Heffel /Nov 26, 2009
€22,037.53 - €28,333.97
Artworks in Arcadja14
Some works of Raymond John MeadExtracted between 14 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Heffel -May 17, 2011 - MontrealLot number: 6
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Lot # 006 Raymond John Mead CGP CSGA P11 1921 - 1998 Canadian Objects oil on canvas signed and dated 1952 and on verso signed, titled and inscribed "9Hill Heights Court, Toronto / $100" 28 x 36 in 71.1 x 91.4cm Provenance: Private Collection, Ontario Objects was acquired directly from the artist - perhaps as anexchange or as a gift - by a gentleman who credited Mead withhelping him get his first job in the advertising industry. It hasremained in the possession of that man's family ever since. Atfirst glance, one may associate this 1952 painting with a Cubistaesthetic, but Mead was clearly still in the thrall of his SladeSchool instructor, Patrick Heron, and the other young moderns whoformed the nexus of Cornwall's St. Ives School. Here we do not havemultiple views but one pared-down view of still life objects:perhaps a ripe melon, a shiny apple and a yellow jug on a darktable, standing on a green carpet. The rich yet controlled colourrange, the flattened format and strong curved shapes are morereminiscent of British artists Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworththan of Pablo Picasso or Georges Braque.
Auction: Heffel -Nov 25, 2010 - TorontoLot number: 22
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Lot # 022 Raymond John Mead CGP CSGA P11 1921 - 1998 Canadian Bright Abbey acrylic on canvas signed and on verso titled, dated 1988 and inscribed "40th anniversary, July 12th, 1992" 60 x 67 in 152.4 x 170.2cm Provenance: A gift from the Artist, 1992 By descent to the present Private Estate, Ontario As a member of Painters Eleven, Ray Mead was directly involved in the pioneering stage of Canadian contemporary painting. Before his contributions to the development of Canadian abstract art, Mead was born and educated in England, and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Displaced by World War II, Mead emigrated to Canada in 1946 and settled in Hamilton, Ontario. Despite his formal training in London, Mead credited fellow Painters Eleven artist Hortense Gordon for his artistic development in the beginning of his career. She introduced him to ideas gained from Hans Hofmann and the innovations of American Abstract Expressionists. Bright Abbey was produced in 1988, a period in which Mead was painting in response to Post-Painterly Colour Field painting. With its softly modulated pastel ground, this work is a departure from his typical bold colour fields. A characteristic of Mead's body of work at this time, and notably in this outstanding canvas, is his unique style of inscribing his surface with sensitive lines and shapes. As Roald Nasgaard writes, "His drawing is more edgy, always a little precious, sometimes quirky; small-scaled despite the relatively large size of the paintings."
Auction: Heffel -May 26, 2010 - MontrealLot number: 42
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Lot # 042 Raymond John Mead CGP CSGA P11 1921 - 1998 Canadian Tidal Blue oil on canvas signed and dated 1991 and on verso signed, titled and dated 57 x 66 in 144.8 x 167.6cm Provenance: Private Collection, Toronto Literature: David Burnett and Marilyn Schiff, Contemporary Canadian Art, 1983,page 50 Roald Nasgaard, Abstract Painting in Canada, 2007, page 106 Ray Mead was born and educated in England, and studied at the SladeSchool of Fine Art in London. He emigrated in 1946, settling inHamilton, Ontario where he became a commercial artist and artdirector for an advertising agency. In 1953, he exhibited his workin the now famous Abstracts at Home, the Toronto show from whichPainters Eleven came into being. Mead's work exhibited what DavidBurnett and Marilyn Schiff termed an "explosive energy on thesurfaces of [his] paintings." Although his works were largelyabstract, the images retained a sense of realism; Roald Nasgaardnotes that Mead stated: "Basically, my painting is reallylandscape." Tidal Blue was painted in 1991, and demonstrates the multitude ofinfluences that developed Mead's style, such as American AbstractExpressionism. The strong sense of composition is evidence ofMead's maturity as an artist, and within the bold, rich blue of thecanvas there is a sense of movement upwards towards the darkslashes of colour. The heavy application of paint creates a richlytextured and glowing colour field that gives a sense of open spacewithin the work, encouraging our visual exploration.
Auction: Heffel -Nov 26, 2009 - TorontoLot number: 46
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Lot # 046 Raymond John Mead CGP CSGA P11 1921 - 1998 Canadian Painting oil on canvas signed and dated 1955 and on verso signed, titled, dated and inscribed "11 Crown Hill Place, Toronto" 48 x 70 in 121.9 x 177.8cm Provenance: Estate of the Artist Ray Mead was born and educated in England, studying at the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art in London from 1937 - 1939, before emigrating to Canada in 1946. He settled in Hamilton, Ontario, where he became director of the art department in an advertising firm. Mead and his paintings remain central to the story of modern Canadian art for several reasons. He was one of a small group of painters to show work in the famous Abstracts at Home exhibition at Simpson's department store in Toronto in 1953. This group presentation - designed not only as a way for younger artists to have their work seen, but also as a way to make abstraction less threatening to Canadians - was arranged by William Ronald who, with Mead and nine others working in an abstract idiom, then came to form the group Painters Eleven in November of 1953. Until its dissolution in 1960, Painters Eleven offered support for this then-radical style of painting, and promoted it, especially in New York City. Exchanges between members of Painters Eleven and the Abstract Expressionist artists and critics in New York - Hans Hofmann, Barnett Newman, Clement Greenberg and many others - are legendary, and support the tight aesthetic relationship between Toronto and New York in this era. Mead was also well acquainted with Abstract Expressionist practice in the 1950s through his own New York dealer, Charles Egan, whose gallery on 57th Street showed Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Philip Guston and other luminaries. While the New York axis was important as an inspiration for abstraction, Mead's work exemplifies a more complex picture of international abstract painting in the 1950s. He was part of what might best be thought of as trans-Atlantic abstraction, a blending of styles and motivations that pivoted on New York, London, and European modernism. Mead's sensibilities remained close to artists of the St. Ives School (named for the artists' colony in Cornwall founded by Ben Nicolson and Barbara Hepworth). He was at the Slade School of Fine Art with Patrick Heron, one of the most prominent second-generation members of the St. Ives group. From the mid-1950s, Heron and many other British artists were in turn influenced by contemporary American abstraction, thus forming the international circuit of which Mead's work is a part. Like his contemporaries in England, Mead tended to a more subdued and restful palette and to Cubist structure. He acknowledged an enduring affinity for landscape motifs. Painting was done in 1955, in the heyday of Painters Eleven's success in Toronto, and on the eve of their wide recognition in New York. The canvas's interlocking and overlapping forms define a space organized along Cubist principles. While the palette is subdued, vibrantly saturated motifs electrify the surface. These forms can be read in different spatial registers. For example, the dominant orange oval to the left of centre appears as a flat and bounded element in a vertical ladder of shapes. At the same time, we can imagine that we look down on it. The satisfying complexity of Painting emerges slowly; we come to see the considerable range of colours used by Mead, not only the predominant browns and blacks, but also greens, blues and a variety of orange hues. In both its subtlety and boldness, Painting repays repeated looking. We thank Dr. Mark Cheetham, Professor in the Department of Art at the University of Toronto, for contributing the above essay.
Auction: Heffel -Nov 19, 2008 - VancouverLot number: 36
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Lot # 036 Raymond John Mead CGP CSGA 1921 - 1998 Canadian Untitled oil on canvas circa 1964 signed 50 x 45 in 127 x 114.3cm Provenance: By descent to the present Private Collection, Montreal Literature: Joan Murray, Two Decades: Ray Mead, 1982, pages 4 and 6 Influenced by artists such as Jack Bush, Guido Molinari and YvesGaucher, Mead is one of Canada's great abstract painters. Mead'sDoor Series from the early to mid-1960s was a formative point inthe artist's career. Untitled is a good example of this series -focusing on circles, lines and what Mead describes as "great fatareas" which govern the canvas. Mead was a master colourist, usingcolour tones as the main compositional element within hispaintings. These paintings give the viewer the illusion of emerginginto different spheres of space where similar tones of blue andblack are usually complimented by a pop of red or orange. In 1982,Joan Murray held a survey exhibition of the artist's work at TheMcLaughlin Gallery. She noted that the artist "often lets a singlecolour - say red - stay pure and undiluted. It will rule thepainting. He especially likes colours with some range to them -which extends to almost black." Mead's own description of his worksoffers an interesting insight into this painting. He stated, "Theseare not paintings for first look. The viewer has to look and livewith them to discover a different sort of life. Then they revealtheir secret - a new language of colour and form." Please note: This work will be available for pick-up or deliveryfrom PacArt, Toronto, post-auction.