William Ronald


Prolific and polemic, William Ronald (1926-1998) is one of the most accomplished, collected and contested artists associated with the Painters Eleven group. 

This watercolor/drawing, from the early chapter of his professional career demonstrates a vitality and dynamism of color that Ronald is renowned for. 

Ronald graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1951. Shortly thereafter he had his first significant stay in New York City, studying with the legendary Hans Hoffmann. (Lee Krasner studied for an extended period of time with Hoffmann during the same period)

This work is from the first year of Painters Eleven when they had their debut show at the Roberts Gallery. Ronald was the youngest member of the group at the time, but was was already demonstrating a unique voice and approach more inline with automatism or abstract expressionism than cubism.

Frustrated at the lack of commercial and critical interest in abstract painting in Toronto during the early 1950's, Ronald moved to New York City to accelerate his career. It was a wise move. He was critically embraced and was on a retainer at the prestigious Kootz Gallery. During his time in America he met or worked alongside some of the most important figures in 20th century painting. 

Ronald is at his best when he aggressively uses color. This watercolor/drawing captures that energy and direction of the 1950s; not only its palette but its fusion of Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist aesthetics.  

Interested in Painters Eleven? Check out works by its other key members: Jack Bush, Harold Town, and Alexandra Luke

Questions about this artwork? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720


Canada, 1954

Signed and dated by the artist

17.5‚ÄĚW 15"H (work)

27.5"W 25"H (framed)

Framed with museum glass

Very good condition

Provenance: Thielsen Gallery, London

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