Paintings 

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Joseph Swift   1832-1889

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  ROYAL EXCHANGE

 

The artist who created this portrait, Joseph Swift, was an itinerant painter who worked primarily around Toronto. His works are in the British tradition and some people consider them to be among the best animal portraiture in Canada. He sometimes used a stencil and other techniques to increase the definition of his subjects and ensure that they were the centre of attention. Many of his works, such as this example of a Clydesdale stallion, feature impressive horses. Swift’s paintings are highly appreciated today by collectors of Canadian folk art. This is one of two paintings by Swift purchased at a yard sale in Claremont Ontario in the 1970's by two artists who were themselves impressed my their charm and folky renditions of prize livestock imported from Scotland to Canada by Richard Graham, Claremont, Pickering Ontario 

Joseph Swift (1832–1889)

Toronto 1880

          MANFRED 

                   

A second livestock portrait by Mr Swift, purchased with Royal Exchange at the yard sale in Claremont / Pickering in the 1970's. This painting was later sold into one of the most important Canadian Antique Collections in Southern Ontario in the late 70's  which was purchased by me during the private , invitation only dispersal of the collection. Although these works closely relate to the Naive Folk tradition of British Isles, their comparitive  extreme rarity and charm makes them one of the most sought after categories for advanced collectors and museums. This dappled chestnut  Clydesdale stallion, strikes an impressive pose and also documents its origins " Bred By SIR M.R. SHAW  STEWART  ARDGOWAN GREENOCK SCOTLAND , Imported by Graham Bros. Claremont Ontario Canada 1883

Joseph Swift (1832–1889)
 

TORONTO 1883

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Robert " Rob" Gonzales

(July 10, 1959 – June 14, 2017)

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Artist Rob Gonsalves was born in Toronto, Canada in 1959. During his childhood, he developed an interest in drawing from his imagination using various media. By age twelve, his awareness of architecture grew as he leaned perspective techniques and began to do his first paintings and renderings of imagined buildings

 Over time Progressive Rock album cover art of groups like Genesis, Yes, and Gentle Giant, their fantasy and surrealism also influenced his artistic direction. His natural love of the urban environment and Victorian and Edwardian architecture eventually found its way into his paintings. He studied   Architecture at Ryerson Technical University where he learned how to manipulate perspective which became an important element in the narrative of his paintings.

A year at the Ontario College of Art and Design he was introduced to the works of the surrealists Rene Magritte, Remedios Varo, Yves Tanguy, and M. C. Escher, which also helped define his creative leanings.

In his post college years, Gonsalves worked full-time as an architect, also painting trompe-l'œil murals and theatre sets. After an enthusiastic response in 1990 at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, ( where I first met Rob and his wife) Gonsalves devoted himself

Although Gonsalves' work is often categorized as surrealistic, it differs because the images are deliberately planned and result from conscious thought. Ideas are largely generated by the external world and involve recognizable human activities, using carefully planned illusionist devices. Gonsalves injects a sense of magic into realistic scenes. As a result, the term "Magic Realism" describes his work accurately. His work is an attempt to represent human beings' desire to believe the impossible, to be open to possibility.

Gonsalves exhibited at Art Expo New York and Los Angeles, Decor Atlanta and Las Vegas, Fine Art Forum, as well as one-man shows at Huckleberry Fine Art, Marcus Ashley Gallery in South Lake Tahoe, Hudson River Art Gallery, Saper Galleries (November 7 to December 31, 2004), Discovery Galleries, Ltd., and Kaleidoscope Gallery. Huckleberry Fine Art published the 1st limited edition prints which remains incomplete because of Gonsalves's death.

In June 2003, Simon & Schuster introduced North America and Canada to Imagine a Night, Gonsalves' first hardcover book featuring sixteen paintings. Due to the success of Imagine a Night, Simon & Schuster released a second book, Imagine A Day, in 2004 for which he won the 2005 Governor General's Award in the Children's Literature – Illustration category.

His book Imagine a Place was released in 2008. He released another book, Imagine a World, in September 2015.

The website robgonsalves.live was created in 2019 and is dedicated to keeping his legacy alive. Posters and eventually, new posthumous limited edition prints will become available.[3]

Exhibitions, publications & Awards 

Andrew Hemingway

ANDREW HEMINGWAY was born in Yorkshire, England in 1955. He attended the Barnsley School of Art and the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts in London, earning a degree in Fine Art and Art History. In 1976 he received bursaries to study in Florence and Rome and in 1978, won a Norwegian scholarship to study in Oslo.

Hemingway has exhibited extensively at Mira Godard Gallery for over thirty years. He has also exhibited in the United States, Asia, and Europe. His work is in numerous international corporate and private collections including: Deutsche Bank; The Duke of Devonshire; Goldman Sachs; the Halifax Building Society and Bank; Nestle International, Switzerland; the Travelstead Company, New York; and the Yorkshire Building Society.

Andrew Hemingway lives and works in Yorkshire, England.

Artwork

DANIEL ADEL 

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 Figurative painter Daniel Adel divides his focus between his own pursuits and commissioned projects. When he is not lampooning celebrities, politicians, and businesspeople in satirical cartoons for the world’s leading publications, or painting august portraits of a range of sitters, he concentrates on picturesque watercolors of the village of Lacoste and fantastical oil paintings referencing antiquity and classical sculpture. He is inspired by these pre-modern periods, and by Old Master paintings, which fuel an approach to art-making that he describes as tapping “into what you are absolutely, instinctively drawn to, and…synthesizing [it] into something that hasn’t been seen before.” Perhaps his most unique project is Adel’s sustained exploration of the varied visual resonances of a shape-shifting piece of white cloth. He renders the cloth photorealistically, in oil on canvas or panel, twisted and knotted into fanciful forms. 

VOYAGER    2013  

Oil On canvas    24 × 24 in      61 × 61 cm

ANNA WEBER 

Arguably one of the most recognized and well documented masterpieces in the Canadian folk art tradition, this exceptional 19th century watercolour represents the pinnacle of Anna Webers work. An orphan cared for within the Waterloo mennonite community in the early 19th century, Anna produced an extensive body of work during her life time. Considered by many to be the largest, earliest and most ambitious of her works; it incorporates 22 birds in 11 pairs in a centralized tree. Surrounded by a border of alternating coloured dots, its effect is joyful, naive, colourful, balanced and a remarkable statement on many levels.  Professionally museum framed and conserved. Purchased directly from landmark collectors Dr Cummings and his wife in the mid 90's . As with many iconic examples in my collection, perseverance, sleuthing and paying record prices for top examples in a variety of categories opened doors to extraordinary things, people and experiences. One of the two " sitter horse" fractures were also acquired during this pivotal visit in my collecting career. 

 

Image Dimension  : 17 3/4” X 13 5/8” / 43cm X 32cm              

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A Splendid Harvest  / Germanic Folk and Decorative Arts in Canada 

/ MichaelBird & Terry Kobayashi

Van Nostrand Reinhold Ltd.1981

 

"Plate 119 Described as the largest and most detailed of all of Anna Weber’s drawings also bears the easiest date. In this ambitious picture she ( Anna) has arranged twenty-two birds, in eleven pairs, perched on twenty-three stylized trees. The primitive and yet charming border is composed of dots of alternating colours. 1870.” 

 

A PEOPLE'S ART Primitive, Naive,Provincial and folk Art Painting in Canada 

/ J. Russell Harper 

University of Toronto Press 1974

 

Colour Plate 115 Anna Weber Tree of Birds, water colour 173/4” X 13 5/8”

Anna Weber reflected aspects of Pennsylvania folk art in theses designs which grew out of fraktur painting. Although purely decorative, they show the joy in nature of this orphan girl from Waterloo’s Mennonite community, a joy allied to her people’s strong humanitarian concern for peace. Peacocks pictures here, were widely raised for ornamental effect in Pennsylvania Dutch communities. 

Ontario Fraktur / A Pennsylvania-German Folk Tradition in Early Canada 

/ Michael S. Bird 

M. F. Feheley Publishers Limited

 

Colour Plate. Illustration 180 “ Tree of 22 Birds: 1870” The largest and most elaborate of all of Anna Weber/’s drawings is this earliest of her works, in which paired birds of various types are perched around a central tree.

43cm X 32cm

ANNA’S ART / The fraktur art of Anna Weber a Waterloo County Mennonite Artist 1814-1888

/ E. Reginald Good 

Pochauna Publications 1976

PUBLICATIONS 

THE SPANISH FORGER  

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The Spanish Forger is the name given to an unidentified individual who, in the late 19th to early 20th century, created a large number of forgeries of medieval miniatures.

The works associated to this unknown source were painted on  vellum or parchment leaves of genuine medieval books, using either blank margins or scraping off the original writing. He also "completed" unfinished miniatures or added missing miniatures in medieval choir books. During this period his / her works fooled many experts and collectors and can be found in many prestiegious institutional collections, museums and libraries. To date over 200 forgeries have been identified. 

The Forger was believed to be of Spanish origin, due to the fact that one of his first identified forgeries was attributed as a genuine work by Jorge Inglés, a Spanish artist who was active during the 15th century. As Paris was the centre of purchasing, selling, and forging in the late 19th Century, it is also  possible these works were created in France to meet the demands of a highly active during this period. Thera are also a number of his forged miniatures which have been identified as copied, with modifications, from those published in several French books dating to the 1870s −1880s.Although his works were very deceptive when created, over time it has been recognized that the faces of individuals in his pictures have "sugary expressions" inconsistent with genuine medieval illuminations.[