ManorHill Fine Art

Bertram Brooker
(1888 – 1955)

 “The last four years have been a revelation discovering the depth and importance of my grandfather’s contributions to Canadian culture. Publishing these first sixteen images of Bertram Brooker canvases has been a bit of a rebirthing for me. Google Bertram Brooker and share with me excitement and pride in a great Canadian.”
Richard Brooker, Grandson of Bertram Brooker, 2009

“Born in England, Bertram Brooker settled in Manitoba in 1905, where he was employed as a labourer, a clerk and a journalist before moving to Toronto in 1921 to work as an advertising executive. In 1923 he joined the Arts and Letters Club, where he met Lawren Harris and other members of the Group of Seven, whose work he admired for “liberating young artists from the stuffy tradition of strict realism". Brooker was influenced by discussions with Harris about the spirituality of art and was inspired by the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky, whose book Concerning the Spiritual in Art proposed music as a model for the artist seeking to express his inner soul. In 1927, Bertram Brooker was the first artist in Canada to exhibit abstract art and, in 1936, the first to win the Governor General’s Award for Fiction for his novel ‘Think of the Earth’.”
Anne Newlands – Canadian Paintings, Prints and Drawings, 2007

“(Brooker) burst upon the scene with his exhibition of abstract paintings at the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto in 1927 as if he had come out of nowhere.”
Ronald Nasgaard - Abstract Painting in Canada, 2007

"They (Brooker’s works) combine abstracted concepts of spiritual awakening and natural phenomena with representational elements.”
Charles C. Hill - Canadian Painting in the Thirties – 1975 – National Gallery of Canada

“(Lawren) Harris’ inclination toward abstraction was also fed by a close friendship with Bertram Brooker, who had been experimenting with pure abstraction since the mid-1920’s. The two men shared a common intellectual approach to design …”
Paul Duval (Four Decades – 1972 – The Studio Building, Toronto)

“Bertram Brooker was one of the most remarkable figures in Canadian cultural history. He was an editor, critic, dramatist, novelist and artist.His paintings hang in every major gallery in the country.”
Bill Sproxton, Sounds Assembling, 1980

Bertram Brooker – “Canada’s Renaissance Man”
Toronto Daily Star - 1988