John Kasyn

In the Late Afternoon Sun, Markham Street, Toronto

oil on board
24x36 in.

Masters Gallery Ltd., Calgary;
Ranger Oil, Calgary;
Private collection

John Kasyn is a consistent painter of houses, street scenes, and buildings of Toronto. He pays great attention to detail, every windowsill, every doorstep, every fence line is painted with accuracy and care. He was especially fond of backyards and alleyways, the places where people spent more of their time, and where their true selves might be observed. He often chose buildings that were abandoned or potentially being torn down, capturing their character, grace, and charm for posterity. Always depicted in winter, Kasyn’s buildings are often bordered with leafless trees, black winter limbs against chalky, overcast skies. Summer trees, it seems, might obscure the view of the house. He painted this subject matter so frequently over course of his career that an architectural survey of old Toronto might be conducted using his work.

OSA, CSPWC (1926-2009). Born in Poland, Kasyn came to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1938 and studied at the Ontario College of Art and the Central Technical School (1940), both in Toronto. Working in oils, acrylic and watercolour, he paints Toronto streetscapes with particular emphasis on the backs, and backyards, of houses,…