1925 - 2002
oil on canvas, circa 1954 - 1956
36 x 36 in, 91.4 x 91.4 cm
Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000
Sold for: $37,250
Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave
Acquired directly from the Artist
By descent to the present Private Collection, Toronto
In common with many of our most significant contemporary artists, Paterson Ewen’s earliest works were in the figurative tradition that he first studied formally when he returned from his overseas military service in 1945. Living in Montreal, he was fortunate to have inspiring teachers like Arthur Lismer and Marion Scott, and he was particularly drawn to the mentorship of Goodridge Roberts, a prominent member of the Contemporary Arts Society, a group that aimed to promote younger Canadian artists not associated with any of the staid academic societies. Its membership included Paul-Émile Borduas, who resigned to focus on the establishment of the Automatist group in 1948. Having met his future bride, dancer and painter Françoise Sullivan in 1949, Ewen became even closer to the French-Canadian signatories of the Refus global and was clearly inspired by that association.
This work is an outstanding example of Ewen’s evolution of gestural freedom in the mid-1950s and throughout the 1960s. As with so many mature and confident abstract images, organic elements are present in this work, and somewhat presage the artist’s ambitious post-1970 paintings. It is worth noting that the original Canadian owner of this fine painting first met Ewen in the Netherlands at the end of WWII, and during an enduring friendship, continued to acquire his canvases and works on paper, dated from 1949 through 1969.
All prices are in Canadian Dollars
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