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Art Word of the Day: Painters eleven


11 months ago3 min read

Term: Painters eleven

Definition: A group of abstract Canadian

painters active in the 1950s that were the country's early abstractionists that publicly aligned themselves with the style. They were also the first English-speaking Canadian abstract artists group. Included were Jack Hamilton Bush, Oscar Cahen, Hortense Gordon, Alexandra Luke, Kazuo Nakamura, Ray Mead, Tom Hodgson, James Hervey MacDonald, Harold Town, Walter Yarwood and William Ronald. Harold Town suggested the name, and their first group show was held in February 1954 at the Roberts Gallery in Toronto with large crowds, no sales, and reviews ranging from positive to hostile. Subsequent exhibitions went through 1958. The group, having been held together by a common interest in promoting public acceptance of abstraction and a desire to stir a market for their work, voted to disband in 1960. Their goals had been met, and abstraction became an accepted part of Canadian art. Sources: Joyce Zemans, "The Canadian Encyclopedia"; D.Grace Inglis, "Journal of Canadian Studies", Fall 1994.

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