RAYMOND JOHN MEAD
Private Collection, Ontario
Private Collection, British Columbia (by descent)
Joan Murray, Ray Mead: The Papers (catalogue), The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, 1988, page 11-12.
The body of works on paper to which this work relates is a crucial record of Mead's experimentation. In such works Mead plays with media and its particular effects, with drawing, shape and colour, all with no real pre-conceived notions. Murray refers to the paper works as a "laboratory-like setting for reconstructing the development of one of Canada's major Abstract Expressionists during his formative years."
The imagery in this untitled work is ambiguous or, like other works from the period, not explicit. Ray Mead used such works on paper to explore. He did not necessarily view these works as preliminary to a canvas, rather Joan Murray contends that these pictures "are complete works in themselves. Even so," she continues "(Mead) occasionally notices, as much as ten years later, images from his drawings that have flowered into the paintings."
Mead trained at the famous Slade School in London before immigrating to Canada. He settled in Hamilton in 1945 where he would meet Hortense Gordon. He became good friends with Alexandra Luke and participated in the abstract painting show she organized in Oshawa prior to the Abstracts at Home exhibit where the idea for the collective first took hold (see lot 100).