Ronald York Wilson

Ronald York Wilson, painter (b at Toronto, Ont 6 Dec 1907; d there 10 Feb 1984). Wilson studied commercial art at Central Technical School and first worked at Brigden's engraving house in Toronto (1926), where he was influenced by Charles COMFORT and Will OGILVIE. Wilson was first recognized for paintings of the burlesque, such as those he exhibited with the Canadian Group of Painters at the World's Fair in New York (1939), and other social commentary pictures. He became a full-time painter in 1950. Trips to Mexico in 1950 and 1953 exposed him to the influence of Rico Lebrun and stimulated an interest in mural painting.

Wilson was best known for his commissioned murals, including those for McGill University's library (Montréal, 1954) and the Imperial Oil Building (Toronto, 1957). He also created the massive "Seven Lively Arts" mural for Toronto's O'Keefe Centre (1960), which was retained when the building, later renamed the Sony Centre, was renovated in 2010. In the later 1950s his interest in "picture construction" led him to abstract painting and then, in the 1960s, into geometric art.