Isabel McLaughlin

Isabel McLaughlin, painter (b at Oshawa, Ont 10 Oct 1903; d at Toronto 26 Nov 2002). An important early modernist in Canada, she was preoccupied with design, bright colour and the study of tangible space, and her paintings were highly subjective. Her friends and mentors included Arthur Lismer; painter Yvonne McKague Housser, with whom she studied at the Ontario College of Art; Lawren Harris; and A.Y. Jackson. She studied in Paris in 1929 and Vienna in 1930, and twice with Hans Hofmann in the period 1947-52. Her development was characterized by constant self-renewal and by an awareness of her own roots. Her Tree (1935) received notoriety in the press and the respect of peers. In 1939 McLaughlin was elected president of the Canadian Group of Painters, the first woman to head an important Canadian art society. She was awarded the Order of Ontario in 1993.