LOT 058

1943 -

A Face Facing a Face
acrylic on canvas
on verso signed, titled, dated Nov. 1974 and inscribed "ABBA 75/6 - 0141"/ "#11" / "2/7" / "C"
84 x 66 in, 213.4 x 167.6 cm

Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000 CAD

Sold for: $97,250

Preview at:

Carmen Lamana Gallery, Toronto
Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa
Private Collection, Toronto

Roald Nasgaard, Abstract Painting in Canada, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 2007, page 284, reproduced page 282

In 1974, Ron Martin began his series of Black Paintings, of which A Face Facing a Face is a magisterial example. In these vigorously textural works, Martin poured the paint directly on a canvas laid on the floor, pushing the masses of pigment around using a brush and his hands – as he said, “It’s just simply a direct, spontaneous experience.” When such a canvas was hung on a wall, gravity intervened and paint sagged. Martin approved, commenting, “I’ve always been very interested in change and I like the fact that the painting in its drying, changes constantly.” Although Martin employed a scientific approach, such as using one colour, a predetermined amount of paint, and a fixed period of time to execute the works, nevertheless he spoke of “making the unconscious conscious,” thus imbuing these canvases with enigmatic emanations. In the Black Paintings, Martin knows we will go beyond their minimal appearance in our response to them. As James D. Campbell wrote, “Martin’s work enjoins us to become creative beings by convincing us that perception itself can become a truly creative act.”

In 1978, Martin represented Canada at the 28th Venice Biennale exhibiting works from his Black Paintings series.

Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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