Canada 150: The abstract realism of Canadian icon Lawren Harris

Lawren Harris was born in Brantford, Ont., and is usually associated with Toronto. But Canada’s most acclaimed painter spent the last 30 years of his life in Vancouver.

Harris was living in Santa Fe, N.M., when the Second World War broke out in 1939. But he found it hard to access his money in Canada, so in 1940, he moved to 4760 Belmont Ave. near Spanish Banks, where he remained until his death in 1970 at age 84.

Harris taught at the University of B.C. and became a key figure in local art. When Emily Carr died in 1945, Harris was named one of two trustees of her paintings.

He had long championed Carr. In 1927 she had virtually stopped painting, but meeting Harris reinvigorated her, and deeply influenced her 1930s work.

Harris had that effect on a lot of artists. A scion of the Massey-Harris farm-implement company, Harris was one of the founders, and

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