Artwork by Harold Barling Town,  Vortex
Thumbnail of Artwork by Harold Barling Town,  Vortex Thumbnail of Artwork by Harold Barling Town,  Vortex Thumbnail of Artwork by Harold Barling Town,  Vortex

Preview this item at:

Consignor Canadian Fine Art
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703

Lot #30

Harold Town
Vortex

oil and lucite 44 on canvas
signed and dated 64-65 upper left; signed (twice) and dated 64-65 (twice) with multiple hand prints on the reverse; titled on the stretcher
56 x 56 ins ( 142.2 x 142.2 cms )

Estimated: $25,000.00 - $35,000.00

Provenance:
Mazelow Gallery, Toronto
Private Collection, Toronto
Literature:
Gerta Moray, Harold Town, Life & Work, Art Canada Institute [online publication], Toronto, 2014, pages 31 and 62
Iris Nowell, Harold Town, Vancouver, 2014, page 103
Painted in 1964/65, Vortex holds similar imagery and lexicon as the artist's “Tyranny of the Corner” series. Using dark backgrounds broken up with coloured rings and dots—humourously dubbed doughnuts by the artist—the canvases patterning, organic line work, and contrasting bright white pigments with bold graphic shapes evoke the imagery of intricate tapestries. The geometric forms created by the patterning of the rings reference a sort of topographical landscape, broken up by the layers of the organic and geometric white forms of the composition. In Vortex, the large white starburst situated near the left edge of the artwork draws the viewers eye to edge of the canvas while the diagonals of the form direct our gaze to the corners and peripheral boundaries of the canvas.

Contrary to central narrative compositional elements, or the extreme opposite of all-over abstraction, Town instead plays with the viewers perception of compositional structure and significance. In 1962, Town described his move away from the dominating central image, favouring the corners which “in most paintings are like uninvited guests at a party, uneasy and unattended. In my series... I have invited the corners to come early to the party and tried, if anything, to make all the elements of the painting that arrived later a trifle uncomfortable.” The elements of the layered and complex composition operate in a unique lexicon when merged together. There is no coherent meaning to the work, however, Town brings attention to the neglected areas of visual language and hierarchy, experimenting and commenting on the tradition of narrative compositions and abstraction in modern art.
Sale Date: November 20th 2018

Register to Bid

To participate in our auction in person, by phone or to leave an absentee bid, please register below.

Register to Bid Telephone Bid Absentee Bid

Download our bidding form

Already have an account? Sign-In

Get updates or additional information on this item
Watch This Item Ask a Question Request Condition Report

Preview this item at:

Consignor Canadian Fine Art
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703


Share this item with your friends

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.