Rabinowitch, David (Canadian, b. 1943)
A self-trained artist whose abiding interest in philosophy and science manifests in his work: cycles of drawings and sculptures that engage with questions of perception and reception. Born in Toronto, Rabinowitch has lived in New York since 1972. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at major institutions worldwide.
Rabinowitch, Royden (Canadian, b. 1943)
A highly successful sculptor whose work, inspired by both minimalism and modernism, explores the tension between passion and reason, values and facts. He has exhibited widely in Canada, the United States, and Europe since 1978, and his work is held at major contemporary galleries around the world, including the Guggenheim in New York and the Stedelijk in Amsterdam.
Rattner, Abraham (American, 1895–1978)
An Expressionist who painted in a Cubist style, Rattner spent two decades in Europe before returning to America in 1939. On a road trip, writer Henry Miller and Rattner documented American life and subsequently published the account as The Air-Conditioned Nightmare. In his later career, Rattner designed stained glass that incorporated religious symbolism and references to the Holocaust and nuclear war.
Rauschenberg, Robert (American, 1925–2008)
A significant figure in twentieth-century American art whose paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, collages, and installations span styles and movements from Abstract Expressionism to Pop art. Together with Jasper Johns he led a revival of interest in Dada. Among Rauschenberg’s best-known works is Bed, 1955, one of his first “combines,” or paintings that incorporate found objects.
Ray, Carl (Cree/Canadian, 1943–1978)
A member of the Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. and the Woodland School who was mentored by Norval Morrisseau, Ray was an influential painter of wildlife, northern landscapes, and Medicine art. Held by the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Manitoba, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinberg, Ontario, and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, his work is known for its three-dimensional quality, flowing lines, and original composition.
Rayner, Gordon (Canadian, 1935–2010)
A prominent artist in Toronto from the early 1960s, Rayner explored in both painting and sculpture the complex relationship between representation and abstraction. He was a member of the Artists’ Jazz Band.
Raysse, Martial (French, b. 1936)
A self-taught painter, assemblage artist, and filmmaker associated with Nouveau réalisme. Raysse’s early work, which drew from advertising and consumer culture, prefigured that of later Pop artists, while his paintings of the 1970s demonstrate an interest in mythology and representations of the natural world.
A “readymade” or “objet trouvé” is an artwork composed of an existing, everyday object; it is “art” only by virtue of being presented as such. The most famous readymades are those of Dadaist artist Marcel Duchamp, who created and engaged with the concept as a means of questioning the nature of art and the role of the artist.
A style of art in which subjects are depicted as factually as possible. Realism also refers to a nineteenth-century art movement, led by Gustave Courbet, concerned with the representation of daily modern life, rather than mythological, religious, or historical subjects.
Redinger, Walter (Canadian, 1940–2014)
A prolific and innovative sculptor whose practice took off in the 1960s, when he was lauded internationally for using unconventional materials, developing new forms (including his organism-like “totems” and “skeletals”), and working at a tremendous scale. Redinger represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1972; his work can be found in major institutions across Canada.
Refus global (Total refusal)
A manifesto released in 1948 by the Automatistes, a Montreal-based artists’ group. Written by Paul-Émile Borduas and signed by fifteen other members, the main text condemned the dominance of Catholic ideology and the social and political status quo in Quebec. The Refus global influenced the province’s period of rapid change that came to be known as the Quiet Revolution.
The term used since the nineteenth century to refer to the Western art historical period approximately 1400–1600. The Renaissance is associated with the return to classical style in art and architecture, following the medieval period.
renewal of religious art (renouveau de l’art sacré)
A movement that endeavoured to reconcile the art in Roman Catholic churches with modernity. It originated in France and evolved further in Quebec between 1930 and 1965. The French painter Maurice Denis was a significant figure in the movement; his artistic credo was that church art, including painting, sculpture, tapestry, and stained glass, needed to be revitalized and all traces of the rigid conventions of the past swept away. Prominent members in Quebec were the goldsmith Gilles Beaugrand, the sculptor Sylvia Daoust, the painter Ozias Leduc, and the painter and stained-glass artist Marius Plamondon.
Renoir, Pierre-Auguste (French, 1841–1919)
One of the foremost figures of the Impressionist movement. Renoir’s prints, paintings, and sculptures often depict scenes of leisure and domestic ease. He left the Impressionists in 1878 to participate again in the Paris Salon, the city’s officially sanctioned annual art exhibition.
Repin, Ilya (Russian, 1844–1930)
A major figure in nineteenth-century Russian art. Repin was celebrated in his home country during his life and was one of the first of his countrymen to achieve fame in Europe with work that was specifically Russian in content. He worked methodically and slowly, creating his portraits and narrative paintings in an academic style.
A strongly defined element in the left or right foreground of a painting to create or enhance the illusion of depth. From the French repousser (to push back).
Revell, Viljo (Finnish, 1910–1964)
An architect and leading Finnish modernist whose functionalist aesthetic and collaborative working methods had a widespread and lasting impact on architecture in Helsinki. Revell designed numerous buildings in Finland and internationally; in 1958 he won the design competition for Toronto’s iconic new city hall, which was completed in 1964.
Richardson, Theodore J. (American, 1855–1914)
A landscape painter and art teacher best known for his watercolours that focus on First Nations culture in Alaska. Originally from Maine, Richardson worked as an art teacher in Minneapolis and made many trips to Alaska, beginning in 1884.
Riopelle, Jean-Paul (Canadian, 1923–2002)
A towering figure in Québécois modern art who, like the other members of the Automatistes, was interested in Surrealism and abstract art. Riopelle moved to Paris in 1947, where he participated in the last major exhibition of the Parisian Surrealists, organized by Marcel Duchamp and André Breton.
Rioux, Gilles (Canadian, 1942–1995)
An art history professor, writer, and avid collector of art and ephemera associated with the Surrealist movement. Rioux began collecting while studying in Paris in the 1960s and ultimately assembled the most important collection of Surrealist material in North America, which now resides at the Université de Montréal.
Ritchie, William (Canadian, b. 1954)
Born in Windsor, Ontario, Ritchie has spent most of his life in small communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. Primarily a printmaker working in various techniques, Ritchie also works in watercolour and acrylic paint, film, and digital media. His work often depicts the landscapes and animals that have fascinated him for many years. He is also the manager of Cape Dorset’s Kinngait Studios (formerly the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative).
Rivera, Diego (Mexican, 1886–1957)
A painter, draftsman, and celebrated muralist. Rivera was deeply committed to the idea of art’s transformative power and to socialist ideals; his large-scale works typically exalt workers, revolutionaries, and indigenous and folk culture through a style and iconography that combines traditional and avant-garde techniques. He was famously married to Frida Kahlo from 1929 until her death in 1954.
Roberts, Goodridge (Canadian, 1904–1974)
A painter and influential teacher from New Brunswick, whose modernist sensibility developed in the late 1920s when he attended the Art Students League of New York. Roberts settled in Montreal in 1939 and within ten years was celebrated nationally for his careful but intense approach to figure painting, still life, and landscape.
Robertson, Sarah (Canadian, 1891–1948)
Robertson was a member of the Beaver Hall Group and exhibited with several female painters from Montreal after the group disbanded. Influenced by Impressionism, Fauvism, and the Group of Seven, Robertson painted portraits, landscapes, and flowers in brilliant colours.
Rochdale College was founded as a free university in 1968, structured around a co-op living space. A haven for idealists in its early years, the college later fell into disrepute, harbouring drugs and alleged gang activity, as well as having financial problems. The college was closed in 1975.
A worldwide prehistoric art form that involved either painting pictographs onto or carving petroglyphs into immovable rock surfaces, such as cave walls and cliff faces. In what is now Canada, rock art was associated with healing and prophesy.
Rockwell, Norman (American, 1894–1978)
A prolific illustrator and painter, Rockwell produced sentimental images of everyday American life. A long-time illustrator for the Saturday Evening Post, Rockwell was a popular artist who was critically dismissed during his lifetime. He remains among the most well-known American artists of his era.
A multi-faceted movement that affected most areas of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Western culture, including art, literature, and philosophy. Romanticism privileged the emotional and the subjective; it arose in opposition to Enlightenment-era rationalism.
Ronald, William (Canadian, 1926–1998)
An Abstract Expressionist and member of Painters Eleven, which sprang from the Toronto group exhibition that he organized in 1953, Abstracts at Home. Ronald lived in New York from 1955 to 1965. His work is held both by New York institutions—including the Whitney, Guggenheim, and MoMA—and by numerous Canadian museums.
Rosenberg, Harold (American, 1906–1978)
An influential critic, literary writer, and lecturer who developed the concept of action painting, which he expounded in several articles from 1952 onward. Between 1962 and 1978 Rosenberg wrote monographs on New York School luminaries Arshile Gorky, Philip Guston, Willem de Kooning, and Barnett Newman.
Rothko, Mark (American, 1903–1970)
A leading figure of Abstract Expressionism, Rothko began his career as an illustrator and watercolourist. In the late 1940s he developed the style that would come to define his career, creating intense colour-field oil paintings that express the same anxiety and mystery that informed his earlier figurative work.
Rotter, Vilém (Czech, 1903–1960)
An influential graphic artist, Rotter established Rotter Studio, which became the most influential design studio in Prague. Rotter’s design incorporated features of modern movements: Art Deco, Expressionism, and abstraction.
Rouault, Georges (French, 1871–1958)
Known for his highly personal and expressive style, Rouault first gained notoriety in the early 1900s with his compassionate renderings of prostitutes and other marginalized people. Informed by Christian spiritualism, his work was finally embraced by the church shortly before his death.
Rous and Mann Limited
A Toronto printing firm founded in 1909. In 1912 Albert Robson became director of its art department, and his loyal staff from the rival Grip Limited followed him there. They included Tom Thomson and several members of the future Group of Seven: Arthur Lismer, Franklin Carmichael, Frank Johnston, F.H. Varley, and, later, Alfred Casson.
Rousseau, Henri (French, 1844–1910)
A self-taught painter known for his dreamlike canvases depicting exotic landscapes and animals, such as The Sleeping Gypsy, 1897, and The Repast of the Lion, 1907. Rousseau was admired by Pablo Picasso and other artists of the Parisian avant-garde. Despite the technical naivety of his work he is considered a modern master.
Roussil, Robert (Canadian, 1925–2013)
A figurative sculptor most interested in the human form, Roussil worked in wood, bronze, and concrete. He completed numerous public projects, including a piece installed along the Ville-Marie Autoroute in Montreal. A member of the Sculptors Association in Quebec, he was also active in France from 1957 onward.
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA)
An organization of professional artists and architects, modelled after national academies long present in Europe, such as the Royal Academy of Arts in the U.K. (founded in 1768) and the French Academy (founded in 1648). The RCA was founded in 1880 by the Ontario Society of Artists and the Art Association of Montreal.
Royle, Stanley (British, 1888–1961)
A painter principally of Post-Impressionist landscapes. During the Depression financial hardship led him to move from rural England, where he was born and spent the better part of his life, to Canada. He taught first at the Nova Scotia College of Art in Halifax and later at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, before returning to England in 1945.
rubber cement resist
A technique in watercolour painting in which rubber cement is applied to a surface that is subsequently painted over with watercolour paints. When the paint is dry, the rubber cement is removed, revealing areas untouched by the paint.
A Surrealist manifesto issued in 1947 in Paris, signalling a break between the Surrealists, which sought a revolution of consciousness, and the Communist Party, who stressed the need for social revolution. Although the Automatistes were closely associated with the Surrealists, Jean-Paul Riopelle was the only member to sign.
Russell, Larry (b. 1932)
A graduate of H.B. Beal Secondary School and the Ontario College of
Education, Russell was a friend of Greg Curnoe’s and helped him to find
his first studio. His work has been exhibited since 1954 at Region,
20/20, and other regional galleries. He taught at Beal and later at
Fanshawe College. Since 1989, he has worked as a practising artist.
Russell, Morgan (American, 1886–1953)
A painter significant to the history of abstract art. In 1912, having left New York for Paris, he launched Synchromism with Stanton Macdonald-Wright. His painting Synchromy in Orange, 1913–14, was acclaimed by Parisian critics and is now held by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo.
Ryan, Terrence (Canadian, b. 1933)
A Toronto artist who settled in Cape Dorset in 1960, where for nearly fifty years he managed and then directed what is now Kinngait Studios, the most prosperous printmaking centre in Canadian history. Ryan received the Order of Canada in 1983 and a Governor General’s Award in 2010 for his support of the visual arts in northern Canada.