22.5 ins x 34.5 ins; 57.2 cms x 87.6 cms
November 18, 2021
Oscar Cahén’s work was largely unseen for 40 years following his untimely death at the age of 40 in 1956; however, he is now considered an important illustrator and painter. Fleeing Nazi Germany, Cahén arrived in Quebec as a refugee in 1941. His talent for drawing was quickly recognized and soon appeared in Maclean’s magazine. By 1949, Cahén had moved to Toronto, where his success as a commercial artist gave him the freedom to experiment with abstraction in his personal work. With artists Harold Town and Jack Bush, Cahén formed the Painters Eleven, a group dedicated to forwarding abstract art in Canada. This untitled work dates from the year of Cahén’s first solo exhibition (at Hart House) and features the oval forms and vibrant colour that characterize his paintings. Assuming control of the estate in the 1990s, Cahén’s son made work available for exhibition, allowing scholars and the public to re-discover this exceptionally creative artist.
Bill Clarke is a Toronto-based collector of contemporary art (and many other things) and a writer who has written for ArtReview, ARTnews, Modern Painters, Canadian Art and Border Crossings. Associate director of Angell Gallery from 2017 to 2019, Clarke has returned to his previous career in healthcare policy and communications.
Canadian Fine Art
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