Painters Eleven

Un libro in lingua di Iris Nowell edito da Douglas & McIntyre Ltd, 2011

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This first book to be published about Painters Eleven, the brilliant, flamboyant group of Toronto-based Abstract Expressionist painters, covers a major period in Canadian art history, one that has never before been chronicled in such vivid, intimate detail. Iris Nowell knew some of Painters Eleven's nine men and two women artists in the late 1960s, so her text has the unmistakable ring of authenticity and the authority of a writer's inside knowledge of her subject.

Formed in 1953, Painters Eleven introduced Abstract Expressionism to Toronto, but in order to make their definitive mark they had to crack the dominant culture of figurative art and confront the city's stultifying conservatism. Through Nowell's well-researched, highly detailed account, it becomes clear why these artists had such a struggle for recognition and why they achieved it so masterfully. In her fresh and lively style, she writes about each painter's life and reveals how the group's dynamic art, driven by its members' uniquely strong personalities, brought Abstract Expressionism into the spotlight. To Nowell, the way these artists lived their lives was as significant and original as their painting - their lives were their art.

Although Painters Eleven formally disbanded in 1960, they continued to exhibit extensively in solo and group shows, going on to garner the highest respect and honours at home and internationally. How Painters Eleven achieved their immense success is a fascinating, inspiring, tender and in some cases tragic story, but one in which art triumphs.

Nowell accompanies her story with 279 full-colour images of Painters Eleven artworks and 75 archival photographs of the artists in their milieu. This quintessential Painters Eleven gallery is the first ever to showcase the artists' outstanding individual and collective talent and to acknowledge their rightful place in Canadian art history.

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