Private Collection, Toronto
David Burnett, Oscar Cahén, (catalogue), Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1983, pages 8, 18 and 20.
David Burnett writes: “From 1950, the context of (Cahén’s) art became explicitly engaged with the leading edge of contemporary art, both European and American” describing his work as “a special force.”
Oscar Cahén (1916-1956) was killed in an automobile accident on November 26, 1956, the year this work was executed. Burnett laments the fact that Cahén’s accidental and premature death came at a critical juncture during which the artist was experimenting with a variety of approaches. We are left to speculate which of the various choices he made would have been developed further and which abandoned had he lived longer. It is bittersweet to consider Composition from 1956 in terms of the role it might have played in that arc.