About Untitled, 'Single Autographic Print' (1950s)
The singularly brilliant Harold Town, one of the most celebrated abstract artists from the Painters Eleven group formed in Toronto in the 1950s. A fellow artist introduced him to printmaking in 1953, and after buying his own lithography press, Town began to create a series of unique compositions often based on everyday objects or scenes. The process involved creating patterns through many layers of overprinting. The autographic print series was first exhibited in the mid-fifties. Two years later the National Gallery of Canada nominated Harold Town to represent his country at the prestigious Venice Biennale. This untitled print is rendered in hues of gray and black highlighted with pale blue and sage green.
“Any artist that doesn’t think he’s the best should quit.” Harold Town
Born in Toronto in 1924, he loved drawing as a child and specialized in art in high school. Town attended the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University) for two years. He found trips to the local museums and galleries to view the Old Masters more inspiring. By the age of 20 he was able to reproduce the work of Edgard Degas. He found work as a commercial artist for years while still pursuing his own craft. In the 1950s he was instrumental in setting up an artist’s collective dubbed Painters Eleven that introduced abstract art to Canadian audiences and ignited the local art scene in Toronto. By the 1960s his work was critically acclaimed, and prints were purchased by the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. Town achieved early financial success as an artist when few did. He died in 1990. His work is held in major public institutions and in many private collections in the US and Canada.