- Date: not dated
- Medium: oil on masonite
- Dimensions: 18 X 12.7 cm
- Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Moore, London, Ontario, through the Ontario Heritage Foundation, 1978
- Permanent Collection ID: 78.A.38
Brampton, Ontario native Ronald Bloore made an indelible mark on Western Canadian art in the 1950s and 60s. During his eight-year tenure as Director of Regina’s NormanMackenzieArtGallery, Bloore was an active supporter of the local arts community, ensuring its members’ representation in gallery exhibitions and encouraging cooperation among regional arts organizations. Bloore also helped form the Regina Five, a group of painters who took Canadian abstract painting in exciting new directions.
A 1959 workshop led by colour field painter Barnett Newman at Emma Lake, Saskatchewan proved seminal to the Regina Five’s formation, inspiring Bloore, Art McKay, Ted Godwin, and Doug Morton to come together with a common purpose. Two years later—now joined by painter Ken Lochhead and architect Clifford Wiens—Bloore mounted their first group exhibition at the MackenzieGallery. Within the year, the National Gallery of Canada had selected the majority of the works for an exhibition of their own, Five Painters from Regina. “The Regina Five” was officially born.
Untitled and undated, this tiny oil has its origins in Bloore’s Regina period. From the beginning of his work with the Regina Five, Bloore tried to strip away any element of his paintings that would stop viewers’ active engagement with his work. He used many strategies: hanging his paintings as diamonds, not squares; applying paint directly to bare masonite; limiting his subject matter to few geometrical shapes or lines; and, finally, removing colour from his palette altogether. Said Bloore: “Any truly creative work should be a revelation to the beholder, an extension of his experience in life, not a confirmation of what he already knows.” 1
1. quoted in Anne Newlands, Canadian Paintings, Prints and Drawings (Richmond Hill, ON: Firefly Books, 2007), 50.