RAY MEAD "UNTITLED (FLAGS)" PASTEL, 1979
Although Ray Mead (1921-1988) was British, having studied at the famed Slade School of Art, and later serving in the Royal Air Force during the war, his career as an artist was established and blossomed in Canada.
Mead immigrated to Canada and settled in Hamilton in 1946. He had important relationships with Walter Yarwood and Hortense Gordon. The later shared many of her lessons that she had absorbed from studying with Hans Hoffmann. In the early 1950's Mead made several trips to New York City being influenced by the nascent dominance of Abstract Expressionism. As a result Mead's work is a fine synthesis of both European Modernism and mid-century American abstraction. Mead, deservingly would be part of the first group of members of Painters Eleven. Yet along with Jack Bush, his work is the most graphic and frequently aligned with Post-Painterly color field painting.
Mead was not nearly as active as some of his contemporaries (notably Harold Town and William Ronald) after the demise of Painters Eleven. He in fact took a significant amount of time off from being a studio artist in order to focus on graphic design.
Despite the market's natural attraction towards works created during the generation of Painters Eleven, Mead is the exception who arguably became more distinctive and simply better towards the end of his life. His palette becomes bold and tight. His compositions more confident and graphic, often alluding to the late works of Robert Motherwell.
This work on paper is a fine example of Ray Mead fantastic later work.
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Pastel and mixed media on paper
Signed and dated by the artist
34.5"W 28.5"H (framed)
22"W 15"H (image)