Lot #71

Harold Town
Clandeboy Reprise

oil and lucite on board
signed and dated 1959 upper centre; signed, titled and dated on the reverse
30 x 30 ins ( 76.2 x 76.2 cms )

Sold for $13,800.00
Sale date: November 23rd 2017

Provenance:
Moore Gallery, Toronto
Private Collection, New Brunswick
Literature:
Gerta Moray, Harold Town: Life and Work (online publication), Art Canada Institute, Toronto 2013, pages 17-33
Iris Nowell, Painters Eleven: The Wild Ones of Canadian Art, Toronto, 2010, pages 159-71
Rich colour and a thick application of the medium are indicative of Town's classic approach to abstract painting in Canada. Black paint applied directly from the tube, large swaths of jewel-toned emerald, teal and ultramarine are balanced throughout the composition giving equal weight to the four corners of the composition. Adding texture and dynamism, Town has thickly applied, then actively scratched away patterns and design within the wet paint giving movement and a keen sense of physical purpose to the artwork. Heavy tones dominate the upper portion of the composition, but are balanced with decidedly lighter pigments below. Importantly, mirrored perspective lines are key to maintain balance and symmetry within the composition and a grid-like pattern emerges. Perspective lines and the division of the canvas by way of line gives nod to the modernist grid but adds a juxtaposition to this rigid formation with the spontaneity of angular geometric forms. One can see a landscape quality in the work with a classic division of thirds and referential forms perhaps inspired by nature—dark green triangles as trees, ochre trapezoids referencing a long driveway and bands of ultramarine not dissimilar to ponds or water features within landscape design—however there is a strong overarching abstraction that permeates the piece.

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Harold Barling Town
(1924 - 1990) Painters Eleven, OSA, RCA

Born in 1924, Harold Town lived most of his life in Toronto. He studied at both Central Technical School and the Ontario College of Art and, upon graduating in 1945, became an accomplished illustrator for advertising agencies and magazines such as Macleans and Mayfair. Town was a founder and member of the Painters Eleven, a group of Toronto abstract artists that exhibited together during the 1950s.