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RONALD L. BLOORE
NOT WITHOUT DESIGN
by Terrence Heath, 1990

NOTES AND QUOTES

Party At 265 Adelaide West

   

Notes from Chapter One
From Graduate Student
to University Instructor
1949-1958

1. Serge Guilbaut, How New York Stole the idea of Modern Art: Abstract Expressionism, Freedom, and the Cold War (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1983), p 8. For extensive bibliographies, see ibid. and Abstract Expressionism: The Critical Developments (Harry N. Abrams, Inc. and Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1987)

2. Anthony Blunt, Artistic Theory in Italy, 1450-1660 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959), p 142

3. For these and the following remarks, see Blunt, pp 2-18 and passim

4. Blunt, p 141

5. University of Regina Archives (URA), Ron Bloore Papers, Box 6, Notebooks

6. Ibid

7. Ibid

8. Ibid

9. Five Painters from Regina, (Ottawa, The National Gallery of Canada, 1961)

10. URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 6, Notebooks

11. Interview with Ken Lochhead, July 13,1989

12. For a history of the Emma Lake Artists' Workshops, which became the focus for the influence of New York, see The Flat Side of the Landscape (Saskatoon: Mendel Art Gallery, 1989). Some of the specific reactions of Greenburg to art being done in Western Canada, including remarks on Bloore's work, can be found in his article, "Painting and Sculpture in Prairie Canada Today," Canadian Art, March/ April, 1963, pp 90-107

13. URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 6, Notebooks

14. Ibid

15. Ibid., Box 22, "Radicalism in the Visual Arts": "It [the Impressionist revolution of pure perception] was the climax of Renaissance observation and a radical step, for the Western world, towards the truly revolutionary works in the visual arts of, primarily, Piet Mondrian and Wassily Kandinsky and others . . . who wished to start from ground zero." Ken Lochhead believes (interview with Ken Lochhead, July 13,1989) that he and Bloore simply come from different traditions. He jokingly claims that he is a Venetian and Bloore, a Florentine. If Bloore's position is what I have outlined, the difference is more profound

16. Wassily Kandinsky, Point and Line to Plane (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1979). This is a reprint of the 1947 translation published by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation for the Museum of Non-Objective Painting in 1947. It was originally published in Germany in 1926 as one of the Bauhaus books

17. Conversation, November 10,1989

18. URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 22, "Radicalism in the Visual Arts," 1979-71

19. Kandinsky, p 110

20. Ibid pp 108-109

21. Ibid p 109

22. Ibid p 58

23. Ibid p 115

24. Ibid p 122

25. Ibid pp 79-81

26. Ibid p 79

27. Ibid p 107, footnote

28. Krauss, Rosalind E., The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths(Cambridge, Mass. and London, England The MIT Press, 1986), "Grids," pp 8-22

29. See Abstract Expressionism: The Critical Developments, and especially Michael Auping's essay "Beyond the Sublime," pp 146-166, and the interview with Lawrence Alloway, "Field Notes," pp 124-135

30. Ibid p 146

31. Ibid p 29

32. Ibid pp 1645

33. Ibid p 129, but, see for the following remarks the entire essay by Lawrence Alloway, "Field Notes: An Interview," pp 124-135

34. Ibid p 129

35. The literature is vast, but, see Ibid for Richard Schief's essay, "Performing an Appearance: On the Surface of Abstract Expressionism,' pp 94123, See also, Rosalind Krauss, "Notes on the Index: Seventies, Art in America," October: The First Decade, 1976-1986(Cambridge, Mass. and London, England: The MIT Press, 1987), pp 2-15

   

Notes from Chapter Two
The Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery
and the Regina Five
1958-1966

1. W. A. Riddell, The Mackenzie Art Gallery: Norman Mackenzie's legacy (Regina: Mackenzie Art Gallery, 1990), p 48

2. Conversation with Ron Bloore, June 28, 1990

3. Actually, this reassessment of the art being done in the province began with Richard Simmins; see my biography of Ernest Lindner, Uprooted: The Life and Art of Ernest Lindner(Saskatoon: Fifth House, 1983), pp 125-6

4. University of Regina Archives (URA), Ron Bloore Papers, Box 6, "Interview with Joan Murray," January 10,1978

5. Interview with Ken Lochhead, July 13,1989

6. Interview with Doug Morton, October 10,1989

7. "I Remember Dada" Time Magazine. Canadian Edition. LXXVI, No. 19, November 7,1960, p 17

8. Interview with Ken Lochhead, July 13,1989

9. See Cindy Richmond's essay, "Inside Looking Out: Exhibitions Program," The Mackenzie Art Gallery, pp 132-143, and Timothy Long's list of exhibitions, "Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery Exhibitions, 1953-1989," available from the Gallery

10. For the controversy, see, for example, the issues of artscanada for 1967

11. Riddell's version of the transaction can be found in The Mackenzie Art Gallery, p 44. Bloore's version differs slightly

12. Interview with Doug Morton, October 10,1989

13. Interview with Ken Lochhead, July 13,1989

14. Five Painters from Regina, (Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1961), Introduction

15. URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 6, "Interview with Joan Murray," January 10, 1978

16. URA, Saskatchewan Arts Board - Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, Ronald Bloore to Mr. N. George Shaw, Executive Director, Saskatchewan Arts Board, October 28,1965

17. URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 6, "Interview with Joan Murray," January 10, 1978

18. See the comprehensive treatment given to his life and work in the catalogue by Andrew Oko, Jan Gerrit Wyers 1888-1973 (Regina: Mackenzie Art Gallery, 1989)

19. "Foreword" by Ronald L. Bloore in Oko, Wyers, p 7

20. Ibid p 8

21. This fascination was recently chronicled by the Museum of Modern Art, New York; see William Rubin (ed.), Primitivism in 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1984)

22. Ron Bloore, "In the mainstream . . .", artscanada, December, 1969, p 41. The use of the Greenbergian "mainstream" to discuss Pacific West Coast Indian Art is, of course, deliberate

23. artscanada, February, 1970, p 15

24. Interview with Ken Lochhead, July 13,1989

25. Ron Bloore, "to assert man's presence", artscanada, December 1969, pp 24-29

26. Ibid p 24

27. Ibid p 24

28. URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 22, "The Future: Past and Present," a talk given February 20,1975 at the Art Gallery of Ontario

29. Ibid Box 6, "The Life and Role of the Artist"; seem to be notes for a lecture

30. Ibid

31. Ibid; on note cards referring to Miro and Cimabue

32. Ron Bloore, "In the mainstream . . ." p 37

33. URA, Ron Bloore Paperss Box 23, "The Landscape and American Tradition in Canadian Art"; may be a course proposal; no date

34. John O'Brian (ed.), The Flat Side of the Landscape: The Emma Lake Artists' Workshops, (Saskatoon, Mendel Art Gallery, 1989)

35. Conversation with Ron Bloore, November 10,1989

36. Interview with Ken Lochhead, July 13,1989

37. URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 22, "Rearview Mirror"; seems to be a guide for a seminar presentation

38. Ibid., Box 6, "Interview with Joan Murray," January 10, 1978, p 18

39. Although Bloore has not read the work, it is interesting to see the similar conclusions reached by Wilhelm Worringer in Abstraction and Empathy: A Contribution to the Psychology of Style (Cleveland: Meridian Books, 1967)

40. Conversation with Dorothy Cameron, March 4,1991

41. One of Bloore's favourite stories; for a version, see Eugene Knapik, "The Ron Bloore Interview," WorkSeen, (Toronto: Workscene Co-operative Corporation), Number 7, December 1990 -January 1991, p 22

42. Remarks at workshop on "Flat Side of Landscape," October 14, 1989

43. URA, Ken Lochhead Papers, Box 13, Greenburg to Ken Lochhead, December 5,1963

44. URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 6, "Interview with Joan Murray," January 10, 1978

45. Quoted by Art McKay, "Emma Lake Artists' Workshop: An Appreciation," Canadian Art, no. 93, September/ October, 1964, p 281

46. URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 4, "NMAG Correspondence."

   

Notes from Chapter Three
Professor of Art History
1966-1985

1. Quoted by Jurgen Habermas in his essay "Modernity An Incomplete Project" which has delivered as a talk in September 1980 and has been reproduced in Hal Foster (ed.), The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture (Port Townsend, Wash.: Bay Press, 1983), pp 3-15. Quote is found on p 10. See also passim, Peter Berger, Theory of the Avant-Garde (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), but in particular his chapter "The Avant-Garde as the Self-Criticism of Art in Bourgeois Society."

2. The question is posed in Hans-Georg Gadamer, "The Relevance of the Beautiful," The Relevance of the Beautiful and Other Essays (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), p 19

3. Interview with Ken Lochhead, July 13,1989

4. University of Regina Archives (URA), Ron Bloore Papers Box 21, "Assault on Parnassus."

5. URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 4, "AGO Correspondence," a response to a policy paper by Richard J. Wattenmaker, July, 1973

6. Ibid Box 22, "Radicalism in the Visual Arts," 1970-71

7. Ibid Box 4, "AGO Correspondence", Response to a policy paper by Richard J. Wattenmaker, July, 1973

8. Ibid Box 22, "Radicalism in the Visual Arts," 1970-71

9. R. L. Bloore, Foreword, Baker Lake 1973 Prints (Baker Lake: Sanavik Co-operative, 1973), n.p

10. Eugene Knapik, "The Ron Bloore Interview," Workseen, Number 7, December 1990 -January 1991, p 23

11. URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 22, "Radicalism in the Visual Arts," 1970-71

12. Ibid

13. Knapik, "The Ron Bloore Interview," Workseen, p 22

14. Gadamer, p 10

15. I have benefited in this section from reading Rosalind E. Krauss, The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths (Cambridge, Mass. and London, Eng.: The MIT Press, 1987, first printing 1986)

16. URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 22, "Radicalism in the Visual Arts"' 1970-71

17. Ibid

18. Ibid

19. Ibid

20. For a far-ranging critique of Modernism, see Victor Burgin's essay, "Modernism in the Work of Art" in his The End of Art Theory, pp 1-28

21. For a quick survey, see, for example, Hal Foster's introduction to The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture (Bay Press, 1983)

22. There are various versions. See URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 22, "Rearview Mirror" for the one quoted here. The most recent is that Cimabue's Madonna and Child With Angels is the last great painting of the Western world. See "The Ron Bloore Interview" in Workseen, Number 7, December 1990 -January 1991, p 21

23. Knapik, "Ron Bloore Interview," Workseen, p 21

24. URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 22, "Giotto's Error," 1980

25. Ibid

26. Ibid

27. URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 22, "Radicalism in the Visual Arts," 1970-71

28. Ibid

29. Ibid., Box 6, "Interview with Joan Murray," January 10,1978

30. Ibid., Box 23

31. Ibid

32. Ibid., Box 22, "Rearview Mirror."

33. The following remarks are based on notes Bloore made for a course at York University; Ibid., Box 23

34. Ibid., Box 22, "Radicalism in the Visual Arts," 1970-71

35. Ibid., Box 23, "The Landscape and American Tradition in Canadian Art."

36. Ibid., "Communication and Isolation: Art, Technology and Society."

37. Knapik, "The Ron Bloore Interview," Workseen, Number 7, December 1990 -January 1991, p.22

38. For the following comments on Emily Carr, see Ron Bloore, "In the mainstream," artscanada, December 1969, no. 138/139, pp 42-46

39. Bloore, "In the mainstream," Ibid., p 42

40. URA, Ron Bloore Papers Box 23; notes for a lecture given in Victoria, B.C., [1981-82]

41. URA, University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus, Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery Newsletter, Box 1, Volume 1, No. 3, February 4,1966, "Contemporary Canadian Art - A Dilemma."

42. URA, Ron Bloore Papers Box 2

43. Ibid., Box 22, Address to the Seventh Annual Conference of Art Libraries of North America, 1979

   

Notes from Chapter Four
The Simple Painter 1985-

1. Clement Greenberg found the work, which, much to Bloore's annoyance, was shown to him while Bloore was away in Greece, "a little sour" and "too elegant in its impasted whites." As might be expected, Greenberg's peculiarly culinary reaction dogged Bloore's steps in the 1960s. Clement Greenberg, "Clement Greenberg's View of Art on the Prairies: Painting and Sculpture in Prairie Canada Today," Canadian Art, March/April 1963, p 91

2. Barry Lord, "Ron Bloore and Contemporary Art Criticism" Canadian Art, October, 1966, pp 22-24 [on the site here]; "Ronald Bloore," artscanada, February, 1969, pp 39-40; "WHITE/ LIGHT: a visit to Ronald Bloore and his new paintings," artscanada, February, 1979, pp 15-23

3. See, for example, Theodore Allen Heinrich, "Ronald Bloore: new directions" artscanada, May/June, 1979, pp 53-56 [on the site here]

4. Joan Vastokas, "The Roots of abstraction: an introduction," artscanada, May/June, 1979, p 18

5. R L Bloore, Sixteen Years: 1958-1974, (The Art Gallery of Windsor, 1975)

6. Globe and Mail, March 15, 1984

7. University of Regina Archives (URA), Ron Bloore Papers, Box 23, "The Landscape and American Tradition in Canadian Art"

8. R L. Bloore, Sixteen Years: 1958-1974, n. pag. [5]

9. URA, Ron Bloore Papers Box 22

10. See Ursula Franklin, The Real World of Technology, (Toronto: CBC Enterprises, 1990) for a recent discussion of the implications of technological change

11. URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 22

12. Interview with Ken Lochhead, July 13,1989

13. "In the mainstream. . .," artscanada, December, 1969, p.45

14. See, for example, Hal Foster (ed.), Vision and Visuality, (Seattle, Bay Press: 1988) for discussion of some of the aspects of vision in western culture. For a discussion of monumentality in sculpture and its fate in the 20th century, see Rosalind Krauss's essay, "Sculpture in the Expanded Field," in her The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths (Cambridge, Mass. and London, England, The MIT Press, 1987, but written in 1978), pp 276-290

15. URA, Ron Bloore Papers, Box 22, "The Recovery of Ancient Art."

   

RON BLOORE, NOT WITHOUT DESIGN
by Terrence Heath
Ch.1 From Graduate Student to University Instructor 1949-1958
Ch.2 The Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery and the Regina Five 1958-1966
Ch.3 Professor of Art History 1966-1985
Ch.4 The Simple Painter 1985-
Notes and Quotes

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