Ray Mead was one of the pioneers of contemporary painting in Canada. Mead immigrated to Canada from England after World War II and in the 1950s became a member of Painters 11, which has been hailed as the most important artistic movement in Canada. Christopher Hume credits members of Painters 11 for “changing the cultural landscape of Toronto and Canada.” Mead’s canvases are often characterized by rich fields of colour that are activated by the strategic placement of his personal iconographic marks. His paintings possess a contemplative elegance that upon meditation reveal a rich aesthetic experience. Mead himself stated that “basically, my painting is really landscape.”
Mead worked and exhibited with some of Canada’s most exciting and influential artistic talents, including Borduas, Ewen, Molonari, Tousignant, Cahen, Bush, and Gordon. He mingled with major international figures on the modern art scene from Greenberg to Hoffman. Mead’s work was included in shows at the National Gallery of Canada in 1956, 1972 and 1992. In addition, from the 1950s until his death in 1998, Mead showed in many solo, two-person and group exhibitions in Ontario and Quebec. His work is included in numerous collections, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario.