Curated by James King

Best known as one of Canada’s first abstract painters, Bertram Brooker (1888–1955) was an advertising executive, critic, and self-taught artist. His fascination with philosophy and spiritualism, knowledge of contemporary cutting-edge art, and interest in music led him to create a series of abstract paintings that are among the most important bodies of work in Canadian art. Brooker’s relentless exploration of new ways of seeing and painting situates him among this country’s most accomplished modernist painters. For more on Bertram Brooker read James King’s Bertram Brooker: Life & Work.


James King is a professor of English in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. He has been a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial fellow and is a member of the Royal Society of Canada. He has written biographies of, among others, Lawren Harris, David Milne, and Greg Curnoe. 

  • Ultrahomo

    Ultrahomo c.1912–13

  • Sounds Assembling

    Sounds Assembling 1928

  • Alleluiah

    Alleluiah 1929

  • Manitoba Willows

    Manitoba Willows c.1929–31

  • Striving

    Striving c.1930

  • Figures in a Landscape

    Figures in a Landscape 1931

  • Still Life with Lemons

    Still Life with Lemons c.1936

  • The Cloud

    The Cloud c.1942

  • Swing of Time

    Swing of Time 1954

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