Friday, 12 June 2015


MUSIC BEHIND by Harold Town 1958-59
HAROLD TOWN OC (June 13, 1924 – December 27, 1990)
More about Harold Town can be accessed by clicking on his name above 

A Canadian abstract painter, best known as a member of "Painters Eleven", a group of abstract artists working in Toronto from 1954-1960. The group took it's name from the number of artists at the first meeting. Town also free lanced as an illustrator for magazines like Maclean's and Mayfair.

Even over 50 years after it's creation, the painting above seems fresh and very current. Although the painting is abstract in nature, it displays a carefully arranged geometric composition and palette of mainly primary colours on a warm pastel background. The difference between this and much of the experiential abstract expressionist work produced today is quite clear. Here there are echoes of early computer technology, transistors and plastic coloured wiring which was all cutting edge in the 50s.

Many people find it difficult to appreciate abstract work or justify it's price, but I think it's an acquired taste like modern jazz or fine wine. I love abstract work and some of my favourite contemporary artists are Carol Nelson, Kim Rempel and Elizabeth Chapman. However, their work is more experiential in nature and shows how modern at has moved on from the Jetson era. I think I would prefer painting with the kind of structure that Harold Town uses in his work.

Possibly the closest I have come to Harold Town in my own work is THREE CLICKS as shown and available at Daily Paintworks here. This painting is as current as Towns were in 1959 because it refers to the simplification of websites and online shops ... a customer should never have to make more than three keyboard clicks to purchase an item online. Spending most of my day online and using many varied websites, I have to say, that the majority of artists are a long way from achieving that marketing goal.