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Catalogue

 

 1.curatorial essay
by Roger Boulet

 

2. catalogue
introduction
list of works

 

3. the early works

  

4. the artist remembers
Europe

 

 5. images of works
in the exhibition

 

 information/details on exhibitions

complete list of exhibitions, go to CV

 

   

 The London Paintings 1960-64
exhibition at the
Art Gallery of the South Okanagan

(now Penticton Art Gallery)

February 23 - April 7, 1996

Curator -
Roger Boulet
 

 The Art Gallery of the South Okanagan published a 20 page catalogue for the exhibition

link to Penticton Art Gallery Archives

link to Richard Reid pages at Penticton Art Gallery


Some early paintings by Richard Reid

Two years after he graduated from the University of Manitoba's School of Art in 1955, Richard Reid spent the first six months of 1957 in San Miguel de Allende. A number of Canadian artists were already living there. Three works painted in Mexico show that he was absorbing some of the lessons of Cubism and responding to the prevailing influence of the time: Abstract Expressionism.

The following text was written by the artist on this stay in Mexico:

 

"During a six month period in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico in 1957, on a leave of absence from employment, I was able to concentrate on painting for a reasonable length of time. My interest in Cubism was very apparent in the work of that period. Although there were many facets of my limited visual experience with art history (largely from books) which might have been a trigger for my work, I deliberately chose to use Cubism as a kind of starting point. I believed at the time that in some way, Cubism as a movement had been very short-lived and wanted further exploration.

In San Miguel, I was not connected with the art school, the Instituto Allende, but did meet several artists there. Don Reichert, who had travelled with us (he had a Triumph TR2, and I had an MGA), attended the school. I met Jim Gordaneer, an artist from Ontario, when we first arrived. He has been a colleague and friend eversince. After this productive period of painting, the first sustained period after leaving art school, we left Mexico, crossed close to the Tropic of Cancer on June 21 to see if indeed there was no shadow at noon, and returned to Canada a week or two later. A few weeks after attending Don's wedding with Mary at Vancouver City Hall, I returned to Winnipeg to the job at Carling's Brewery from which I had been given a leave of absence. There, I continued the job of testing beer for about a year, to pay my debts (1956 MG - new $2340).

The Mexico trip had cost me a total of $550 for nearly six months. Even in those days, it was an incredible bargain. Our 13-14 room house cost $60 a month or $20 each. Vicenta, our criada, did all the cleaning, cooking, washing and shopping for $6.40 per month (and that was a little higher than the going rate). Bacardi was 80 cents a litre. My studio was in one of the large, upper rooms overlooking the town. There, I could watch the goings on in the streets, burros with huge loads, and men with as many as four bags of cement (360lbs) on their back, slowly climbing the very steep hill in front of our house. The studio was warm; the sun bleached the earth colours of the buildings and landscape.

In March, a group of us went from San Miguel to Manzanillo on the west coast for a week or so. We slept on the beach - there was no other place to stay in those days, no hotels. We lived on bananas, coconuts, limes, Red Snapper (huachinango), beer - all for less than $1.00 a day. We also made trips to Mexico City to see the murals at the University, to Guanajuato to see the mummies and the silver craftsmen, and searched the countryside several miles from San Miguel for rumoured small pyramids. Bev and I found two - they are very hard to spot even if you're standing next to them.

On one occasion, we followed thousands of people walking on a religious pilgrimage from all parts of Mexico to Guanajuato".