Canadian painter Jaan Poldaas was born in Sweden in 1948 and raised in northern Ontario. Before becoming a painter, he studied architecture at the University of Toronto in the late 1960s. He was a founding member of Mercer Union in 1979 and his works are in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada, among many others. Poldaas was a life-long practitioner of hard-edge abstract painting; his sophisticated and rigorous conceptualist and process-based ideology and his distinctive chromatic personae set him apart from his peers in the Canadian school.
Vertical Composition (Blue Yellow) (1990) is a superb work from one of Poldaas’s best periods. Algebraic in proportions and monumental in scale, its intense and punchy palette (red, blue, black and yellow) exerts an almost visceral and hypnotic impact on the viewer.