Jaan Poldaas, ‘Twelve Colour Pair, Study’, 1996, Waddington's
Jaan Poldaas, ‘Twelve Colour Pair, Study’, 1996, Waddington's
Jaan Poldaas, ‘Twelve Colour Pair, Study’, 1996, Waddington's

Born in Sweden in 1948, Toronto-based artist Jaan Poldaas has been prominent on the Canadian abstract art scene since the 1970s and continues to be regarded as an important minimalist painter in Canada today. Poldaas is best known for his bright, geometric and mathematically inspired color field works, comparable to those of Piet Mondrian or his Canadian contemporary, Yves Gaucher. “The distinction of Poldaas’s [work],” art historian Roald Nasgaard stated, “was that he was working with colour at a time when colour had little place in Minimalist or Conceptual art.” Poldaas’ third vein of works are the “colour pairs,” where the artist compares two squares full of separate colour. Nasgaard described this process as “self-imposed rules” for his artwork: the first panel can be whatever the artist wants, but the second one must be an opposite. It is a constant struggle between what the eye desires and what the artist must do.

Poldaas’ work is collected internationally and is included in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada.
Courtesy of Waddington's

Signature: Signed and dated 1996

Roald Nasgaard, Abstract Art in Canada, Douglas & McIntyre, 2008.

Private Collection, Ontario
Wynick/Tuck Gallery, Toronto

About Jaan Poldaas