Gordon Rayner, 1935 - 2010
Gordon Rayner, painter was born in Toronto and learned his craft from his father who was a successful landscape painter. Rayner worked in commercial art, including the firm Wookey, Bush and Winter with Jack Bush.
Rayner's early 1960s work, with its juxtaposed materials, experiments in canvas shape, and incorporated found objects reflected the neo-dada movement occurring in Toronto’s art scene at the time. Rayner became part of the Isaacs Gallery stable of artists along with notable Canadian artists Michael Snow, Joyce Wieland and Graham Coughtry.
The work Rayner produced during the last phase of his career took an entirely different direction; sumptuous and painterly. Rayner’s work began to address emotionally potent and even spiritual themes. Like his father, he began to paint the Canadian landscape, especially the area around Magnetawan, in Northern Ontario and the area around his home on Toronto's Spadina Avenue.
By the 1990s Rayner had largely withdrawn to the Magnetawan River area and lived in Mexico between October 1993 and June 1994, where he created what has come to be known as the Oaxaca Suite even though when he left for Oazaca he admitted he felt creatively dried up.
Gordon Rayner passed away in Toronto on September 26th, 2010 of a heart attack, two weeks shy of opening a solo show in Toronto. He is often called "the carpenter" of contemporary Canadian art, due to his works with constructed and found objects.
Art Gallery of Peterborough, ON
Trent University, Peterborough, ON
The Feckless Collections, Vancouver, BC