Statement made on 01 April 2009 by Senator Peter Stollery (retired)
Hon. Peter A. Stollery:
Honourable senators, I draw your attention to the work of the late William Ronald, a founding member of the mainly Ontario group of celebrated abstract expressionist painters known as the Painters Eleven. The Painters Eleven worked at about the same time, or a little later, as the Montreal-based group the Automatistes, founded by Paul-Émile Borduas, whose famous members included Jean-Paul Riopelle.
Senators will have seen one of the large murals in the National Arts Centre painted by William Ronald. On large canvases, Ronald painted a famous series of abstract expressionist portraits of Canada's prime ministers, from Sir John A. Macdonald to Kim Campbell. We are approaching the twenty-fifth anniversary of the unveiling at the Ontario Art Gallery in Toronto of the first 16 portraits, which I believe belong in the National Art Gallery and, when it opens, in Ottawa I hope, in the national portrait gallery.