YORK WILSON was born in Toronto, in 1907. He studied at at Central Technical school and at the age of 17, began working as a commercial artist . In 1949, Wilson was highly inspired by trip that he took to Mexico. The vivid colurs of the Mexican landscape seduced him into abandoning commercial art for fine art. He lived nomadically for most of his life, traveling throughout Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. At various points in his life Wilson worked alongside Bridgens, Carmichael and A.J. Casson. For most of the 1950ʼs and 1960ʼs Wilson painted abstractly, though he always practiced some figure work.
In the 1950ʼs Wilson used abstract compositions to depict the light, essence, or memory of a scene using pure hues and form. Wilson’s abstract painting feature a precise geometric style, until the year 1971. He was masterful at arranging harmonious composition. He painted with fine lines to cause a sense of urgency. His reputation as a muralist was developed by the production of a series of prominent public works from the 1940ʼs to the 1970ʼs. Some of these murals reside Toronto's O'Keefe Centre, the Salvation Army Headquarters, Imperial Oil Building, Bell Telephone Building, and Central Hospital. He was also a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
Wilson died in 1984 at the age of 76.
York Wilson : Portugal, Market, c1965