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LOT 045

William Paterson Ewen
1925 - 2002

Oil Painting #2
oil on canvas
signed and dated 1955 and on verso signed, titled and inscribed "Francis Coleman"
19 x 24 in 48.3 x 61 cm

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

Sold for: $55,250

Preview at:

Private Collection, Toronto

Matthew Teitelbaum, Paterson Ewen: The Montreal Years, Mendel Art Gallery, 1987, page 7

“In the milieu of Montreal’s advanced abstract painting community of the 1950s and 1960s, Paterson Ewen held a singular place. Alone among English-Canadian artists, Ewen gained the respect, admiration and friendship of French-Canadian peers. Notably he did so without formally or temperamentally aligning himself with either of Montreal’s dominant artist movements of the time: Automatisme and Plasticisme.”
- Matthew Teitelbaum
During his years in Montreal from the late 1940s to 1968, Paterson Ewen explored a range of modernist ideas, and he began to paint abstracts in 1954. He worked with armatures of calligraphic lines, soft patches of forms hovering in space, and scumbled painting techniques that gave works such as this an organic look. His abstract work was immediately noticed, and in 1955 dealer Gilles Corbeil included five of these paintings in Espace 55 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, an exhibition that incorporated various artistic directions stemming from, or parallel to (such as Ewen), the Automatists. Oil Painting #2 is a fine example of Ewen’s work in 1955 - painterly, open but given structure by sinuous black lines, with patches of colour that interact harmoniously in a fluid and glowing ground.

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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