Ray Mead

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Ray Mead (1921–1998) was a Canadian abstract expressionist painter and a founding member of the artists collective Painters Eleven. Born in Watford, UK, Mead moved to Hamilton, Ontario in 1946. He worked continuously until his death in 1998 in Toronto. A posthumous retrospective of his work was held at Howard Scott Gallery in New York City in 1998.

Painters Eleven[edit]

In 1949, Mead met Hortense Gordon in Hamilton and he was included in the Abstracts at Home exhibition held in 1953 at the Robert Simpson Company, Toronto. He joined Painters Eleven when the group was formed later that year. In Canada's conservative art world their early exhibitions were met with disdain.[1][2] Nevertheless, Painters Eleven attracted U.S. exposure with a successful exhibition, Twentieth Annual Exhibition of American Abstract Artists with "Painters Eleven of Canada in 1956, with the American Abstract Artists at the Riverside Gallery in New York,[3] and were praised by the influential critic Clement Greenberg on a visit he paid to Toronto in 1957.[4] In the Canadian press, the group's most ardent supporter was art critic Robert Fulford. The group formally disbanded in 1960.[3]


  1. ^ Roald Nasgaard, Abstract Painting in Canada, p.92
  2. ^ Burnett and Schiff Contemporary Canadian Art, p. 46
  3. ^ a b Roald Nasgaard, Abstract Painting in Canada, p.96
  4. ^ Roald Nasgaard, Abstract Painting in Canada, p.91

Further reading[edit]

  • Broad, Graham. "Art Shock in Toronto: Painters Eleven, The Shock of the New." The Beaver, Canada’s History Magazine Vol. 84:1 (2004)
  • Murray, Joan. Ray Mead: Two Decades: The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, 5–31 January 1982. Oshawa: Robert McLaughlin Gallery, 1981.
  • Nasgaard, Roald. Abstract Painting in Canada. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2008. ISBN 1-55365-394-7

External links[edit]