Painters Eleven: The Ones of Canadian Art, by Iris Nowell
Eleven Abstract Expressionist artists banded together in 1953 to break through the barricades of traditional art at a time when Canadian and European 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 Painters Eleven, expecting they would gain attention as a group, rather than going solo. Following their first group exhibition in February 1954, the public response echoed the sentiments that Abstract Expressionism had elicited worldwide-largely mockery and bewilderment. Nevertheless, the exhibition attracted wide public interest, and after two or three more Painters Eleven exhibitions, the criticism transformed to a crescendo of acclaim from critics and collectors alike. Although the group disbanded in 19 6 0, many of the Painters Eleven became icons of Canadian contemporary art. Their dynamic works are held in Canada's main public art galleries and in prestigious galleries around the world and are still avidly sought after by public institutions and private and corporate art collectors. Expertly researched by Iris Nowell, an acclaimed biographer with extensive knowledge of the Canadian art world, and featuring more than 290 full-colour reproductions, Painters Eleven brings readers and art lovers face to face with one of Canada's most exciting periods of art history.