Artwork by Harold Barling Town,  Fore

Harold Town

oil and collage on canvas
signed and dated 1966 lower right; signed and dated 1960 and 1966 on the reverse
52 x 52 ins ( 132.1 x 132.1 cms )

Auction Estimate: $20,000.00$15,000.00 - $20,000.00

Price Realized $12,000.00
Sale date: November 28th 2014

Mazelow Gallery, Toronto
Private Collection, Toronto
Iris Nowell, “Painters Eleven: The Wild Ones of Canadian Art”, Vancouver/Toronto, 2010, page 166
Gerta Moray, “Harold Town, Life & Work” (online publication), Art Canada Institute, Toronto, 2014, page 64
By the mid-1960s, Town was an incredibly popular artist with multiple solo and group exhibitions within Canada and abroad. Iris Nowell writes: “In 1966 alone Town appeared in seventy-two articles in the three Toronto daily newspapers, was mentioned and/or profiled in twelve articles in Canadian Art, in addition to appearing on countless radio and television shows.” The artist's grandiose personality was echoed in his art practice which diligently explored a great variety of media and motifs. “Fore” points to the extraordinary plurality of this practice.

Gerta Moray describes how Town used masking tape as a tool to “set up a counterpoint between straight lines and organic, irregular components. With contrasts of light and dark, and with variations in the size of pattern units, he created shifting illusory spaces that exist in tension with a respect for the flatness of the canvas.” His title “Fore” is a clever play on the homophone four, a number which can be deciphered in the thick white lines of the composition. Also when considering Town's title, the viewer may perceive that he has scrupulously outlined the various paths of a golf ball, curving at high speeds with a shouted warning, “Fore!”

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Harold Barling Town
(1924 - 1990) Painters Eleven, OSA, RCA

Born in 1924, Harold Town lived most of his life in Toronto. He studied at both Central Technical School and the Ontario College of Art and, upon graduating in 1945, became an accomplished illustrator for advertising agencies and magazines such as Macleans and Mayfair. Town was a founder and member of the Painters Eleven, a group of Toronto abstract artists that exhibited together during the 1950s.