accompanying the exhibition “Doris McCarthy: Roughing it in the Bush”: “The simplification of form was pivotal in McCarthy’s major breakthrough following a trip to Resolute, Nunavut, in 1972. The Arctic landscape not only captured the artist’s imagination but also served as a springboard for her studies in form. The sharp edges of the icebergs, the blocks of colour and the shifting light offered a setting that perfectly suited the expansion of her earlier explorations during the sixties.”

While studying at the Ontario College of Art, McCarthy was mentored by members of the Group of Seven, but it was Lawren Harris’s simplification of the landscape that heavily influenced her work, as seen in “Reflections in the Melt Water”. In this composition, she has taken the landscape and stripped it back to its simplest abstract shapes, continuing her exploration of the North through hard edges and geometric forms.

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Doris Jean McCarthy
(1910 - 2010) RCA, OSA

Born in Calgary, Alberta, McCarthy attended the Ontario College of Art from 1926–1930 where she was awarded various scholarships and prizes. She became a teacher shortly thereafter and taught most frequently at Central Technical School in downtown Toronto from 1932 until she retired in 1972. She spent most of her life living and working in Scarborough, Ontario though she travelled abroad extensively and painted the landscapes of various countries including: Costa Rica, Spain, Italy, Japan, India, England and Ireland. McCarthy was probably best-known for her Canadian landscapes and her depictions of Arctic icebergs.

McCarthy's work has been exhibited and collected extensively in Canada and abroad, in both public and private art galleries including: The National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, and The Doris McCarthy Art Gallery. McCarthy also penned three autobiographies chronicling the various stages of her life: A Fool in Paradise (Toronto: MacFarlane, Walter & Ross, 1990), The Good Wine (Toronto: MacFarlane, Walter & Ross, 1991), and Ninety Years Wise (Toronto: Second Story Press, 2004). She was also the recipient of the Order of Ontario, the Order of Canada; honorary degrees from the University of Calgary, the University of Toronto, Trent University, the University of Alberta, and Nipissing University; and an honorary fellowship from the Ontario College of Art and Design. She died on November 25, 2010.