Artwork by Gerald Ferguson,  Fences and Posts for Dennis

Gerald Ferguson
Fences and Posts for Dennis

oil on canvas
signed, titled and dated 2005 on the reverse; unframed
24 x 16 in ( 61 x 40.6 cm )

Auction Estimate: $4,000.00$2,000.00 - $4,000.00

Price Realized $2,040.00
Sale date: May 21st 2024

From the Collection of Dennis Reid

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Gerald Ferguson
(1937 - 2009)

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, he settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1968. He joined the staff of the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design where, with Garry N. Kennedy (Pres. Of NSCAD), he developed a centre for conceptual art. In his own art later, he heaped one million pennies on the floor of the Glenbow Museum as a satirical comedy on the commercialism of works of art. In his other work, he experimented as follows: repetition of the alphabet; use of stencils to form images with black enamel paint applied to brown wrapping paper or unprimed canvas; repetition of letters to form repetitive patterns; dot paintings with variants; template-produced pictorial elements as stenciled or silhouette forms.

Viewing his 1995 work, Robin Metcalfe in Canadian Art noted, “At first glance, what is evident about Ferguson’s paintings is this dour, uncompromised quality. Fill a gallery with them…and one is suddenly aware of their warmth and variety of colours. Still lifes blush and bloom with chromatic energy and some even boast small brushy renderings of bouquets in full colour …. The most recent paintings have turned quite black; Ferguson has covered the canvas again and again with stencilled fish, until they obliterate each other. Yet this compulsive act of repetition also suggests a yearning for abundance, and an impulse toward generosity.”

There is a high probability that Ferguson was subconsciously stencilling fish because of Maritime anxiety that surrounded him over depleted cod stocks and his hope for the return of better times through a renewed abundance, thus making a happier community. Another aspect of his work is some sort of acknowledgment of the element which are an integral part of the Maritimes: products from the sea, mixed farming/fruit growing (Annapolis County) and the art/antiques/tourist industry, all represented in his images.

Literature Source:
"A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume 1: A-F, 5th Edition, Revised and Expanded", compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1997