Carle Hessay
Canadian artist
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Carle Hessay 1977 Break of Day

Carle Hessay 1977 Break of Day

Carle Hessay: Break of Day

This was Carle's last work, found drying on his low painting table. He died dancing at a New Year's party at the old Sasquatch Inn, Spuzzum, BC in the early hours of January 1, 1978.

"This wilderness image is pervade by the spell of a perfect silence. In the hush of the earliest dawn, there is no movement of nature but for the mists which, lifting from the beds of creeks, gather and disperse against the distant range of mountains. The air is pure and chill, the light clear and colourless.

In the middle distance, growing around a few deserted buildings whose outlines are merely suggested, are the remains of a once great forest, ragged and untidy like the detritus left from a logging operation...this work is significantly different from the greater part of Carle's later productions...The mood is one of pure lyricism, rare in his paintings, since he was more inclined to the expression of drama and intensity of feeling.

It is possibly coincidental that Carle should have painted this statement of reconciliation, so refreshing in its mood, on the eve of his departure from this life. But it nevertheless stands as his last will and testament for us, and shows forth a cleansed and releasing spirit. The cares and burdens, the deferred hopes and unrealized joys, have been left with the night, which has withdrawn. Before us lies the awakening of a new day, purged of all undesirable things." From Leonard A. Woods, Meditations on the Paintings of Carle Hessay (Tabarni, 2005).

(Dimensions: 36 x 24; 91.4 x 60.9 cm., oil on board; 1978 New Year's eve)