Dixon Passing 1956

Dixon Passing  1956

Harold Town, The Dixon Passing Mugg’s Island, 1956

Oil on Masonite, 122 x 124.5 cm

Estate of Harold Town

 

 

 

 

 

 

Views of the Toronto skyline such as this one, seen from Mugg’s Island in 1907
Views of the Toronto skyline such as this one, seen from Mugg’s Island in 1907, would have inspired Town. Photograph by William James.

Town insisted that his paintings are rooted in his personal memories and experiences. The Dixonwas a ferryboat operating between the city and Toronto Islands, where Town frequently went for beach outings with his friends Walter Yarwood (1917–1996) and Tom Hodgson (1924–2006). Many of his paintings of the time refer to these excursions. The Dixon Passing Mugg’s Island shows the development of Town’s pictorial thinking. The composition is simplified into larger, bold shapes, bounded by tautly curving outlines. The various areas have distinct qualities of colour and texture owing to the scumbled paint application. The painting creates a strong tension between the power of reference (we see a smokestack emitting a billowing greenish-black cloud) and the perception that this is a flat design filling out the square of the canvas.

 

 

 

 

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