Patricia Maloney reviews Lawren Harris: The Idea of North at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, on view through January 24, 2016.
Maloney writes: "The paintings in The Idea of North are fluid, frictionless semblances of place, composed of rhythmic forms that fold and undulate. They are ideas instead of sites. Each group shares the distinctive traits that signal the artist’s style during this period: centrally composed landscapes with slaking light and scant vegetation. Trees are bare or dead. The time of day is indistinguishable. Mountains and clouds predominate, homologously shaped by the same forces: wind, water, snow. Architecture is almost entirely absent … Harris’s landscapes are unpopulated, and we are situated at their edge, peering in, as if not to sully them."