David Burnett, Cineplex Odeon The First Ten Years, A Celebration of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, 1989, p. 85 for Spencer Tracy Sings the Blues reproduced in colour and p. 124 for an installation shot, Fantasy Cinemas, Rockville Centre, New York.
Ronald's lyrical painting Spencer Tracy Sings the Blues was commissioned by the Cineplex Odeon Theatre Art Commission Program in 1987, and was later installed at the Fantasy Cinemas in Rockville, New York. The Commission Program's objective at the time was threefold: to support Canada's creative talent, to expose the movie-going public to visual art and to assert and celebrate, through culture, the company's Canadian identity internationally. Ronald's earlier popularity on the American art scene made his work the perfect ambassador for this New York based commission.
At an imposing six feet high and nearly twice as wide, Spencer Tracy Sings the Blues is all-enveloping, and exudes a painterly energy most commonly found in the artist's earlier work. The canvas is at once enigmatic and comprehensible. The white stage-like shape in the centre of the composition recalls a music staff complete with four lines that dance across the picture plane, while colourful amorphous shapes anchor the composition to the lower right like a captive audience before a performance.
Robert Belton, The Theatre of the Self, Alberta, 1999, pp. 91-92, and p. 91 for Spencer Tracy Sings the Blues reproduced.
Iris Nowell, Painters Eleven, The Wild Ones of Canadian Art, Vancouver, 2010, p. 75.
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