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 Isabel McLaughlin  (1903 - 2002)

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Lived/Active: Ontario / Canada      Known for: abstract painting

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Stan White's, Whitefish Falls, Ont.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The artist and collector Isabel McLaughlin was born in Oshawa, Ontario.  From 1921 to 1924 she received her first formal art training while attending school in Paris, France.  She learned painting and watercolor in Paris under painter Louise Saint.

Once she returned to Canada, she studied at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto under Arthur Lismer and Yvonne McKague.  Later she traveled to Paris and studied at the Scandinavian Academy from 1929 to 1930.  She also attended summer sessions at Hans Hofmann's summer school in Massachusetts and studied Dynamic Symmetry* with Emil Bisttram in New Mexico.

Her work was exhibited in several exhibitions in Canada and abroad, including the "Southern Dominions Exhibition" shown in Africa, Australia and New Zealand (1936-1939); "Artists of the British Empire Overseas" at the Royal Institute Galleries, London (1937); "Contemporary Canadian Painting" in Brazil (1944-1945); and "Canadian Women Artists" at the Riverside Museum, New York (1947).

In 1933 she held her first solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Toronto.  The same year she became a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters, in which she also served as president in 1939.

Influenced by the Group of Seven*, McLaughlin's earliest paintings included landscapes and cityscapes.  During the early 1940's she moved from sculptural pattering and design to a more simplified modern approach, emphasizing strong color and more decorative. 

In 1983 the Robert McLaughlin Gallery circulated a major retrospective of her work in Ontario. Her work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada; Art Gallery of Ontario; Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University, Kingston; the McMichael Conservation Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario; and numerous public and private collections across Canada. Her collection is part of the Robert McLaughlin Gallery.

Canadian Women Artists History Initiative

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

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