Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Oscar Cahén and the Art of the Inked Line

If you can try to imagine Toronto, indeed, Canada, in the early 50's, it was hardly a cosmopolitan society with adventurous tastes. In the words of one of Oscar Cahén's contemporaries, "It was a backwater."

Into this drab, post-war, white bread culture, Oscar Cahén, with the support of enlightened magazine editors and art directors, exploded like a bombshell. When you look over even the small sampling of his work I've been able to locate it sometimes seems that the ever-restless Cahén rarely employed the exact same technique twice.

“Cahén’s highly individual, strangely compelling magazine work," wrote columnist, McKenzie Porter, "brought him into such demand that once he would have had to draw 48 hours a day to keep up with all the commissions from The Standard, Maclean's Magazine, Canadian Home Journal, National Home Monthly, New Liberty and other periodicals.

… In an unprecedented reversal of editorial procedure, Cahén’s drawings were sent to fiction authors who were inspired to write stories around them”.

All of these images can be seen at full size in my Oscar Cahén Flickr set.

*Most of the information and some of this week's images are from The Cahén Archives. Please visit the site for more artwork, photos and information about this great Canadian artist.

All of this week's images and information are © The Cahén Archives.

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