oil on canvas
signed, titled and dated “70-71” on the reverse, and signed, titled and dated “Jan/71” and “/71” on the stretcher
72 ins x 48 ins; 127 cms x 182.9 cms
A superb colourist, it is easy to overlook what is perhaps considered Meredith's great, even greatest, talent: his expressive rendering of line. Using a technique that would stimulate his compositions and become a kind of signature of his best work, Meredith smudged the wet ink of his drawings, and later the wet painted lines of his canvases, electrifying the lines and dramatically energizing his composition. The result was the successful transfer of energy from the drawing onto the canvas. Meredith, thereby, creating a kind of painted drawing.
By the mid-1960s, Meredith was using his ink drawings to produce finished work. We are indebted to a private collector in Toronto who generously has lent us, for exhibition purposes only, Meredith’s drawing for Voyage.
Nasgaard writes that by the 1970s Meredith’s drawing “is nervous, agitated, and overlaid on free-floating bursts of brilliant colour. The edges are more extravagantly feathered and appear more spontaneous than ever, entirely belying Meredith’s actual working technique. He first worked out painting as a coloured drawing, and then transferred the drawing to canvas, the enlargement accomplished by covering the drawing with transparent graph paper and then proceeding to paint in the matching squared off canvas. He enlarged the sketches without making changes, replicating carefully the dragged and smudged lines and the nuanced modulations of his coloured inks.”
Art Gallery of Ontario: Selected Works, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1990, page 338.
Roald Nasgaard, Abstract Painting in Canada, Douglas & McIntyre Ltd., Vancouver, 2007, page 243.
Private Collection, Ontario
Department: Canadian Fine Art