During the holidays I stopped in at a used book store and came across a wonderful photography book by Canadian artist, Roloff Beny. ‘To Every Thing There is a Season: Roloff Beny in Canada’ is a photographic essay exploring Canada during the 1960’s. The book contains poems, landscapes, portraits, architecture, and graphic design that is visionary for the time it was printed. Like a Boards of Canada album, the book puts my mind in a cozy, nostalgic place.
A little research reveals that the book was the official Canadian gift to visiting heads of state during the country’s 1967 centennial year. He’s also authored a number of other acclaimed photography books I’m hoping to pick-up in the near future.
Beny’s work is included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. In 1971, he was made an officer of The Order of Canada. In 1984, at the age of 60, Beny passed away from a heart attack in his Roman studio overlooking the Tiber.
You can view a more complete set of photos in this FLICKR SET I put together.
If I’m ever in need of inspiration, the National Film Board of Canada’s website is an absolute goldmine of films ranging from the 1930’s to present. For myself, it’s their documentary nature films in particular that capture the imagination.
This film is a short doc about Canada’s arctic from the NFB’s earlier years (c1958). I’m considering posting a few more of these over the next few weeks, so I’d be interested in knowing what you think.
It would be difficult to understate the influence of Lawren Harris’ abstract landscapes on Canadian identity. As a founding member of The Group of Seven, Harris pioneered a distinctly Canadian school of art that departed from European contemporaries of the same era. Minimal in texture and detail, his grandiose landscapes use sweeping curves and simplified abstract forms to capture a wider, almost spiritual representation of a landscape.
Fairly covering Harris’ entire career in a single blog post is tricky, but what I’ve presented here are the some of his best known works from Northern Ontario (Lake Superior) in the 1920’s and the Rocky Mountains and Arctic during the 1930’s. I’ve also provided a look at some of the more abstract, but less celebrated work he painted during the late 1930’s and 40’s. Overall, I find most of what he painted during these years to imbue a remarkable sense of modernism, and something I’m hoping readers of ISO50 can appreciate.
I know some of you are most likely familiar with the Group of Seven and Lawren Harris, but if not I would love to know what you think and if you find the work inspiring.
I don’t care much for vacations. I find them dull, boring and usually unfulfilling. I’ll vacation when I’m dead. I much prefer adventures. Jordan Manley makes me incredibly jealous and inspired all at once with this adventure. The story telling. The visuals. The hardships endured to create something beautiful are bound together perfectly. Every shot is breath taking. It makes me want to pack up my bags today and head north.
It’s videos like these that keep my spirits alive. They keep my dreams burning. What Jordan Manley has done here with a talented group of athletes is unlike anything that I’ve seen or felt from a sports video. It’s not the standard issue helicopter pan shots of Valdez or Chamonix. This is hours upon hours of hiking in extreme conditions. Putting their lives at risk to create a beautiful story in a place most of us have never heard of. Talk about passion.
Hopefully this video will inspire a few of you to take an adventure somewhere crazy this summer.
Last week I posted on the NASA logo and suggested that it might be the most iconic logo of our time. In the comments, Design+Conquer begged to differ and reminded me of an equally perfect logo. The CN logo was designed by Allan Fleming and James Valkus for the Canadian National Railway in 1960. Being an American I’ve had limited exposure to the mark, but every time I’ve come across it (usually on trains passing through when I lived in Sacramento) I’ve always been stricken by it’s minimal perfection.
Pascal Tremblay aka Makeshift is a graphic designer based in Montreal. I am usually not a fan of anything resembling postmodernism, but Pascal’s eye for color and composition make him an excpetion for me. I am not sure how Pascal renders his images, but they sure look hand done, at least for some of the watercolor-like textures.
I also noticed you can most of his work here, sometimes at really massive sizes (yet still affordable).