Artwork by Ronald Langley Bloore,  Peace Stars for Vince #IV

Ron Bloore
Peace Stars for Vince #IV

oil on board (diptych, framed together)
signed, titled, dated 1988 and inscribed “IV” on the reverse of each panel
96 x 96 ins ( 243.8 x 243.8 cms )

Auction Estimate: $30,000.00$20,000.00 - $30,000.00

Price Realized $12,000.00
Sale date: May 31st 2022

Collection of the artist
Gift of the artist to Casey House, Toronto
“Ronald L. Bloore: Not Without Design”, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Saskatchewan, travelling to Art Gallery of Hamilton, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Edmonton Art Gallery and Glenbow Museum, Calgary, 1992-1993, no. 24
Terrance Heath, “Ronald L. Bloore: Not Without Design”, MacKenzie Art Gallery, listed page 92, no.24
Roald Nasgaard, “Abstract Painting in Canada”, Vancouver/ Toronto, 2007, pages 151-52
Ron Bloore studied art history and archaeology at the University of Toronto and at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. He completed his MA at Washington University in St. Louis. As Roald Nasgaard writes, “His broad interest in cultural history and antiquity was a persistent and sustaining influence throughout all his work.” “In Peace Stars for Vince #IV”, a quintessentially characteristic Bloore work, we see how he has built up layer upon layer of white pigment, then scraped and sanded areas away to reveal the star shapes as an archaeologist does to reveal what is hidden. Nasgaard continues, “White for Bloore is of course not a simple non-colour.... asked why he doesn’t paint in colour, Bloore exclaimed that on the contrary he does, by his own account using twenty-six varieties of white, playing one against the other, varying them with textures and the shadows of the edges as well as their tones, modified by close values of creams and grey. The play of light across these embossed surfaces is furthermore an aspect of both their material presence and their transcendence.” He has built his composition around the large central star hovering in the middle between the two panels, with the smaller stars vibrating in the background.

Bloore donated this work to Casey House in 1988, the year it was founded by June Callwood. Cowley Abbott is privileged to have been entrusted with the sale of this exceptional work, of which the proceeds benefit Casey House’s HIV/AIDS hospital in Toronto.

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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.