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LOT 055

William Paterson Ewen
1925 - 2002

Square Clouds
oil on canvas, 1956
signed and on verso signed, titled and inscribed "Non Figurative Assc." / "100.00" / "#082"
18 x 24 in 45.7 x 61 cm

Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000

Sold for: $31,250

Preview at:

Private Collection, Toronto

Matthew Teitelbaum, Paterson Ewen: The Montreal Years, Mendel Art Gallery, 1987, page 20

Square Clouds was painted during Paterson Ewen’s Montreal years, when the Automatists and Plasticiens were a dominant force in that art world, and he was experimenting with abstraction. In the 1950s, Ewen traveled frequently to New York, where he absorbed new influences, and this painting, with its fractured planes, draws inspiration from Cubism. From 1955 to 1958, Ewen worked restlessly through a number of small series of works in a myriad of styles, exploring formal concerns in the language of abstraction. As Ewen stated, “I’m trying to use the knowledge I’ve acquired to create a painting as original – as personal – as possible that will express a point of view in terms of plastic discovery and will have an artistic order. I’ve chosen this direction because I feel the basic values of all painting are non-figurative.” Square Clouds has a dynamic structure of planes jostling for position on the surface, yet at the same time striking a homeostatic equilibrium that makes this image quite formal and elegant.

The inscription on verso refers to the Non-Figurative Artists’ Association of Montreal, of which Ewen was a founding member.

Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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