Concrete Contemporary Art
October 20 — 25, 2018
Auction begins to close at 2:00 pm ET
Christopher Cutts Gallery, Toronto
Estate of Alison Hymas, Toronto, ON
Jordan, Betty Ann. ‘The wise man of Canadian abstract painting made his mark right to the end of a bravura career.’ The Globe and Mail. 8 September 2010.
Richard Gorman’s work was deeply experimental. Early canvases are generally crowded masses of colour and noise, evocative and deeply adventurous works thrown together in a celebratory excess. Thought best known for his abstract expressionist works, would at various times in his career explore monochromatic minimalism, colour-field painting, and, during a period in the 80s, a deliberate turn to landscape. In Fountainhead, a work produced a few years before his death, we are presented with something monumental: a single mass of brilliant teal clouds the canvas, dominating a deep field of brash red. The pigment almost glows with a neon haze as the edges of the colour blur into each other, the surface given tangible weight as the pigments reveal each other in scrapes and thick striations. It’s at this border, this jump between colours, where the bulk of the painting’s symbolic power lay - a vibrating line emerging out of adjacency and contrast. Gorman has said that, for him, “the colour is the painting.” Fountainhead is an forceful example of how this painterly treatment of colour can deliver a cohesive and impactful result.