Painters Eleven by Iris Nowell
The Wild Ones of Canadian Art

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Iris Nowell's Painters Eleven: The Wild Ones of Canadian Art is a gorgeous artifact...Pages of text are interspersed with splendidly reproduced full-colour images of the artists' works...
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

In 1953 eleven Canadian Abstract Expressionist artists banded together to break through the barricades of traditional art at a time when landscapes were about the only paintings collectors were buying. Hungry for recognition, raging against the art establishment that was shutting them out, they decided to form a collective, expecting they would gain more attention as a group than as solo artists. In 1954, The Painters Eleven—Jack Bush, Oscar Cahén, Hortense Gordon, Tom Hodgson, Alexandra Luke, Jock Macdonald, Ray Mead, Kazuo Nakamura, William Ronald, Harold Town and Walter Yarwood—held their first exhibition in Toronto.

Initially the public response echoed the worldwide sentiments toward Abstract Expressionism —mockery and bewilderment. Nevertheless, the exhibition attracted wide public interest and criticism faded into acclaim from critics and collectors alike. A successful 1956 exhibition at the Riverside Gallery in New York even elicited praise from the influential critic Clement Greenberg.

Packed with gorgeous full color reproductions, this highly detailed account reveals the influences of the indivudual artists on the group's dynamic art and uncovers why the Painters Eleven had such a struggle for recognition, and why they acheived it so masterfully.
 

About Iris Nowell

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Iris Nowell is the author of six books, including her memoir Hot Breakfast for Sparrows: My Life with Harold Town, as well as countless newspaper and magazine articles on topics ranging from sports to social issues. Nowell lives in Toronto.
 
Published March 1, 2011 by Douglas & McIntyre. 384 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography.
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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by HELEN MCLEAN on Aug 23 2012

Iris Nowell's Painters Eleven: The Wild Ones of Canadian Art is a gorgeous artifact...Pages of text are interspersed with splendidly reproduced full-colour images of the artists' works...

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