Tom Thomson comes to Grimsby
April 5 - May 18, 2014
Sunday, April 6, 2014
2pm - 4pm
Artist talk presented by George Walker
Tom Thomson, Woods in Winter, 1917
Ask for the name of a great Canadian artist and there’s a very good chance that you will
receive Tom Thomson. Thomson has been credited with giving a distinct voice to Canadian art; his vision changed our focus from gentle European-inspired landscapes to
the rugged Canadian wilderness. Thomson is equally known because of the circumstances surrounding his own sudden and mysterious death. Not only was he recognized by his
peers and colleagues as a great artist, but he is an artistic martyr whose potential was cut short by tragic accident – or possibly murder, a mysterious demise that was rendered
unsolvable by the events immediately following it.
Since Thomson’s death in 1917 his art, his life and his story have inspired many others. His story is well known, yet it has been subject to so much interpretation and speculation
that it is almost impossible to know. We cannot solve the mystery of his death, but we can ponder it; the few facts, the many assumptions. George Walker’s wordless graphic novel enables the viewer to do just that. Each of Walker’s woodcuts is presented as a fact about Thomson’s life, but a visual fact, stripped of the wordy elaborations that have accumulated over the past century. Walker’s woodcuts are ruggedly beautiful in a manner that is analogous to Thomson’s own use of paint – strong, assured and expressive. As would be expected in a novel, the woodcuts guide the viewer through an engaging narrative, leaving
plenty of space for each of us to develop our own personal understanding of the story.
To enhance GPAG visitors’ experience of Walker’s book we have arranged to borrow four Tom Thomson paintings and some related artefacts from the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound. We very much appreciate the generosity of Director Virginia Eichhorn, Collections Manger David Huff and others at The Tom who have worked with us to make
these loans possible.