• Vale Variation No.1
  • 23 3/4" x 23 3/4", Lino-cut set 13/50
  • Harold Town

Artist Information

Harold Town
1924 - 1990

Price range: $1500-$110,000

Harold Town (1924-1990 Peterborough, Ontario) was one of Canada ’s most prolific and versatile artists. His vast body of work comprises paintings, etchings, lithographs, collages, drawings and works in other media.

During his lifetime, his work was shown at major galleries and international exhibitions in North and South America and in Europe.

He was a founding member of Painters Eleven, the name of the group which was based simply on the number of artists that were present the first meeting. This group of artists helped to introduce Canadians to abstract art in the 1950’s.

Throughout his career he remained a focus of controversy for his original artwork, flamboyant public persona and outspoken opinions.

Town was trained at Central Technical School and Ontario College of Art, both in Toronto. Influenced by the work of Pablo Picasso and Willem de Kooning, and as well, Asian art at the Royal Ontario Museum, he developed a collage technique that was acclaimed and Town represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1956 and 1964 and at the São Paolo Bienal in 1957 and 1961.

Known as an “unpredictable” painter, Town’s work moved quickly from a dark expressionist style to abstraction which contrasted vivid colours. In the 1960s, Town developed a style of prints which he called “Single Autograph Prints”, a phrase he never explained. These monotype prints were colourful and delicate, winning Town awards in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia and Santiago, Chile, were the prints were acquired by the Solomon Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Alfred Barr the director of MoMA at the time called Town “one of the world’s greatest printmakers.”


1956 Single Autographic Prints. Harold Town, Picture Loan Society, Toronto, ON

1957 Autographic Prints by Harold Town, Galerie L’Actuelle, Montreal, QC

1958 Two Canadian Painters: Paul-Emile Borduas and Harold Town, Arthur Tooth and Sons Ltd., London, England

1960 Harold Town: collages, paintings, prints, drawings, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK

1960 Salon d’automne: Nakamura and Harold Town, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, QC

1962 Harold Town, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Waterloo, ON

1963 Town: An Exhibition of Recent Paintings of the Theme of “The Tyranny of the Corner”, New Jersey Museum of the Arts, New Jersey, NY, USA

1964 XXXII Biennale de Venezia: Harold Town and Elza Mayhew, Venice, Italy

1964 Thirteen Paintings by Harold Town, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC

1966 Harold Town: Drawings and Prints, Macdonald Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON

1966 Exhibition of Autographic Prints and Drawings in Brush, Pen and Ink, Kitchener- Waterloo Art Gallery, Waterloo, ON

1967 Harold Town Paintings, Scarborough College, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

1967 Exhibition of Autographic Prints, Hart House, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

1967 Jean McEwen and Harold Town, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON

1969 Harold Town: Enigmas, Hart House, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

1970 Retrospective Drawing Exhibition, Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, ON

1971 French Postcard Set - Girl on a Bicycle, Fleet Galleries, Winnipeg, MB

1971 Harold Town: Prints, Sarnia Public Library, Sarnia, ON

1971 Silent Stars, Sound Stars, Film Stars, Rothman’s Art Gallery, Stratford, ON

1972 Harold Town - A Selection, Art Gallery of Northumberland, Cobourg, ON

1973 Harold Town: The First Exhibition of New Work 1969-1973, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, ON; London Public Library and Art Museum, London, ON; Rodman Hall Art Center, St. Catharines, ON; Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, ON; curator Kay Reid

1974 Harold Town: Lithographs and Serigraphs, Mazelow Gallery, Toronto, ON

1975 Indications: paintings, collage, drawings, prints, sculpture. Harold Town 1944-1975 Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, ON

1978 Harold Town. The Toy Horse. Works on Paper, Waddington Galleries,

Montreal, QC

1979 Vale Variations, Robertson Galleries, Ottawa, ON

1980 Poets and Other People: Drawings by Harold Town, Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, ON

1981 Harold Town: Recent Paintings, Theo Waddington Galleries, Toronto, ON

1982 Portrait Drawings by Harold Town, Robertson Galleries, Ottawa, ON

1986 Harold Town: A Retrospective, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON

1997 Harold Town: Magnificent Decade 1955-1965, Moore Gallery, Toronto, ON


1952 Canadian Abstract Exhibition, Adelaide House, YWCA, Oshawa ON

1954 Painters 11, Roberts Gallery, Toronto ON + Robertson Galleries, Ottawa, ON

Drawings and Graphics 1947 - 1954 (Kazuo Nakamura, Harold Town, Oscar Cahen), Eglinton Gallery, Toronto ON

1955 Painters 11, Roberts Gallery, Toronto + Adelaide House YWCA, Oshawa ON

Painters 11 Exhibition, St. Catherine’s Public Library and Art Gallery

1956 Small Pictures by Painters 11, Roberts Gallery, Toronto

20th Annual Exhibition of American Abstract Artists with ‘Painters Eleven’ of Canada, Riverside Museum, New York

Painters Eleven Small Originals, Pauline’s Giftland, Oshawa ON

Painters Eleven, Arts & Letters Club, Toronto ON

Canadian Abstract Painting, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC

Four Canadians: Alexander Millar, William Ronald, Gentile Tondino, Harold Town, Art Gallery of Toronto, Toronto ON

Canadian National Exhibition, Fine Art Gallery, Toronto, ON

1957 Painters Eleven 1957, The Park Gallery, Toronto ON

Contemporary Canadian Painters, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON

Triennial de Milano, Milan, Italy

IV Bienal, Museu de Arte Moderna, Sao Paulo, Brazil

1958 Painters Eleven 1958, Ecole de Beaux-Arts, Montreal QC

Painters Eleven, The Alan Gallery, Hamilton ON

Contemporary Art in Canada, Canadian Pavilion, Universal and International Exhibition, Brussels; touring Europe

Art in Canada: A Canadian Portfolio, Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, Texas

v Mostra Internazionale di Bianco e Nero, Lugano, Switzerland

First Biennale of Inter-American Painting, Grabado, Mexico

Two Canadian Painters: Paul-Emile Borduas and Harold Town, Arthur Tooth and Sons Ltd., London, England

1958-59 Painters Eleven. Toured by National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, to 7 national venues

Painters Eleven with Ten Distinguished Artists from Quebec, The Park Gallery, Toronto ON

1959 20th Biennial International Watercolor Exhibition, Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY

Ille exposition internationale de gravure, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia

Savremena kanadska grafika, Belgrade and Ljubljana, Yugolslavia

1960 Painters Eleven, The Stable Gallery, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal QC

Painters Eleven Exhibition, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener ON

1961 Toronto ‘61, Toronto Board of Education; touring 4 North American venues

1962 VI Bienal, Museu de Arte Moderna, Sao Paulo, Brazil

International Exhibition, Tunisian Artists Association, Tunis

3rd International Exhibition of Prints, Tokyo, Japan

1963 Mixed Media and Pop Art, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo NY

Arte de America y Espana, Instituto de Cultura Hispanica, Madrid, Spain

Recent Acquisitions, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY

Fifteen Canadian Artists, MMFA ART, International Council, New York; touring the US

1964 Primera Bienal Americana de Grabado, Lima, Peru

Documenta III, INternationale Ausstellung, Museum Fredericianum, Kassel, West Germany

1965 Eros 65, Dorothy Cameron Gallery, Toronto ON

1966 1e Biennale International de la Gracure, Cracow, Poland

1967 Three Hundred Years of Canadian Painting, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa ON

Painting in Canada, Canadian Government Pavilion, Expo ‘67, Montreal QC

Contemporary Canadian Prints and Drawings in Australia 1967 - 1968, Organized by National Gallery of Canada; touring Australia

1968 The Alexandra Luke Collection, Art Gallery of Oshawa, ON

Canada 101, the Second Edinburgh Hundred, Edinburgh School of Art, Scotland

1970 Canadian Pavilion, Expo 70, Osaka, Japan

1971 Painters Eleven: 1953-1960, the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa ON

1972 Painters Eleven 1953 - 1959, Parts A and B, Toured by The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa to 5 venues

Toronto Painting 1953 - 1965, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Art Gallery of Ottawa

1975 Painters Eleven, the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery and Museum of Fine Art, Owen Sound; Sudbury Arts Festival Spectrum ‘75, Rothmans Centre, Sudbury ON

1976 Painters Eleven, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener ON

1978 Painters Eleven: 25 Years, the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa ON

1979 Painters Eleven, Rodman Hall Arts Centre, St. Catherines ON

Painters Eleven in Retrospect, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa ON

1984 Painters Eleven, Cambridge Library and Art Gallery, Cambridge ON

Art Expo: Painters Eleven, Metro Convention Centre, Toronto ON

1992 Origins of Abstractions in Ontario: The Abstracts at Home Show, 1953, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa ON

1994 The Canadian Painters Eleven (1953-1960) from the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, touring 2 American venues

1995 Painters Eleven: Welcome Home, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa ON

1997 Canadian Collage, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, ON

1998 The Four Seasons, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, ON

1999 Painters Eleven: Commemorative Exhibition, Toronto, ON

2003 Painters Eleven - Selected Works, Theilsen Gallery, London ON

2007 Painters Eleven Exhibition, Thielsen Gallery, London ON

2009 Eleven in Motion: Abstract Expressions in Animation, Christopher Cutts Gallery, Toronto, ON

2011 Paint by Numbers: Painters Eleven, Museum London, London ON


1957 Arno Prize, Sao Paulo Biennale

1957 Second International Exhibition of Drawings and Prints, Yugoslavia

1958 Canada Council Purchase Prize

1958 International Exhibition of Drawing and Prints, Lugano, Switzerland

1960 Guggenheim International Award, Honourable Mention, Canada

1966 Honorary Doctorate, York University

1967 Centennial Medal

1968 Officer, Order of Canada


Canadian Group of Painters

Canadian Society of Graphic Art

Ontario Society of Artists

Royal Canadian Academy of Arts

Society of Canadian Painter-Etchers and Engravers


Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, AB

Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, NB

Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, ON

Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON

Tate Gallery, London, England

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USA

National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON

Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK

Museum of Modern Art, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON

Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB

Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC


Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, BC

Harold Town: “The Wild One” Solo Exhibition e-Catalog 2020
APRIL 25 - MAY 20, 2020

Harold Town was renowned for his fiery personality and his insatiable need to paint and create art. Founder of the Painters Eleven, Town made a mark on Canadian history. This exhibition will reveal his abilities as a master draftsman with his meticulous abilities to draw and yet his ability to create ‘outside the box’ and unveil a new dimension to his art-making career and abilities; a true creator and artist through and through.

Over the years, Town represented Canada in exhibitions in Amsterdam, Brussels, Chicago, Dallas, Edinburgh, London, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Paris, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Tokyo, Venice, Vienna, Warsaw and Washington. He proved that Canada could produce innovative art that is relevant on the international stage, and he brought a new level of confidence and sophistication to the Canadian art scene. – Warren Dunford

To view the on-line catalogue now click HERE

Harold Town: “SAPs & SNAPS” Solo Exhibition e-catalog 2016

With a selection of oils, drawings, and prints this show exemplifies Town’s diversity and originality. Town was a very charismatic and exuberant member of the Painters Eleven. These hand-selected works from the Town estate are fabulous! We really hope you will be able to join us in celebrating Town’s great contribution to art in Canada at the Opening on March 5th. Come and be wowed!

Exhibition e-Catalog can be viewed HERE
Clem Said Group Exhibition e-Catalog 2017

​“ClemSaid” Group Exhibition:

Works by: Ronald Bloore, Ted Godwin, Dorothy Knowles, Kenneth Lochhead, and Harold Town

October 11 - 26, 2017

“ClemSaid” explores the relationships -from positive to negative- that this renowned critic had on 5 artists currently represented by Wallace Galleries.

Exhibition e-Catalog available HERE

The five artists; Ronald Bloore, Ted Godwin, Dorothy Knowles, Kenneth Lochhead, and Harold Town each had their own experiences and opinions on Greenberg and his views on [Modern] art.

As an influential art mind, Greenberg impacted the Canadian art scene with his visits, and his brief or lifelong connection with each artist exhibited had an impact on their art career in one way or another.

We invite you to enjoy the works and walk through a bit of history with each of these great artists… let your mind go & explore another world.