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LOT 013

Harold Barling Town
1924 - 1990

The Centre Held
oil and Lucite 44 on board
signed and dated 1959 - 1960 and on verso signed, titled and dated
36 x 36 in 91.4 x 91.4 cm

Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000

Sold for: $31,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Collection of Michael and Elizabeth Brain, Calgary

David Burnett, Town, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1986, page 32

Beginning in 1953, Painters Eleven brought abstraction to the forefront of the Toronto scene. Harold Town was a dynamic figure within this group, known for his eclectic approach that incorporated contemporary and historical styles. As David Burnett wrote in Town’s 1986 Art Gallery of Ontario retrospective catalogue, “Throughout his career, his work has been a complex generation and interweaving of ideas, memories, reactions and techniques reflecting the circumstances of his time and place.” There is a sense of this in the complexity of The Centre Held, which suggests figuration yet is built of abstract planes, and which brings us up to the surface in the white-based panels to the right and left, yet creates spatial depths in the centre. Town shows what he has taken from Abstract Expressionism by wielding his brush passionately and expressively. He has created a layered image with an exceptionally rich, textured surface inscribed with shapes and lines. Seizing our attention in the middle, the figure-like form, with its contrasting sections of hot and cool colours, creates an emotional presence. Crackling with vitality, The Centre Held is an exceptional work from the Painters Eleven period.

Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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