FOUR BLANK CANVASES IN SILVERY LIGHT
oil on canvas
signed, titled and dated 1985 on the support; signed and dated ‘85 on the overflap
40 ins x 60 ins; 101.6 cms x 152.4 cms
Born in Bristol, England in 1947, painter Malcolm Rains emigrated to Canada in 1955 and pursued studies in architecture at the University of Detroit (1967-69) and the University of Toronto (1969-1970) before pursuing a degree in sculpture at the Ontario College of Art from 1971-1974. While Rains’ subjects are varied and include abstraction, still-life remains a strong focus of his practice informed by his architecture and sculpture studies as well as classical Greek art and architecture. Many of Rains’ works contain a brilliantly subtle play with the tonal qualities of light and colour, generating a strong sense of geometry undoubtedly informed by his architectural and sculptural studies.
Four Blank Canvases In Silvery Light perfectly encapsulates Rains’ practice of playing with light and shadow, demonstrating a mastery of tonal contrasts and geometric proportions. Three blank canvases lean on a blank white wall, their shapes outlined by the silvery blue shadows creating triangles to their right. A “silvery” light in the form of a large, bright triangle presumably coming from a window outside the frame of the picture cuts across the canvases from the left, bisected by the blank wall and grey floor. Masterful tonal gradations carve out strong geometric forms in pastel hues reminiscent of the work of Italian modernist still-life master Giorgio Morandi.
Rains has exhibited his work extensively throughout Canada in museums and galleries including the Art Gallery of Hamilton, The Power Plant in Toronto and the Art Gallery of Ontario and his work is in many notable public and private collections including the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Canada Council Art Bank in Ottawa and the Art Gallery of Peterborough.
Private Collection, Toronto