Artwork by Walter Hawley Yarwood,  Shea’s Hippodrome #3 - Landscape

Walter Yarwood
Shea’s Hippodrome #3 - Landscape

oil on canvas on board
signed and dated 1958 to the right; signed, titled and dated 1958 on the reverse
26.25 x 36 ins ( 66.7 x 91.4 cms )

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

Price Realized $10,800.00
Sale date: June 15th 2022

Acquired directly from the artist
Private Collection, Ontario
By descent to the present Private Collection, Ontario
Iris Nowell, “Painters Eleven: The Wild Ones of Canadian Art”, Vancouver/Toronto, 2010, page 278
Gerta Moray, “Harold Town, Life & Work” [online publication], Art Canada Institute, Toronto, 2014, page 76
Favouring bold swaths of colour and geometric shapes with heavy use of black line to highlight form, Walter Yarwood was preoccupied with movement and gesture in his painterly practice. His paintings from the late 1950s accentuate forms in motion rather than static geometrics and emphasize non-representation in painting. The artist also incorporated strong contrast with bold colour in his works, on which Iris Nowell writes: “Nothing is overdone in his strong colours; it’s as though a buzzer in his brain alerted him when to stop.” Without becoming overwhelming, Yarwood was able to harness the power within the picture plane and deliver rich, complex paintings.

Yarwood was a largely self-taught artist but worked closely with fellow Painters Eleven members Harold Town and Oscar Cahén, which enriched his painterly practice. Following the announcement that Toronto’s historic Shea’s Hippodrome Theatre was to be demolished to make way for Nathan Phillips Square, Harold Town discovered bolts of unused Belgian linen in the backstage area of the theatre in 1957 which he used for large canvas pieces. Yarwood also utilized this linen for “Shea’s Hippodrome #3 - Landscape”, which has been laid on board giving insight into the close working and personal relationship Yarwood had with Town, as well as` his elevated position in Canadian Abstraction. Yarwood later abandoned painting in favour of sculpture, however, the seeds of the artist’s sculptural lexicon can be found in “Shea’s Hippodrome #3 - Landscape” in the use of jagged swaths of pigment, loose geometric forms and rich earth and jewel tones.

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Walter Hawley Yarwood
(1917 - 1996) Painters Eleven