CURRENT ISSUE | FALL 2017: THE IDEA OF HISTORY
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Artist

Harold Town

Harold Town

Born in Toronto in 1924. Died in Peterborough in 1990.

Harold Town was a Canadian abstract painter who played a quintessential part in shaping the Toronto art scene of the 1950s and 1960s. A charismatic member of Painters Eleven group (Town coined the name), the artist’s distinctive painting and drawing marked a generation embracing modernist practice in the city. Trained at Central Technical School and the Ontario College of Art, Town drew inspiration from the work of Pablo Picasso and Willem de Kooning as well as Asian art at the Royal Ontario Museum. While in his 30s, he represented Canada at the Venice Biennale (1956) and São Paulo Biennial (1957).  A noted experimenter in graphic media, Town was once noted by Alfred Barr, founding director of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, as one of the world’s greatest printmakers. Retrospective exhibitions of his work were held at the Windsor Art Gallery in 1975 and the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1986, and his work was purchased by the Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among other institutions.

Image of Harold Town’s 1980 work Toy Horse courtesy of Ingram Gallery.