Born at Stratford, Ontario, in 1926, William Ronald studied with Jock Macdonald at the Ontario College of Art in 1952, then briefly in New York City with German abstractionist Hans Hofmann. In 1953, Ronald organized Abstracts at Home, an exhibition at the Robert Simpson department store by artists who would subsequently form Painters Eleven. But as Jack Bush recalled, “Bill Ronald got fed up with Toronto completely. He hated it here. He was a furious and angry young man in those days – and what a painter!” In 1955, Ronald moved to New York City, where his work attracted critical appreciation: “ His pictures have an insistent honesty. A refusal to cover up confusion and a compelling painterliness.” He returned in 1965 to Toronto where he painted and conducted television interviews with artists. He died in Barrie, Ontario, in 1998.
Ronald’s earliest abstractions were characterized by massive brush strokes and paint laid on rich striking colours.
Ronald was an Abstract Expressionist artist.
Ronald won several scholarships including a Guggenheim Award in 1956.
By 1957, Ronald was being represented by the successful Samuel Kootz Gallery, which promoted abstract art.
Source: Anne Newlands, Canadian art from its beginnings to 2000, Firefly books, Canada, 2000; R. H. Hubbard, J.R Ostiguy, Three hundred years of Canadian Art, Ottawa, The National Gallery of Canada, 1967; Iris Nowell, Painters eleven. The wild ones of Canadian art, Douglas & McIntyre, Canada, 2010