William Ronald was born in Stratford, Ontario, and studied at the Ontario College of Art under Jock MacDonald. In 1953, he became a founder of the group Painters Eleven. With his move to New York City, Ronald connected with major artists of the Abstract Expressionist movement, and works of his were acquired by the Rockefeller family and the Museum of Modern Art. He rose to prominence in New York, studying at the school run by Hans Hoffman, sharing a studio with Frank Stella, and joining Sam Kootz’s celebrated gallery in 1956. It was not uncommon to find oneself in the presence of major International artists whilst attending a New York exhibition of Ronald’s work.
Ruins, a prime example of Ronald’s work, depicts an abstraction of Manhattan in bold, strong gesture and colour. Works from this important period in Ronald’s career can be found in major museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum, the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and others. (W. K.)