CGP CPE CSGA OC OSA P11 RCA
1924 - 1990
Great Seal #4
oil and Lucite 44 on canvas
signed and dated 1961 - 1962 and on verso signed twice and dated
74 x 82 in, 188 x 208.3 cm
Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000 CAD
Sold for: $17,500
Private Collection, Toronto
Harold Town’s Great Seal #4 presents an abstracted cosmos, a contrast between order and chaos that offers a visual feast to its viewer. Town created the composition during the early and particularly expressive period of his Big Attack abstracts. He began creating larger canvases in 1958, synthesizing his interest in collage with the expansive, energetic forms of Abstract Expressionist painting. By 1960, this developed into compositions that were more architectonic, as can be seen here. The recurring irregular forms, including circles, spirals and arches, as well as the use of Lucite, point to a more structured and assembled approach to abstraction, resulting in something akin to a stamped insignia or a carved fastening. During the period that he created this composition, he was attending welding classes at Central Technical School in Toronto.
In this composition, Town demonstrates his impressive versatility, depicting both shadowy impressions and bold shapes. The texture of Great Seal #4 ranges from heightened impasto to faint surface outlines. Within the central circular form, Town successfully renders a woven, dynamic quality. Set within a dichotomy of vibrant pigments and a dark void, the canvas harnesses an illusionary space with intriguing, absorptive depth. Town’s artistic oeuvre communicated his interest in the artist as a performer, and his works demonstrate his dedication to the self-reflexive exploration of traditional media.
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