Artwork by Gordon Rayner,  Flying Out

Gordon Rayner
Flying Out

acrylic on canvas
signed, titled and dated November 1980 on the reverse
60 x 72 ins ( 152.4 x 182.9 cms )

Auction Estimate: $12,000.00$8,000.00 - $12,000.00

Price Realized $7,475.00
Sale date: May 29th 2014

Isaacs Gallery Ltd., Toronto.
The Collection of Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc.
David Burnett and Marilyn Schiff, “Contemporary Canadian Art”, Toronto/Edmonton, 1983, pages 91-92, reproduced in colour, page 91, figure 79.
Roald Nasgaard, “Abstract Painting in Canada”, Toronto/Vancouver, 2007, page 250.
A Canada Council Grant in 1961 allowed Rayner to travel through Europe and North Africa. By 1967, the artist was exploring Iran and India and a 1974 trip brought him to Central and South America. These travels ushered in an array of bold colour and patterns to his work which he combined with his attachment to the Ontario landscape. He would spend winters in Toronto and summers at a cabin in Georgian Bay that he frequented since his youth. Discussing this painting, Burnett writes: “His response to this northern landscape, touched by his interest and experience of the East, has led to his finest pictures...[such as] ‘Flying Out’ (1980), characterized by brilliance of colour and breadth of gesture.”

New York art critic Donald Kuspit visited Toronto in 1980, taking a tour of galleries and studios and noting that Rayner had a certain “Persian sensibility” in his work which likened him to “Delacroix in Algeria and Gauguin in Tahiti, all in pursuit of paradise...” He was one of the Toronto artists that had developed a “Baroque flair and organic excess...filtered through a modernist abstract style.”

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Gordon Rayner
(1935 - 2010)

Rayner grew up surrounded by art, as his father, grandfather and great-grandfather had all been artists. He learned a sense of discipline through constant painting and learning to master technical painting skills, before he began an experimental painting career. His artwork draws from both figurative and abstract sources of inspiration.