Historic Art | William Ronald R.C.A.

About the Artist

William Ronald, né Smith, painter (b at Stratford, Ont 13 Aug 1926; d at Toronto, Ont 9 Feb 1998). Ronald's abstract expressionism influenced an era in Canadian art; he was the catalyst who organized Painters Eleven, the first abstract painting group in Ontario, in 1953. His gift lies in his work's spontaneity, dynamism and energy and in his natural talent for handling paint. After studies at the Ontario College of Art with Jock MacDonald, Ronald went to New York in 1952 where he briefly attended Hans Hofmann's School.

In the mid-1950s, after travelling frequently between Toronto and New York, he moved to New York. He was influenced by the fragmentary, explosive painting of Willem de Kooning, but by contrast created large central images with a background horizon line, painted in a savage technique. In 1957 he had his first exhibition in the Samuel Kootz Gallery, with which he remained until 1963. In the mid-1960s he returned to Canada. Because of a 1967 mural commission at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Ronald's style evolved into a more hard-edged format prophetic of the 1970s in Canadian art. Through the years he maintained his interest in automatic painting, using a vocabulary of symbols, often central images, that interested him. He also had a career as a broadcaster; he was host for the CBC radio program As it Happens (1969-72) and of a TV variety show about the arts, The Umbrella (1966-67). His work of the 1980s included a series of abstract paintings of the prime ministers.

The Canadian Encyclopedia by Joan Murray
Read Less..
Read More..