Harold Barling Town
1924 - 1990
Harold Town was, without a doubt, one of the most prolific members of the Painters Eleven and remains recognized as its unofficial leader. Town’s body of work, painting, drawing, printmaking (and writing) transcends any specific medium or technique. The scope of his artistic output was remarkable.
Through his friend and fellow Painters Eleven member Oscar Cahen, Town was introduced to printmaking and in 1953 purchased a lithography press and stone, embarking on creating a series of Single Autographic Prints that would establish him as one of Canada’s most significant modern, abstract artists. Each unique print is comprised of purposeful and unintentional shapes created by using household objects and multiple overprinting on each work. This technique created compositions of incredible complexity and rich colouration.
First exhibited at the Roberts Gallery in Toronto in 1954, works were immediately purchased for the collections of the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. By 1956 the National Gallery selected Town to represent Canada at the Venice Biennale.
The Single Autographic Print launched Town’s career as an internationally recognized artist.
This 1957 example shows Town’s remarkable handing of a limited colour palette of black, and dark grey, blue and green underneath hints of pink that define the interconnected shapes.
monotype, “single autographic print”, edition 1 of 1
signed, numbered and dated by the artist,
image 17.25h" x 23.5w"
framed 29.5”h x 34.5”w
Very good condition