In master engraver George A. Walker's newest work, The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson, the circumstances surrounding the death and disappearance of the iconic Canadian artist are explored through some one hundred and nine wood engravings, creating a work that eulogizes not only the artist himself, but the struggle of the artist's attempt to express himself while constrained by society, the reality of the moment, and mortality.close this panel
In 109 black-and-white woodblock engravings, artist George A. Walker explores the life and tragically premature death of Tom Thomson (1877-1917), one of Canada's greatest and most influential artists. Walker's wordless ''narrative'' begins in Thomson's youth and takes us through to his years of productive work and his mysterious death by drowning in Ontario's Algonquin Park. Walker also pays homage to Thomson's influence on Canadian culture and explores his own relationship to Thomson, whom he counts as a major inspiration for his work, and coming to terms with his death. Canadian curator Tom Smart provides a quick but useful introduction, and there is a heartfelt afterword from Walker.
'[Walker's account offers readers a sense of how [Thomson's life must have felt – from the sense of purpose of getting his work exhibited, to the more relaxed, idyllic days painting in Algonquin Park, and finally, to the altercation that preceded his death.'