September 19, 2018

Oscar Cahén Book Review in Border Crossings

Book Review
Border Crossings Magazine
Volume 37 No 3 Issue 147, pp.136-37
By John Kissick

The story of Oscar Cahén (born Copenhagen 1916, died Toronto 1956) can feel all too familiar to readers steeped in the myths that often underscore artists’ biographies: yet another painter of real potential coming into their prime, dying too young. At the time of his death in a car accident at the age of 40, Cahén was already a bit of a celebrity in Toronto art community with successes in both the field of illustration
(under the name “Oscar,” most noted for his memorable Maclean’s magazine covers) and, perhaps more significantly from the point of view of history, as a member of the emergent Painters Eleven group of artists…I can’t think of a volume that has been released in recent years ( at least about a Canadian artist) that is so intelligently assembles to make the case for the continued relevancy of the artist…The stunning 311-page volume co-published by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and The Cahén Archives is, from front to back, a fine repository of images, impeccably reproduced and, by sheer number alone, making a compelling case for an artist of incredible industry and creative drive. But perhaps most significantly of all, its success fully argues that Oscar Cahén still matters, and should matter in any future understanding of the Painters Eleven and its legacy.

To read the entire review, please open the PDF listed below.