Toller Cranston - Untitled #91
Oil on Gallery Canvas
48 x 48 in
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Born in Hamilton, Ontario on April 20, 1949, Toller began figure skating at the age of seven. As an amateur, and later, a professional skater, Toller's striking and innovative style captured the imagination of skating enthusiasts around the world. Often described as "the skater of the century", Toller's presence and impact have been compared to that of Nijinsky and Nureyev. Concurrently, his temperament found another expression in painting, shaped by attendance at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Montreal from 1965 to 1967. His development as a painter has led to numerous one-man exhibitions in Europe and North America, and inclusion of his work in many prestigious collections. One aspect of Toller's unique view of art was his co-founding of the Canadian School of Mystic Symbolism, and his assembly of Canada's largest private symbolic painting collection. Toller's extraordinary duality as athlete and artist prompted Harvard University, in 1986, and the University of Maine, in 1985, to include Toller as a Performer in Residence in various seminars exploring performance and art. As both athlete and artist, Toller has supported many charitable organizations, and promoted Canadian figure skating. Toller's contributions to skating and art have enhanced Canada's prestige internationally. His artistic and athletic vision, strength and dedication are inspirations to all Canadians.