Artwork by Ronald Langley Bloore,  Untitled

Ron Bloore
Untitled

oil on board
signed and dated “May 14, 1982” on the reverse
23.75 x 24 ins ( 60.3 x 61 cms )

Sold for $6,490.00
Sale date: September 24th 2020

Provenance:
Private Collection, Toronto
An influential figure in Canadian post-war abstract art, Ronald Bloore was a founding member of the Regina Five. Bloore studied archaeology and travelled extensively, finding inspiration in the remains of ancient cultures in diverse regions. By limiting his palette and experimenting widely with painted surfaces and textures, he infused his abstractions with a poetic sense of the universal.

Rather than approach abstract painting with improvisation, Bloore carefully preconceived and planned his compositions. The artist employed a rich variety of techniques, often building up thick, impasto layers of paint, then removing material with scraping or sanding. This allowed him to achieve subtle tonal shifts and varied surfaces imbued with rich associations. Bloore insisted his paintings were not actually monochromatic, instead incorporating dozens of near-white tones, varying delicately between warm and cool, creams and greys. In this untitled work, a composition of interwoven organic forms is complemented with a white square, pulling the viewer’s eye to the upper left. The solitary white square echoes the overall shape of the canvas, drawing attention to the painting as a material, sculptural object. Employing his deep knowledge of art, history and archaeology, Bloore created works that resonate with poetic meaning.

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Ronald Langley Bloore
(1925 - 2009) Regina Five, Order of Canada

Born in Brampton, Ontario, Ronald Bloore is known for his monochromatic paintings and his association with the Regina Five. He attended the University of Toronto and the Institute of Fine Arts in New York City where he studied both art history and archaeology. Bloore then went on to earn a Master of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. After studying at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, he began teaching archeology courses there, and later at Washington University as well as the University of Toronto. Bloore’s background in and appreciation of cultural history was a fundamental influence throughout his entire artistic career. Bloore opposed modernist traditions valuing Western art above and was personally interested in global art and incorporated this into his oeuvre.

Bloore worked alongside his fellow members of Regina Five but differed in approach - preferring to complete works in a series and executed his paintings with deliberate brush strokes. He often worked using only one or two colors, which were sometimes built up into impasto formations. Bloore’s early paintings were mostly white and all-over abstractions. However, these abstract patterns morphed into circles, solar crosses, and wheels that could be read as images with symbolic meaning later in his career. Bloore used, at times, up to twenty-six varieties of white in his paintings. Created by adding shadows and values of creams and grays Bloore would add textures through impasto to further create highlights and shadows.

Returning back to Canada after spending a year traveling in Greece, Turkey, and Egypt, Bloore became interested in painting all-white images in a raised relief. As illustrated in “Painting No. 1” (1964), Bloore was preoccupied with forming white symmetrical patterns comprised of white squares and rectangles, possibly mimicking Egyptian relief hieroglyphs and Roman decorative sarcophagus fronts. If not inspired by hieroglyphs or sarcophagi, Bloore’s work could have gained inspiration from American artist Alfred Jensen who painted colorful calligraphic paintings. Regardless, these white patterned paintings allowed Bloore to reflect on his experiences at Karnak, Luxor, and the Hagia Sophia. He was interested in the sacredness of the art which unites humankind through time and conveyed this through his abstract calligraphy and inclusion of symbols in his paintings.

Literature Source:
Roald Nasgaard, Abstract Painting in Canada. Vancouver, Douglas and McIntyre, 2008

We extend our thanks to Danie Klein, York University graduate student in art history, for writing and contributing this artist biography.