Kootz Gallery, New York
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, purchased through the Goodman Fund
William Ronald is best known as one of the founding members of Painters Eleven. From humble beginnings in rural Ontario, Ronald later blossomed into a wildly successful painter with vision and confidence. By 1961, Ronald had been living in the United States for six years. Riding a sustained wave of success, he had already exhibited four shows to great acclaim with the famed New York dealer Sam Kootz. The Disciple was likely painted in preparation for a fifth exhibition in 1962.
Throughout the late fifties and into the early sixties, William Ronald remained fixated on variations of central image compositions. The Disciple is a perfect example from this celebrated period in the artist's career. With colour built upon a strong red ground, the central mass of green, yellow and black is landlocked by a sea of white. Ronald's mark-making is deliberate, confident and even muscular.
The Disciple is indicative of the determination and focus of the artist at the time. At the height of Modernism, he challenged the New York art world head on.
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