John Goodwin Lyman
Canadian (born in U.S.A.), 1886–1967
Lake Massawippi, 1933
oil on canvas
61 x 86.8 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Mr. Peter Dobush
John Lyman was a significant modern innovator in Canadian art with a similar set of aesthetic preoccupations as his mentor and friend J.W. Morrice. A strong believer in the power of art to traverse international and geographical borders, Lyman was a committed and vocal critic of the Group of Seven, and in particular any link between landscape painting and nationalist sentiment. Although he felt a special connection to Canada’s physical character, particularly the regions outside of Montreal, Lyman desired to treat it as a means of conveying a universal aesthetic message through painted form. Lake Massawippi reflects the influence of Fauvism and of Henri Matisse in the way its use of bold, unnatural colour and simplified forms are intended to stimulate the senses and emotions. In France Lyman had studied under the Fauvist painter between 1909 and 1910.