Tony Tascona

Light as a Feather, 1984

lacquer on aluminum

36 × 36 in

 36 x


 91.44 x


Signed and dated, bottom left.


plus shipping & taxes

About the work

Tony Tascona’s lacquer on aluminum Light As A Feather evokes an airiness that belies its hefty industrial surface. Stacked geometric shapes in blues, greys, and whites seem to float forward on a sky-blue background, bestowing a sense of three dimensions on what is, in reality, a strictly two-dimensional picture plane. Light As A Feather is a stand-out example of Tascona’s practice of exploring the artistic possibilities of manmade metals and industrial mediums and his later reputation for sharply defining the space. True to form, the artwork maintains a strikingly modern aesthetic despite being forty years of age and boldly dominates wherever it is displayed.

Medium Painting
Signature Signed
Frame Framed
Condition very good; minor scratch upper left quadrant
Seller Private
Location Winnipeg, Canada
Provenance Artist; Private Collection, Winnipeg (purchased from the above in 1987).

Tony Tascona


Art for me is motion in a staccato-controlled world, increasingly pulsating, always on the fringe of destruction and/or survival.

– Tony Tascona, 1962

Tony Tascona was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba in 1926. At the age of twenty, after a brief stint in the army, he enrolled as a diploma student at the Winnipeg School of Art, from which he graduated in 1950. His style was fresh—rich with glazes and impastos and bold with diverse surface textures and open compositions. The resulting work was loose and expressionistic. At the age of twenty-eight, Tascona had his first exhibition in the Spring Show at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. In the years to follow, he exhibited frequently in both group and solo shows.

To support himself and his art-making, Tascona took a job with Canadian Aerospace Industries and, later, with Trans-Canada Airlines (now Air Canada). It was here in these industrial environments that Tascona became interested in plastics, metals, and lacquers: the synthetic materials and industrial products that went on to inform his work. As he commented: “I don’t buy this business of being in the mood. You create it simply by starting to work. You draw on your own resources, all your experiences” (in Rosalie Woloski, No Matter If You Fail, Just Trying Is Success, 1974).

Tascona explored and exploited the manipulative possibilities of industrial materials, appropriating their visual and practical elements and combining them with a graphic sensibility. He worked with brilliantly coloured printer’s inks, including fiery reds, acidic purples, and lucid greens.

In 1962, Tascona relocated to Montreal and met Guido Molinari and Claude Tousignant, whose hard-edge colour painting intersected with his own interest in geometric work. His work moved away from its dense, organic nature to a crisper definition of space. Lacquered forms took shape on the slick surfaces of aluminum with clean lines and resonating colours. After two years in Montreal, Tascona returned to Winnipeg and began to simplify his compositions, aiming at absolute control of forms. He continued his exploration of shape and space continued on into the 1970s, introducing sculpture and diverging only to resurrect and reintroduce shapes as modified, simplified, or refined variations of the absolute form.

Tascona continued to exhibit throughout the 1980s. He sat on the Board of Trustees at the National Gallery of Canada from 1997 to 1999.



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