The Easel

The greats outdoors: Emily Carr’s modernist landscapes

British Columbia, circa 1910, was isolated and tough. Carr, an aspiring painter, wasn’t deterred. After studying in Paris, she adopted the “colour heavy” style of the Fauvres. Modernist painting was hardly sympatico with the West Coast vernacular, but it brought a dynamism to Carr’s work that now underpins her reputation. A century later, her interest in the environment and indigenous culture puts her, finally, in step with the times.