LOT 040

1943 -

Guelph Trip - One & Two #17
acrylic on canvas
on verso signed, titled and dated March 1975
84 x 66 in, 213.3 x 167.6 cm

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000 CAD

Sold for: $49,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Carmen Lamanna Gallery, Toronto
Private Collection, Toronto
Canadian Post-War & Contemporary Art - Highlights, Heffel Fine Art Auction House, November 26, 2016, lot 315
Private Collection, Vancouver

Philip Fry, "Ron Martin, in Regard to the Black Paintings (Pretext and Text)," Parachute, no. 2, January - March 1976, reproduced page 19

Carmen Lamanna Gallery, Toronto, Ron Martin, June 7 - 26, 1975

In 1968, Ron Martin, who was only 25 years old at the time, gained national recognition when his art was featured in The Heart of London, a survey exhibition of contemporary art in London, Ontario. Martin's work was already included in important collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, and he was beginning to explore his own artistic questions about painting.

As Martin's fame grew, his art continued to develop and evolve. His earliest Black Paintings were done in 1973 after he concluded his One Colour Paintings (1971 - 1973) and their well-known subset the Bright Red Paintings (1972). Martin's Black Paintings, first exhibited in 1975, were particularly groundbreaking for Canadian abstract art, and Guelph Trip - One & Two #17 is an exceptional example of the artist's unique approach to painting. These works were created through procedural choices rather than emphasizing composition or the flatness of the picture plane. He used a specific colour, exact amounts of paint and specific canvas sizes, orientations and presentation styles (unframed, and to be hung four to six inches off the floor) to produce works that were free from a particular style. The painting becomes a physical presence.

Guelph Trip – One & Two #17 was included in the Carmen Lamanna exhibition that showcased Martin's Black Paintings in 1975. Along with Guelph Trip – One & Two #17, the Lamanna exhibition had closely related paintings that were acquired by the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Canada Council Art Bank and the National Gallery of Canada. This painting was created by moving seven gallons of Mars Black paint across a canvas that was laid on the floor, resulting in arcs of paint that create an illusionistic depth that draws the viewer in. These works are not meant to be analyzed in terms of pre-existing styles or understood in any particular way. Instead, Martin is interested in creating art that speaks to individuals and allows them to experience something unique during the process of looking deeply at his work. Martin's innovative techniques and presentation, paired with his focus on individuality and freedom from traditional art styles, made him one of the most influential Canadian painters of his generation.

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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