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LOT 054

William Paterson Ewen
1925 - 2002

oil on canvas
signed and dated 1955
18 x 60 in 45.7 x 152.4 cm

Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Robert Asselin, Montreal
Private Collection, Toronto

Paterson Ewen Retrospective, Espace 55, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1955, reproduced section II
"Peinture 1955," L’Autorité, February 26, 1955, reproduced page 6
Matthew Teitelbaum, Paterson Ewen: The Montreal Years, Mendel Art Gallery, 1987, page 19, reproduced page 19
Heather Fraser, “Paterson Ewen: The Turn from Non-Figurative to Figurative Painting,” Journal of Canadian Art History / Annales d'histoire de l'art canadien, vol. 13, no. 1, 1990, reproduced page 29

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Espace 55, February 11 - 28, 1955
London Regional Art Gallery, Paterson Ewen Retrospective, November 5 - 29, 1976, catalogue #8

Shortly after his venture into abstraction with Untitled (1954, sold sale of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Heffel Fine Art Auction House, May 29, 2019), his first fully fledged abstract work, Paterson Ewen quickly gained the recognition of the Montreal art scene. A year later, art dealer Gilles Corbeil included five of his works, including Untitled (1954) and this Untitled (1955), in the seminal exhibition Espace 55 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. This major show featured paintings from 11 artists, including both Automatists and those who would later form the Plasticiens group. When describing both the 1954 and 1955 Untitled works, curator Matthew Teitelbaum wrote that they were “constructed around a dominant grid-like calligraphy, and yet the compositions were open, centralized and organized by concentric thrust.” Here, in this lively composition, Ewen arranged a complex structure of black lines around clusters of colours: ochre, robin’s egg blue, pink, cream, olive and maroon. The softly contrasting hues and the delicate balance between light and dark create tension between background and foreground, inviting the viewer’s eye to move throughout the flowing composition.

Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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