Harold Town


Harold Town (1924-1990) is the ultimate chameleon of Canadian art. Founder of the Abstract Expressionist group Painters Eleven, he remains one of the most fascinating characters from the group. 

He was one of the founders of the Painters Eleven group, and an influential early adopter of Abstract painting in Canada. To this day he remains one of the most fascinating and high profile artists from the group. Town's reputation goes beyond Painters Eleven, as he is arguably one of Canada's most productive and creative artists.

Despite Town's association with the emergence of Abstraction in Canada, Town completed many series that embraced figuration. Beginning in the 1970's, (possibly his most under-appreciated era) he produced three series that explored figuration: the Vale Variations (1972–77), the Gods (1975–79), and Toy Horses (1976–84). The Gods in particular are an important predecessor to the Toy Horses, as they prominently feature horses in many of the images. 

Town had always been fascinated by history and mythology. In the God Series, he explored the allegorical elements of classical myths. We see the centaur Chiron as he instructs Achilles. Chiron was known to be an educator. He taught Achille the skills he needed to become men, such as archery and hunting.  

Harold was also captivated by bodybuilding competition and by the human body performing its muscle-bulging poses as living sculptures. This experience led to a series of artworks that exaggerate the muscularity summoned by professional bodybuilders on stage.

While the works directly reference specific mythological stories, the works themselves have the characteristics of Town's best abstractions; riotous layered colors, elaborate textures and a general dynamism.

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

God series #12 

Mixed media on paper

Signed and dated by the Artist 

Canada, 1975.

19”H 25”W (work)

30”H 35”W (framed)

Provenance: Waddington Galleries, Gallery Gevik

Excellent condition

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