I first met Ray Mead in the early 1990s. I was already working with Tom Hodgson, Kazuo Nakamura and had worked briefly with Harold Town before his passing in 1990. I met William Ronald in the early nineties and began working with him. So there you have it. By the mid 1990s the gallery roster represented, or had worked with, five members of the 1950s avant-garde collective, Painters 11. Mead’s painting practice was to fasten his canvas to a rigid surface made of plywood. He would execute his composition on this picture plane and then stretch the work upon completion. Not all works were stretched, hence the origin of this exhibition which we have titled ‘One from the Vault’.
Well there is more than one painting in this exhibition. In fact, there are two distinct bodies of work. One is a selection of paintings from the mid to late seventies. These paintings are clean, colourful, geometric work with crisp defined borders. The second group of paintings are from the mid to late eighties. They are the antithesis of the 1970s paintings. They are explosive, expressive, painterly works.
Many of these paintings have never been exhibited. A rare opportunity to see the premier display of works by the late Canadian abstract master Ray Mead.