Harris, Lawren Stewart

HARRIS, Lawren Stewart, artist (b 23 Oct 1885, Brantford, ON; d 29 Jan 1970, Vancouver). The acknowledged leader of the Group of Seven, he was an influential figure in Canadian art for half a century. After studying painting in Berlin from 1904 to 1908, he returned to Ontario and spent the next few years developing his talents as a painter of the northern shield country. He was joined by a group of young painters who shared his commitment to the Canadian landscape and in 1920 they formed the Group of Seven. The group formally lasted until 1931, then merged into the larger Canadian Group of Painters. During the 1930s Harris developed a more abstract spiritual approach to painting, influenced by his interest in theosophy. From 1934 to 1940 he lived in the US, then moved to VANCOUVER, where he remained for the rest of his life, developing his cerebral abstract style. He was an influential leader in the art community, both locally at the VANCOUVER ART GALLERY and nationally with the National Gallery. See also ART, VISUAL.