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Tinning, George Campbell
Sibelius 2nd Symphony Sibelius 2nd Symphony
1950 1950

The entwinement of music and art runs throughout the development of modernism. Artists such as Georges Braque, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Georgia O’Keefe all strove to translate sound into visuality. A number of Canadian artists also aspired to paint music, or paint like music, including George Campbell Tinning, who produced “Paint to Music” compositions throughout his career. Artists were drawn to musical inspiration for various reasons: to liberate their technique, to achieve higher spiritual or aesthetic realms, or to inspire a different visual vocabulary.

Tinning first painted to music at the Eliot O’Hara Watercolor School, Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunkport, Maine, in the summer of 1938. Through his studies at the School, and later at the Art Students League, New York, he gained remarkable facility with the watercolour medium. Along with two other early musical works recently donated to the Art Centre, this composition-inspired by Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 in D major-anticipates the artist’s successful war-related work overseas. In April 1943, Tinning was appointed an Official War Artist, working in England, Italy, Holland, Germany and finally Ottawa, where he was demobilized in 1946 with the rank of Captain. Tinning is best known for his war watercolours, which are sensitive, detailed depictions of soldiers’ everyday activities. His musical studies, however, are gaining recognition for their surprising modernity, fresh use of colour, and deft play with abstracted imagery.

 
Tinning, George Campbell
Saskatoon, SK 1910-Montreal QC 1996 Saskatoon, SK 1910-Montreal QC 1996
Sibelius 2nd Symphony Sibelius 2nd Symphony
1950 1950
Watercolour on paper Watercolour on paper
overall: 26.8 cm x 29.1 cm
Gift of Elizabeth and Robert Bowes, 2011 Gift of Elizabeth and Robert Bowes, 2011
54-009.03

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