Charles Comfort, 1900 – 1994
Born in Scotland, Canadian artist Charles Fraser Comfort setted in Winnipeg in 1912. At the age of fourteen, he entered a watercolour in a competition. Judged by F. H. Brigden, this competition led to his working in Brigden’s Winnipeg office. Comfort studied at the Winnipeg School of Art and, after winning prize money in a national art competition in 1921, he departed to study in New York at the Art Students League under Robert Henri, eventually moving to Toronto in 1925.
Early on, Comfort had a strong interest in the abstract, reducing his subjects to basic geometric forms. In ‘Algonquin Lake’, that interest is readily apparent with solid blocks of colour and their underlying geometry colouring in the fall foliage, overlaid by a bold graphic depiction of the tree trunks and branches. Immediately identifiable as a Canadian landscape, it nevertheless challenges our way of seeing.