Selected works by York Wilson are currently on display at STU’s Yellow Box Gallery.
An enormous collection of work by Toronto-born artist York Wilson now calls Fredericton home. In a recent gift to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the York Wilson Foundation has donated over 850 works by Wilson, a full digital archive and financial support for programming in what amounts to the largest gallery owned collection of work by the artist.
Ronald Wilson (1907-1984) was born in Toronto where he studied and later worked as a commercial artist alongside Franklin Carmichael and A.J. Casson before shifting his focus to fine art in the 1930s. Known largely for his murals created for Imperial Oil, O’Keefe Centre for the Performing Arts, Bell Canada and Carleton University, Wilson spent a great deal of his life in a nomadic state living, traveling and painting throughout Europe and Mexico.
His work can be found in many galleries around the world including the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the Uffizi in Italy.
“The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is honoured to be entrusted as the custodian of the legacy of this extensive collection of the life’s work by York Wilson,” said Jeffrey Spalding, Chief Curator at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. “Throughout the 1950s to 1970s, Wilson was the exemplar of the progressive modernist artist. His work embraced a staggering range of creative explorations from representational to abstract art; it was the formative influence upon generations of emerging artists.”
Selected works from the collection are presently on display at St. Thomas University’s Yellow Box Gallery on the third floor of McCain Hall.
“To our growing institution, the York Wilson gift is really important to us,” said Spalding. “We will be including these works in our regular programming at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, but we also wanted to show them at other places. Showing some highlights of the York Wilson works in our collection at the Yellow Box Gallery seemed like a great start.
“Having a selection of works on display at St. Thomas University will be great for Fine Arts students. York Wilson made many great contributions to the landscape of fine art in Canada and you can see evidence of these contributions in the works currently on display.”