Richard Gorman
Above All; Georgian Bay; Love Seat; Spanish Grotto; Young at Wellesley; Eastern Western

six etchings
each signed, titled, dated 1992 and numbered 63/100; each unframed
8.5 x 6.75 ins ( 21.6 x 17.1 cms ) ( each sheet )

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Provenance:
Private Collection, British Columbia
Irving Layton (Drawings by Richard Gorman), “Dance with Desire”, The Porcupine’s Quill, Erin, Ontario, 1992, page 152 (”Above All” illustrated) and page 188 (”Georgian Bay” illustrated)

Literature: Nancy Baele, “A Marriage of Words and Images”, The Ottawa Citizen, Saturday March 14, 1992, page G2.

Irving Layton’s “Dance with Desire” presents a collection of the author’s love poems republished by Porcupine’s’ Quill and with reproductions of erotic drawings by Richard Gorman. A later deluxe portfolio edition of the book was produced with accompanying etchings and drawings by Gorman; writer John Metcalf had commissioned Gorman for the artworks. Six etchings from this limited portfolio edition of 100 are presented in this lot, along with a copy of the Porcupine’s Quill edition of “Dance with Desire”.

Gorman was commissioned by Metcalf to create images that were in the spirit of Layton’s poems, but not literal illustrations. Prior to this project, the artist had never been experienced or interested in etching; Gorman preferred painting and drawing, lithography and woodcuts. He immersed himself in this new medium and quickly mastered the technique.

The etchings for the deluxe portfolio celebrate Richard Gorman’s youth, while he was living in Toronto in an apartment at Yonge and Wellesley and vacationing at Georgian Bay. Nancy Baele remarks that “the image “Spanish Grotto” is based on the years during the late ‘60s when he was in Spain, taking time out, playing jazz. “Eastern, Western” recalls the train journeys he made from Toronto to Montreal when he was in love with a woman who figured in Leonard Cohen’s songs.”

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Richard Borthwick Gorman
(1935 - 2010)

Born in Ottawa, Ontario, he received his first formal drawing instuction at Fisher Park High School under Robert Norgate and later at the Ontario College of Art under Jock Macdonald. He graduated from the College in 1958. His early painting was influenced by Van Gogh, later by French Impressionists, the New York expressionists and by MacDonald under whom he studied.

Professor Bagnani has discussed Gorman's work in 'Canadian Art' magazine (No. 78). Recently Gorman has been experimenting with films described by 'The Montreal Star' as follows, “He takes blank exposed movie film and painstakingly draws abstract images on each frame. When the movie is run at 24 frames per second, the patterns explode into visual rhythms. It took him three months os 18 hour days to paint and edit the 30,000 frames of an eight-minute movie satire on westerns.” The paper went on to quote Gorman as follows, “There's no real point to what I'm doing except to create something beautiful...Some people won't dig it, but some will.”

Gorman also produced aluminium sculptures, experimented with film and tried printmaking. From 1971 to 1989 he taught painting and drawing at the Ottawa School of Art and the University of Ottawa. In 1986, he produced a mural for the new Ottawa Provincial Court House..

Gorman had teamed up with Arnold Rockman and Jim Guthro in the showing of multiple projections of films, slides, and opaque pictures onto stationary and kinetic screens a presentation of which took place at the Bohemian Embassy, Toronto, where a live dancer was part of the performance. Michael Ballantyne during Gorman's 1965 exhibit at the Massot-Loranger in Montreal noted, “...Gorman's palette is chaste but succulent; the main impression one gets, however, is one of immense size and brilliant colour...”

Gorman has held solo exhibits at The Isaacs Gallery (1959-60, 1962, 1964); The Blue Barn Gallery (1965) and he has exhibited jointly at the Isaacs Gallery (1963)and at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (1964). He has participated in many group shows including “Three Canadians” at the Art Gallery of Toronto (1961); First Biennial Winnipeg Show (1962); National Gallery of Canada Biennial Exhibition of Graphic (1964); Trinity College, U. Of T. (1965).

His awards include First Prize, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Spring Show (1961) and a prize in the Seventh International Black and White Exhibition at Luango, Switzerland. He is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, The Art Gallery of Ontario, Queen's University, Department of Transport at the Edmonton Airport; Department of External Affairs; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England.

Scholar Joan Murray produced a book and traveling exhibition of Gorman's work in 1990. His paintings have been included in group exhibitions such as Dennis Reid's “Toronto Painting 1953-1965”, organized for the National Gallery in 1972; the National Gallery's “Crisis of Abstraction: the 1950s”, organized by Denise Leclerc in 1993; and in the solo exhibition “Richard Gorman” at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2004.

Source: "A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume I: A-F", compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1977