• 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.

  • Raeburn, Henry (Scottish, 1756–1823)

    A leading Scottish portrait painter from the late eighteenth to early nineteenth century. Raeburn was largely self-taught as an artist, but his marriage to a wealthy widow allowed him access to an elite circle of patrons. He was elected president of the Edinburgh Society of Artists in 1812 and a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1815. In 1822, Raeburn was knighted by King George IV and became the king’s official portraitist.

  • Rahmani, Aviva (American, b. 1945)

    An ecological and performance artist who specializes in projects involving environmental restoration, Rahmani uses her Trigger Point Theory to see if restoring a small site can have a larger ecological impact. She draws on aesthetics, art, and teams of scientists to create a chain of beneficial environmental events, such as planting trees in ways that block heavy machinery along the path of proposed natural gas pipelines in the U.S. The individual trees are then painted, their position recorded on a musical score, and the resulting symphony performed.

  • Rainer, Yvonne (American, b.1934)

    An avant-garde dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker. After moving to New York in the late 1950s, Rainer became one of the principal organizers of the Judson Dance Theater, which served as a centre for avant-garde dance throughout the 1960s. Rainer introduced a Minimalist form of dance that emphasized the variety of movements the body could produce rather than the expression of emotion or drama. In the 1970s, Rainer began creating experimental feature films exploring personal and socio-political concerns.

  • raku ware
  • Rammell, George (Canadian, b.1952)

    A sculptor who trained at the Vancouver School of Art (now the Emily Carr University of Art + Design), Rammell worked as an assistant in Bill Reid’s studio from 1979 to 1990. He has shown his own sculptures in solo and group exhibitions, and he has taught sculpture for many years, at Emily Carr University and at Capilano University. 

  • Raphael (Italian, 1483–1520)

    Born Raffaello Santi in Urbino, Raphael became an important figure in the Italian Renaissance. As a painter in Florence, he was known for a series of Madonna paintings. After moving to Rome to join the court of Pope Julius II, he gained renown as a portraitist and history painter, eventually becoming the Pope’s architect in 1514. Major works include The School of Athens, 1509–1511, and La Fornarina, 1520.

  • 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 (1945). 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.

  • Ravenet, Simon François (French, 1706–1774)

    Trained in Paris, Ravenet was an engraver who lived and worked primarily in England after moving to London in 1743. He was brought to England by the British artist William Hogarth, afterwards working with the publishers Robert Sayer, John and Paul Knapton, and John Boydell. Ravenet engraved prints of classical sculpture, historical and contemporary painting, and anatomical drawings, as well as producing plates for editions of John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy. His son, Simon François Ravenet the Younger, was also an engraver.

  • Ray, Carl (Cree, 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 Kleinburg, Ontario; and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, his work is known for its three-dimensional quality, flowing lines, and original composition.

  • Ray, Man (American, 1890–1976)

    Born Emmanuel Radnizky, Man Ray was a Dada and Surrealist artist and photographer and the only American associated with both groups. After working with Marcel Duchamp in New York City, Ray moved to Paris, where he began his experiments in photography and developed camera-less photographs (photograms or rayographs) by placing objects on light-sensitive paper. He also created ready-mades and films and published photographic portraits in fashion magazines and collaborated with the photographer Lee Miller, the subject of much of his work in the 1930s.

  • 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.

  • Read, Herbert (British, 1893–1968)

    A poet and critic, Read was a proponent of modernism in England in the early twentieth century. His theory of aesthetics was tied to a philosophical understanding of anarchy as essential to a healthy society. After the Second World War, his writings on the place of art in society influenced the development of art education in England. Read is closely associated with the sculptors Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, and Ben Nicholson.

  • Reading Public Museum

    Founded by Dr. Levi W. Mengel, an entomologist and science teacher at the Reading Boys’ High School, the Reading Public Museum in West Reading, Pennsylvania, began as a way for Mengel to integrate hands-on education into his classes in the early 1900s. The Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery opened to the public in 1913. Today, the museum continues to focus on educational exhibits, with a collection that includes both scientific and cultural objects, a planetarium, and an arboretum.

  • readymade

    A “readymade” is an artwork composed of an existing, pre-fabricated, everyday object, that has been slightly modified or not all; 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.

  • realism/Realism

    A style of art in which subjects are depicted as factually as possible. The art style “realism” is not to be confused with “Realism”, 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 sculptor from southwestern Ontario who also produced paintings, drawings, and prints, Walter Redinger was one of the artists represented by Toronto’s influential Isaacs Gallery in the 1960s. His large-scale fibreglass sculptures feature organic forms and draw on surrealist influences. In 1972 he represented Canada at the Venice Biennale alongside Gershon Iskowitz.

  • 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.

  • Reeves, John (Canadian, 1938–2016)

    A noted portrait photographer, John Reeves began capturing notable Canadians for the magazines of the 1960s. Later projects included photographing the artists of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative (now Kinngait Studios) from the late 1970s to 1998, and, in the 1980s, jazz musicians. Reeves was also a broadcaster who hosted a radio program, Toronto in Review, on the CBC for a short time in the 1970s.

  • 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. Refus global influenced the province’s period of rapid change that came to be known as the Quiet Revolution. The sixteen signatories of Refus global were Madeleine Arbour, Marcel Barbeau, Paul-Émile Borduas, Bruno Cormier, Marcelle Ferron, Claude Gauvreau, Pierre Gauvreau, Muriel Guilbault, Fernand Leduc, Jean-Paul Mousseau, Maurice Perron, Louise Renaud, Thérèse Renaud, Françoise Riopelle, Jean Paul Riopelle, and Françoise Sullivan.

  • Regina Clay

    A Canadian art movement based in Regina, Saskatchewan, in the 1960s and 1970s. In these decades, Regina became a centre for ceramic production and creative expression. Regina Clay artists, such as Joe Fafard and Marilyn Levine, used the medium to resist modernism and fight for the place of ceramics as a worthy sculptural medium. The movement aimed to address reality through imagery based on personal experience.

  • Regina Five

    A group of five abstract painters from Regina, Saskatchewan, known for their group exhibition Five Painters from Regina at the National Gallery of Canada in 1961. The group included Kenneth Lochhead, Arthur McKay, Douglas Morton, Ted Goodwin, and Ronald Bloore. Their works can be characterized as nonfigurative, and they were heavily influenced by the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshops and the art critic Barnett Newman.

  • Reichertz, Mathew (Canadian, b.1969)

    Originally from Montreal, Reichertz is a painter based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he is a faculty member at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD). Often working in series, he draws on personal and historical experiences to create fractured narratives that suggest stories without providing the viewer with a defined beginning, middle, and end. Instead, his paintings attempt to evoke emotions in the viewer that parallel those of the experience or event depicted in the works themselves. Reichertz was the 2006 Atlantic Canada nominee for the Sobey Art Award.

  • Reid, George Agnew (Canadian, 1860–1947)

    A painter of portraits, figure studies, and genre and historical scenes. With his training in the academic tradition, and his roles as president of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (1906–9) and principal of the Ontario College of Art, Reid became a key figure in Ontario’s art scene. Inspired by the mural revivals in Europe and the United States, he promoted mural art in Canada—an activity that was part of his larger concern with using the visual arts to beautify urban life and encourage civic virtues.

  • Reid, Iljuwas Bill (Haida, 1920–1998)

    A sculptor, painter, and jeweller known for his championing of Haida culture and land claims and his skills as a master carver. Reid created monumental public sculptures, found at the University of British Columbia, the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the Vancouver International Airport. His Lootaas (Wave-Eater), 1986, is a 15-metre canoe carved from a single cedar log, commissioned for Expo 86 in Vancouver. (See Iljuwas Bill Reid: Life & Work by Gerald McMaster.)

  • Reid, Leslie (Canadian, b.1947)

    An Ottawa-based artist who works in painting, printmaking, photography, and video as she examines landscape, light, and perception. A graduate of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Reid also studied art throughout the U.K. She taught in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa for more than forty years. She is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and her work is represented in public collections across the country.

  • Reid, Martine J. (née Mormanne) (French and Canadian, b.1945)

    An author, curator, and scholar, Reid was married to Bill Reid from 1981 until his death in 1998; the couple had met in 1975 while she was working on her doctorate in cultural anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Today she is the Honorary Chair of the Bill Reid Foundation, which created the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver in 2008, and the CEO of the Bill Reid Estate. In 2010 she received the National Order of Merit from the French government for her promotion of cultural diversity.

  • Reid, Robert (Canadian, 1927–2022)

    A typographer and book designer known for publishing the academic journal The Library Quarterly. In 1952 Reid collaborated with artist Takao Tanabe to reprint F.G. Claudet’s pamphlet Gold: Its Properties, Modes of Extraction, Value, Etc. and poet John Newlove’s volume Grave Sirs John Newlove’s Poems. Reid taught typographic design and printing at the Vancouver School of Art and was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

  • Reinblatt, Moses “Moe” (Canadian, 1917–1979)

    A painter, printmaker, and official Canadian war artist during the Second World War. In 1942, Reinblatt joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and, by 1944, began depicting military scenes behind the front lines of war. After the 1950s, his paintings grew more textured and abstract and he embraced lithographic printmaking. Reinblatt was associated with the Jewish Painters of Montreal, a group named by curator Esther Trépanier in 1987.

  • Reinhardt, Adolph “Ad” (American, 1913–1967)

    A painter associated with geometric and pure abstraction. Although Reinhardt was a contemporary of Abstract Expressionists, he believed that painting should be concerned with art alone. He rejected all outside symbols and references and was therefore embraced by the later Minimalists.

  • Relationality

    Relationality is a concept derived from the writings of Martinican poet, writer, and philosopher Édouard Glissant’s notion of a “poetics of relation,” which emerged out of the Caribbean’s difficult cololonial histories as a site of global intersection. Relationality is both an aesthetic and a political concept, which imagines these intersections as a potential ground for reconsidering human relationships, histories, and identities through openness, exchange, translation, and creolization.

  • Remai Modern

    An art gallery in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, located on Treaty Six Territory and the traditional homeland of the Métis. The gallery was established in 2004 after a donation by Ellen Remai, for whom the gallery is named. The gallery collects and showcases local and international modern and contemporary art.

  • Rembrandt Haarmenszoon van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669)

    One of the most famous artists of his time, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (referred to as Rembrandt) painted portraits, self-portraits, and dramatic scenes, and created drawings and etchings that conveyed the personality of his subjects. Throughout, Rembrandt developed the interplay between light and shadow in his work, heightening contrast and using a narrow range of colours to generate a spotlight effect in his earlier work, and working with impasto (thick application of paint) and composition to create the radiance that characterizes paintings in his late style.

  • Renaissance

    The term used since the nineteenth century to refer to the Western art historical period from approximately 1400 to 1600. The Renaissance is associated with the return to classical style in art and architecture, following the medieval period.

  • Renaud, Jeanne (Canadian, b. 1928)

    A dancer, choreographer, and arts administrator, associated with the Automatistes and known as one of the founding mothers of Quebec modern dance. Renaud studied with Merce Cunningham, Hanya Holm, and Mary Anthony in New York. From 1959 to 1965 she taught at the École de danse moderne de Montréal and co-founded Quebec’s first modern dance company, Le Groupe de la Place Royale, in 1966. In 1995 Renaud received the Governor General’s Award for the Performing Arts.

  • Renaud, Louise (Canadian, b. 1922)

    A painter, dancer, and lighting designer, associated with the Automatistes, Renaud was a signatory of the 1948 Refus global manifesto. In 1944 she studied at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal. Her works often concern the effects of time’s passage. Since 1990 Renaud has lived and worked in Belgium.

  • 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.

  • Reni, Guido (Italian, 1575–1642)

    Recognized as one of the most important Italian painters of the seventeenth century, Guido Reni painted religious and mythological subjects. He was influenced by the work of Caravaggio and Raphael. At the height of his career, his colour work became more and more vivid and his brushwork lighter. Recognized for his use of tenebrism (contrast of light and dark), his work is notably Baroque, yet contains hints of classical composition.

  • 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.

  • Renwick, Arthur (Haisla, b.1965)

    A photo-based artist, curator, educator, and musician born in Kitimat, British Columbia, and currently residing in Toronto, Ontario. Renwick’s photographic practice has explored themes relating to Indigenous identity, the impact of industrialization on traditional lands, and First Nations churches as symbols of survivance in the face of cultural assimilation.

  • 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.

  • repoussoir

    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).

  • representational

    A term used to describe art that is derived from references to real objects and images that are recognizable as depictions of what exists in the real world. A representational work may not be entirely realistic.

  • residential school system

    Established by the Canadian government in the 1880s and often administered by churches, residential schools continued into the 1990s. The system removed and isolated Indigenous children from their homes, families, traditions, and cultures so that they could be assimilated into the dominant colonial culture. Children were indoctrinated into Euro-Canadian and Christian ways of living and forbidden from practising their cultures or speaking their languages; curricula focused less on academic advancement than on training for manual labour in agricultural, industrial, and domestic settings. Many children were subjected to horrendous physical, sexual, emotional, and/or psychological abuse. 

  • Restany, Pierre (French, 1930–2003)

    An influential art critic and curator, Pierre Restany was one of the founders of the nouveau réalisme (new realism) art movement in the 1960s. Theorized by Restany in conversations with the French artist Yves Klein, the movement was anchored in an avant-garde approach to reality and rejected both representation and abstraction. As a critic he went on to discuss contemporary art and emerging media through the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, until his death, including a particular interest in the relationship between art and urban planning. Beginning in 1963, Restany had a close association with the Italian art and architecture magazine Domus

  • 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.

  • Rhéaume, Jeanne (Canadian, 1915–2000)

    A painter and textile artist whose work is characterized by bright, vibrant colours, crisp outlines, and loose brushstrokes. Born in Montreal, Rhéaume studied at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal and the Art Association of Montreal. She was a major proponent of experimental and modernist art in Canada before eventually moving to Florence, Italy.

  • Rho, Adolphe (Canadian, 1839–1905)

    Born in Gentilly (Bécancour), Quebec, Adolphe Rho was a sculptor, church decorator, and painter specializing in religious subjects, portraits, and landscapes. After a brief career in photography, which featured exhibitions in Trois-Rivières in 1869 and in Quebec in 1870, he turned to painting. During the course of his career he decorated more than thirty churches and chapels working alongside his four sons.

  • Ribak, Louis (Lithuanian/American, 1902–1979)

    Originally a social realist painter, Louis Ribak gradually moved towards abstraction following his move to Taos, New Mexico, in 1944. His greatest early influence was his teacher John Sloan, under whom he studied at the Art Students League in New York City in the 1920s. In New Mexico he founded the Taos Valley Art School and was an influential figure in Taos’s modernist art community. Ribak was married to fellow artist Beatrice Mandelman. A substantial body of his work is held as part of the Mandelman Ribak Collection of the University of New Mexico.

  • 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.

  • Richier, Germaine (French, 1902–1959)

    Following the early success of her bronze, classical figures in the 1930s, the sculptor Germaine Richier went on to explore more personal and allegorical imagery, experimenting in ceramics, mosaic, and printmaking while continuing to create works in bronze. In the years after the Second World War, she created figures that combined human and natural elements often contorted by expressions of anguish.

  • Richter, Gerhard (German, b.1932)

    One of the most important German artists of his generation, Richter creates photorealist and abstract paintings, as well as photographs and glass pieces. His paintings involve borrowing images from newspapers, magazines, and personal photographs. Some he renders in soft focus; with others, he creates abstracts using squeegees to drag layers of oil paint across the canvas, distorting the image. Personal and national history are common themes in Richter’s work.

  • Rigamonti, Luigi (1872–1953)

    Born in Milan, Italy, where he trained as a marble and stone carver, Rigamonti moved to London, England, early in his career. He worked for several years with Sir William Goscombe John (1860-1952), a prominent Welsh sculptor. In 1930, having developed a reputation as one of London’s leading stone carvers, Rigamonti was hired by Walter Allward to serve as master carver of the twenty allegorical figures for the Vimy Memorial.

  • Riley, Bridget (British, b.1931)

    Born in London, England, Bridget Riley became known for her Op art paintings in the 1960s. Using optical illusions and compositions based on squares, ovals, and curves, Riley created work that seemed to shimmer in the eye of the viewer. From 1960 to 1967 she worked in black and white before gradually incorporating colour into her work and beginning to experiment with hue as a component of her visual effects.

  • Rindisbacher, Peter (Swiss, 1806–1834)

    A Swiss-born artist known for his paintings of Indigenous peoples, settler life, and Hudson’s Bay Company officials around the Red River Colony in what is now Manitoba. Rindisbacher emigrated from Switzerland to Canada with his family when he was fifteen. Following a flood in 1826, he relocated to the Midwestern United States. His works are held in many Canadian institutions, including Library and Archives Canada, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Glenbow Museum.

  • Riopelle, Françoise (Canadian, 1927–2022)

    Françoise Riopelle, née Lespérance, is a Quebec dancer and choreographer, one of the signatories of the Automatiste manifesto, the Refus global. She studied choreography while in Paris with her first husband, the painter Jean Paul Riopelle, from 1946 until 1958. After returning home, she founded the École moderne de danse de Montréal with her collaborator Jeanne Renaud, becoming a leading figure in the introduction of modern dance to Quebec alongside Renaud and the multidisciplinary artist Françoise Sullivan.

  • 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. (See Jean Paul Riopelle: Life & Work by François-Marc Gagnon.)

  • 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.

  • Ristvedt, Milly (Canadian, b.1942)

    A Kimberley, B.C.–born painter of acrylic colour-field paintings who began her career in Toronto in the 1960s following studies with Takao Tanabe and Roy Kiyooka at the Vancouver School of Art. Since 1968, her abstract works have been the subject of over fifty solo exhibitions and are on view in public collections across the country; she has also won awards including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).

  • 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.

  • Rixens, Jean-André (French, 1846–1925)

    A painter and muralist, Jean-André Rixens is known for his historical scenes, in particular the Orientalist La mort de Cléopatre (The Death of Cleopatra), 1874. He showed his work at the Paris Salon in the 1870s, and at the Exposition universelle in 1889, where he won a gold medal. While he painted in an Impressionist style beginning in the 1890s, these paintings remain little known.

  • Robert Elkon Gallery

    Founded by Robert Elkon, the Robert Elkon Gallery opened in New York City in 1961. The gallery promoted modern artists through shows featuring both established Europeans—including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, René Magritte, and Alberto Giacometti—as well as younger Americans such as Agnes Martin, and the Californians Tony DeLap and Peter Alexander.

  • Robert McLaughlin Gallery
  • Robert-Fleury, Tony (French, 1837–1911)

    Inspired by Neoclassicism and trained in the academic tradition, Robert-Fleury was known for his achievements as a history painter. He exhibited regularly at the Paris Salon, where he was awarded the medal of honour in 1870, and he became a professor at the Académie Julian. In his later life he was interested in Realism and Impressionism.

  • Robert, Guy (Canadian, 1933–2000)

    A writer, art critic, teacher, and poet known for his participation in the Quiet Revolution, a period of socio-political upheaval in Quebec society which entailed the secularization of local governments and the expansion of a provincial welfare state. As an advocate of modernist art in Quebec, Robert helped found the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art in 1964 and oversaw the international exhibition of contemporary sculpture at Montreal’s Expo 67.

  • 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.

  • Roberts, William (British, 1895–1980)

    A Vorticist painter who was also associated with the post-Vorticist Group X in the early 1920s. Roberts abandoned the movement along with his early angular, geometric abstraction for figurative work following the First World War, during which he served as an Official War Artist for the British and Canadian governments. His painting The Vorticists at the Restaurant de la Tour Eiffel: Spring, 1915, 1961–62, depicts the group at the restaurant where they convened. 

  • Robertson Galleries

    Founded in Ottawa in 1953, Robertson Galleries was a commercial venture by John Robertson, who was previously an accountant at the National Gallery of Canada. Robertson is remembered especially for his interest in and promotion of Inuit art. Robertson Galleries held important exhibitions of Inuit prints and sculpture throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including works by Pitseolak Ashoona and Kenojuak Ashevak among others.

  • Robertson, Eric (Gitxsan, b.1959)

    A Vancouver-based mixed-media artist who apprenticed with Haida master carver Iljuwas Bill Reid. Of Gitxsan and European heritage, Robertson examines the relationship between Indigenous and colonial histories in his sculptural work. He has exhibited internationally and produced several public art commissions in British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington State.

  • 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.

  • Robinson, Boardman (American/Canadian, 1876–1952)

    Illustrator, political cartoonist, and muralist noted for his radical anti-military politics during the First World War. His work was published in many newspapers and magazines, including Vogue, The Morning Telegraph, Colliers, and Scribner’s. In 1915 Robinson travelled to Eastern Europe to witness the damages of war and illustrated a book in collaboration with journalist John Reed. He taught at the Art Students League in New York from 1919 to 1930.

  • Rochdale College

    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.

  • rock art

    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 prophecy.

  • 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.

  • Rodin, Auguste (French, 1840–1917)

    Regarded as the founder of modern sculpture, Rodin created naturalistic and expressive figures that challenged academic conventions. He remained a largely self-taught sculptor after the prestigious École des beaux-arts denied him admission three times. During a trip to Italy in 1875 Rodin encountered the work of Michelangelo (1475–1564), whom Rodin credited for liberating him from academicism.

  • Rodman Hall Art Centre

    Rodman Hall Art Centre is a contemporary art gallery associated with Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. It hosts regular exhibitions of work by Canadian and international artists, as well as pieces from its own collections

  • Romano, Umberto (American, 1906–1982)

    Born in Italy, Romano was a painter, muralist, and printmaker. He taught at the Wooster Art Museum School and later opened his own summer school. He painted portraits of several notable sitters, including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Albert Einstein.

  • Romantic tradition

    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 Museum of American Art, Guggenheim Museum, and Museum of Modern Art—and by numerous Canadian museums.

  • root rectangles

    Also called “dynamic rectangles,” any rectangle for which the ratio of the length of the longer to the shorter sides is the square root of an integer (e.g., 1:√2, 1:√3, 1:√4, etc.). Any root rectangle 1:√n can be divided into n equal rectangles. Root rectangles feature in the geometric principles of Jay Hambidge’s dynamic symmetry.

  • Roquebrune, Robert de (Canadian, 1889–1978)

    Born Robert Hertel La Roque, the writer Robert de Roquebrune was one of the founders of the magazine Le Nigog in 1918. His work is marked by a nostalgia for an idealized Canadian past. His writings include four novels, a collection of tales, historical studies, poems, and memoirs, the latter being notable for the embellished version of the author’s life.

  • Rosa, Salvator (Italian, 1615–1673)

    A Baroque painter, poet, satirist, and composer adopted by artists of the Romantic movement as an unorthodox and rebellious figure. Rosa famously refused to work on commission and insisted on choosing his subject matter, yet found financial success in receiving the patronage of Cardinal Giovanni Carlo de’ Medici. He portrayed sweeping views of religious and historical subjects in rugged and wild landscapes.

  • 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.

  • Rosenquist, James (American, 1933–2017)

    A major figure in New York City’s Pop art movement, James Rosenquist was a painter known for large, often room-sized, collage paintings. Influenced by consumer culture, he transferred the techniques he learned as a billboard painter to his own work, playing with the resolution of the image, and often integrated elements of social commentary into his compositions. 

  • Rosenthal, Joe (Canadian, 1921–2018)

    A Toronto-based sculptor who served in the Canadian Army during the Second World War, Rosenthal is best known for his bronze sculptures, many of them installed in public spaces. A multi-disciplinary artist, Rosenthal trained at the Central Technical School in Toronto and was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

  • Rosler, Martha (American, b.1943)

    Employing a range of media, Rosler creates art that engages with political and social issues, in particular as they relate to women. Her photomontages concerning the Vietnam War placed images of soldiers and warfare in domestic spaces as depicted in magazines, revealing connections between foreign conflict and consumer culture at home. Many of Rosler’s other works address the politics of housing and ownership. She was born in Brooklyn, where she lives and works.

  • Rosner, Thelma (Canadian, b. 1941)

    A painter and installation artist concerned with socio-political relations in the Middle East, religious conflict, and language. Rosner’s series Israeli-Palestinian Dictionary, 2009–11, focuses on the naming of objects, which are positioned between the different scripts of Hebrew and Arabic. Rosner was mentored by Paterson Ewen at the University of Western Ontario (now Western University) in London, Ontario.

  • Ross, James (Canadian/Scottish, 1848–1913)

    An engineer, businessman, and philanthropist known for his involvement in the construction of several Canadian railways and support of hospitals and other institutions. Ross served as the president of several business ventures, including the Dominion Bridge Company, the Mexican Light and Power Company, and the Montreal Light, Heat and Power Company. He was also the president of the Art Association of Montreal, to which he made considerable donations. He held one of the finest art collections in Canada, including European Old Masters, and was Canadian artist Homer Watson’s most supportive patron. 

  • Rossetti, Dante Gabriel (British, 1828–1882)

    Born Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti in London, Dante Rossetti was a poet and Pre-Raphaelite painter. His paintings depict a romanticized ideal of the medieval past, with an intense interest in Arthurian legend. Beginning in 1856 he became closely associated with Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris, leading to the emergence of a second version of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. A high degree of symbolism characterizes both his poetry and his painting.

  • 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.

  • Rousseau, Théodore (French, 1812–1867)

    A leading figure of French nineteenth-century landscape painting in general and of the Barbizon school in particular. Rousseau’s early emphasis on painting from the direct observation of nature challenged the calm, idealistic landscapes of his Neoclassical teachers. His works embraced nature as a wild and undisciplined force with power that outshone the human industries of modern life.

  • Roussel, Claude (Canadian, b. 1930)

    A pioneer of modern Acadian art, Roussel studied at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal in the 1950s before returning to his native New Brunswick. In addition to being an artist who worked in painting, sculpture, and relief, Roussel was the founder and first director of the Visual Arts Department at the Université de Moncton. He promoted the work of Acadian artists through various university and institutional positions, including at the Beaverbrook Gallery in Fredericton.

  • 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.

  • Roy-Audy, Jean-Baptiste (Canadian, 1778–1848)

    Jean-Baptiste Roy-Audy was a nineteenth-century artist. He began his career as a carpenter and coachbuilder, apprenticing under François Baillairgé. In 1819, he transitioned from painting artisanal signs, vehicles, and coats of arms to religious paintings and artistic portraits. While his style appears naive, he was successful in representing the personality of his subjects.

  • Royal Academy of Arts

    Established in 1768, the Royal Academy of Arts in London was a central art institution that, along with the Paris Salon, could exert tremendous influence on an artist’s career. By the mid-nineteenth century, European avant-garde movements such as Impressionism began to diminish the power held by the Royal Academy and similar institutions.

  • 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 Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture in Paris (founded in 1648).

  • Royal College of Art

    One of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious fine arts academies, the Royal College of Art (RCA) has produced such internationally acclaimed alumni as David Hockney, Tracey Emin, Sir Peter Blake, and Henry Moore. Founded in 1837 as the Government School of Design, the RCA currently offers postgraduate degrees in art and design out of three London campuses.

  • Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts

    The Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts was founded in 1861 to exhibit and promote the work of contemporary artists. In 1891 it became the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. It supported many prominent nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century figures, including William Holman Hunt, Frances and Margaret MacDonald, George Frederic Watts, and James McNeill Whistler. Currently the institute organizes the largest annual art exhibition in Scotland.

  • Royal Institute of Oil Painters

    Founded in 1882, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters remains the only major British society to exclusively promote works completed in oil. The institute is one of nine member groups of the Federation of British Artists.

  • Royal Ontario Museum

    Created in 1912, the Royal Ontario Museum is a Toronto institution that opened to the public in 1914. Originally it housed collections in archaeology, zoology, paleontology, mineralogy, and geology; the museum’s current holdings include important collections of artifacts from China and from Canada’s Indigenous peoples, as well as an important textile collection. The building has undergone three major expansions since its founding: in 1933, 1982, and 2007.

  • Royal Society of British Artists

    Established in 1823 by a group of artists as an alternative to the Royal Academy in London. The society’s membership consists of sculptors, painters, architects, and printmakers. Its first gallery was designed by John Nash and built on Suffolk Street, London. Prominent past members include James McNeill Whistler, Frank Brangwyn, and Walter Richart Sickert.

  • Roycroft Arts and Crafts company

    An artists’ colony focused on handicrafts and artisanry, founded by American writer and artist Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915) in 1895. Located in the village of East Aurora, New York, it contained a self-publishing printing press, as well as workshop and meeting spaces. By 1910 the community numbered nearly 500 artists, skilled in printing, furniture making, metalsmithing, and bookbinding, amongst other trades. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

  • 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 (now NSCAD University) 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.

  • Ruben, Abraham Anghik (Inuvialuit, Salt Spring Island, b. 1951)

    A sculptor who incorporates stories, tales, and experiences from Inuit and western Arctic cultures into stone and bronze works, Anghik often explores the encounters between the Nordic Vikings and the Inuit during a historic period when the two cultures found similarity in the practice of shamanism. In 2016, Anghik received the Order of Canada.

  • Ruben, Abraham Anghik (Inuvialuit, Salt Spring Island, né en 1951)

    Sculpteur qui incorpore des histoires, des contes et des expériences tirées des cultures inuites et de l’Arctique de l’Ouest dans des œuvres en pierre et en bronze, Anghik explore souvent les rencontres entre les Vikings nordiques et les Inuits au cours d’une période historique où les deux cultures ont trouvé une similitude dans la pratique du chamanisme. En 2016, Anghik reçoit l’Ordre du Canada.

  • Rubens, Peter Paul (Flemish, 1577–1640)

    The Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens was known for his religious and mythological compositions. Influenced in his early career by the painters of the Venetian Renaissance, Rubens’s style evolved to typify the sensuousness and movement of Baroque painting, with a looser painting technique evident in his later works. He supervised a large studio for the production of his work, even as he served as an important diplomat for the Netherlands in Europe.

  • rug hooking

    Refers to the technique of pulling loops of yarn or cloth through a stiff, coarse fabric base such as burlap or linen with a hooked tool to create rugs. The craft was developed by settlers in eastern North America during the early and mid-nineteenth century.

  • Rupture inaugurale

    A Surrealist manifesto issued in 1947 in Paris, signalling a break between the Surrealists, who 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.

  • Ruscha, Ed (American, b.1937)

    A California-based artist working in painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, and film. He is often associated with the Pop Art and Conceptual Art movements in the United States, and is celebrated for his integration of advertising, words, and text into his works.

  • Ruskin, John (British, 1819–1900)

    Leading art and society critic in nineteenth-century England, as well as a painter and prose writer. Ruskin’s Modern Painters, consisting of five volumes and requiring seventeen years of work, was published in between 1843 and 1860. He was a staunch supporter and defender of J.M.W. Turner, whom he believed painted “truth to nature.” This ethos, central to Ruskin’s aesthetic, advocated that painting directly from nature would lead to further moral and spiritual truths.

  • Russell, Alfred (American, 1920–2007)

    Russell was part of the New York School of Abstract Expressionists. His early work combines elements of the styles that typified abstract paintings from Paris and New York in the 1940s. Russell’s consist of planes of colour that grow smaller toward the centre of the image, seeming to splinter and intensify. In the early 1950s, however, he became disillusioned with Abstract Expressionism and with the New York art scene more generally and rejected both to become a figurative painter. As a faculty member in the MFA program at Brooklyn College, Russell became an influential figure for realist artists of the 1950s and 1960s.

  • Russell, Gyrth (Canadian, 1892–1970)

    A painter born in Nova Scotia, Russell is known for his marine landscapes that featured on British travel posters in the 1950s. He studied at the Académie Julian and the Académie Colarossi in Paris from 1911 until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914; he later became an official Canadian war artist. He remained in the United Kingdom until his death.

  • Russell, Larry (b. 1932)

    A graduate of H.B. Beal Secondary School in London, Ontario, and the Ontario College of Education (now the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto), 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, London. 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.

  • Ruysch, Rachel (Dutch, 1664–1750)

    A Baroque floral painter, Rachel Ruysch was a successful professional artist in The Hague known for her highly detailed still lifes. Her paintings show dynamic arrangements of flowers against dark backgrounds in the style of the seventeenth century. Married to the portraitist Juriaen Pool, she maintained her career over a span of seven decades.

  • Ryan, Terrence (Canadian, 1933–2017)

    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.

  • Ryder, Albert Pinkham (American, 1847–1917)

    A painter of allegorical seascapes, Ryder is most recognized for his mature works which feature dim lighting, enigmatic subjects, windswept compositions, and undefined shapes within a larger landscape or marine scene. In his works, Ryder often referenced classical mythology, poetry, and Wagnerian opera.

  • Ryman, Robert (American, 1930–2019)

    A Nashville-born monochrome painter best known for his white paintings, often layering different shades of white pigment to create textured, gestural canvases. He took up painting in the 1950s after working as a guard at the Museum of Modern Art, where he became inspired by the work of Abstract Expressionist painters such as Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Barnett Newman. He was closely aligned with the Minimalist and Conceptual art movements of the mid-twentieth century.

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