Artwork by Frank Hans Johnston,  Fine Weather

Franz Johnston
Fine Weather

oil on board
signed lower left; titled on the artist label on the reverse
16 x 20 ins ( 40.6 x 50.8 cms )

Sold for $18,880.00
Sale date: November 23rd 2017

Provenance:
Roberts Gallery, Toronto
Private Collection, Ontario
Literature:
Robert Burford Mason, A Grand Eye for Glory: A Life of Franz Johnston, Toronto, 1998, page 40
Franz Johnston was praised for his handling of light and his ability to capture contrasts between sunlit colour and depths of shade. His treatment of the Canadian landscape in a decorative style set him apart from other Group of Seven members. In a review of his first independent exhibition in 1920, the “Globe and Mail” remarked on this approach: “Keen dramatic sense, Mr. Johnston leans strongly to the decorative treatment of his subject.” Johnston exemplifies this approach in Fine Weather, a harmonious composition of crisp white snow, a sparkling river, and screen of leafless trees before a glowing blue sky. Views of snow-covered forests lend themselves well to the artist’s preferred style, which Johnston frequently depicted in picturesque renderings.

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Frank Hans Johnston
(1888 - 1949) Group of Seven, OSA, ARCA, CSPWC

"In Johnston one can almost see the sound swelling into the vastness of infinity. The small panel is no restriction to the eye and one stands among the stars of timeless space. Dancing formless light, subaqueous in feeling, ephemeral as Aurora Borealis. It holds one motionless in moving space." Frank (Franz) Johnston was born in Toronto and like many other Group members, he joined Grip Ltd. as a commercial artist. In 1910, he left for the United States where he studied art in Philadelphia and worked in commercial design in New York. Although an original member of the Group, Johnston's association was a brief one. He did exhibit in the exhibition of 1920, but by 1921 he had left Toronto to become Principal at the Winnipeg School of Art. In the earlier years of their friendship, Johnston had joined MacDonald and Harris on their journeys to Algoma. His paintings from those years express a strong decorative interpretation of the landscape. In later years, the artist's style became more realistic and revealed a strong fascination with the qualities of light. In 1927, Johnston changed his name to the more exotic title of 'Franz' Johnston and found some success in commercial art galleries, where he was free from association with any formal group of artists.