Gordon Rayner

(1935 – 2010)

“Rayner has been called the “carpenter” of contemporary Canadian art, integrating found objects and materials into his striking works of art.”

Gordon Rayner Artwork Currently for Sale

Gordon Rayner Artwork

Gordon Rayner

Gordon Rayner, 1964, Charlie’s Landing, Magnetawan,
Acrylic and stove top parts on board, 16 x 21 in

Gordon Rayner

Gordon Rayner, Self Portrait, 1972
pencil and tape on paper, 11 ins x 10 ins,
signed and dated.
Provenance: Cover reproduction, 100 Years of Canadian Drawings, 1980, Jerrold Morris, Methuen Press.
20thC Canadian Drawings,The Gallery Stratford, 1979, exhibited and reproduced pg.77.

Gordon Rayner

Gordon Rayner Rayner has been called the “carpenter” of contemporary Canadian art. Many of the artist’s greatest works incorporate found objects that intersect with paint creating intuitive and expressionistic style works of art. In the early 1960s his work was considered part of the neo-dada movement occurring in Toronto’s art scene.

Gordon Rayner was an integral member of the celebrated Isaacs Gallery artists of Toronto, exhibiting alongside iconic Canadian artists including Michael Snow, Joyce Wieland, William Kurelek, Dennis Burton, Graham Coughtry, William Ronald, John Meredith, Rick Gorman and Tony Urquhart.

In 1966, Gordon Rayner began a new period in his work centred around images of Magnetawan, an area 200 miles north of Toronto, near the Muskoka District. It provided him with a favourite painting place in which he could experiment with materials and technique while demonstrating how to refer to nature without copying it in his work. To express his feelings, he used oblique references, a thick and expressionist technique, and sometimes found objects. These paintings were intuitive reinterpretations of landscapes dramatically conceived. The natural environment and the north continued to inspire Rayner’s art-making for the duration of the artist’s life.

Gordon Rayner passed away in Toronto in October 2010. He leaves Canadian art with a rich artistic legacy noted for large-scale intuitive and expressionist style paintings and constructions.

Solo Exhibitions:

  • Isaacs Gallery, Toronto-1961, 1964, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1979, 1981,1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990.
  • Blue Barn Gallery, Ottawa-1965
  • Art Gallery of Windsor 1973
  • Gordon Rayner Retrospective Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa travelling to London Regional Art Gallery, Rodman Hall, St. Catherines, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Concordia University Art Gallery, Montreal, New Brunswick Museum, St. John, Art Gallery of Memorial University, St. John’s, Nfld, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, N.B, Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, Saskatchewan, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge,
  • Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto 1979, 1980
  • Constructed Paintings Pax Hutchinson Gallery, New York(1984)
  • Moore Gallery, Hamilton 1985
  • Gordon Rayner, Constructed Paintings, Concordia Art Gallery, Montreal 1987
  • Art Gallery of Peel 1990
  • Constructed Paintings, Durham Art Gallery 1990
  • Rayner/Coughtry Drabinsky Gallery 1991
  • Casa de las Americas Havana, Cuba 1993,
  • Evelyn Aimis Gallery, Boca Raton, Florida 1993
  • Leo Kamen Gallery, Toronto 1993, 1995, 1997
  • Recent Paintings and Painted Constructions- Moore Gallery, Toronto 1998-present

Group Exhibitions:

  • 6th Biennial of Canadian Painting, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa 1965
  • Museum of Modern Art, New York 1967
  • Canadian Artists ‘68’, Art Gallery of Ontario 1968
  • Coughtry, Rayner, Markle, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (travelling-1968)
  • Toronto Painting 1953-65, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (travelling-1972)
  • The Artists’ Jazz Band, Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris -1978
  • Toronto Painting of the 1960’s, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (travelling 1983,84)

Donnalu Wigmore, Isaac Seen., published by Hart House, University of Toronto
Joan Murray, The Canadian Encyclopedia, www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com

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