A self-taught painter and printmaker, Ray was born on the Sandy Lake Reserve in Ontario. He was one of the first nation's "Group of Seven" which included himself, Norval Morrisseau, Eddie Cobbiness, Daphne Odjig, Alex Janvier, Jackson Beardy and Joseph Sanchez.

Carl Ray was one of the early progenitors of the Woodland School style which marked the resurgence and revitalization of the indigenous culture in central Canada in the late 1960s through the 1970s. Ray was introduced to the style while working with Morrisseau on the important mural commission for the Indians of Canada pavilion at Expo '67 in Montreal.

Ray became a critical figure as a teacher to younger artists at the Manitoulin Arts Foundation summer workshops. From a traditional familial background of medicine men, Ray's early work illustrated Cree legends and spiritual knowledge, growing more personal in subject as he grew in confidence. His work can be found in numerous permanent museum collections including the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec; Indian and National Affairs Canada, Ottawa; McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario; New College, University of Toronto; The Ontario Government Art Collection, Queen's Park, Toronto; The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Selected Bibliography

  • Canadian Museum of Civilization, ed. In the Shadow of the Sun: Perspectives on Contemporary Native Art. Hull, Quebec: The Museum, 1993
  • Hill, Tom and Elizabeth McLuhan. Norval Morrisseau and the Emergence of the Image Makers. Toronto, Ontario: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1984
  • Southcott, Mary E. The sound of the Drum: The Sacred Art of the Anishnabec. Erin, Ontario: Boston Mills Press, 1984
  • McLuhan, Elizabeth. Contemporary Native Art in Canada: Silk Screens from the Triple K Co-operative. Toronto, Ontario: Royal Ontario Museum, 1977
  • Patterson, Nancy-Lou. Canadian Native Art: Arts and Crafts of Canadian Indians and Eskimos. Don Mills, Ontario: Collier-Macmillan, Canada, 1973
  • Ray, Carl and James Stevens. Legends of the Sandy Lake Cree. Toronto, Ontario: McClelland and Stewart, 1971
  • Stevens, James R. Sacred Legends of the Sandy Lake Cree Toronto, Ontario: McClelland and Stewart, 1971
 
Carl Ray Canoe

 

 
CR1661
CARL RAY
ca.1975
(fair - good condition)
16" x 12.5" (app.)
SOLD

 

 

 

Carl Ray First Nations Native Artist Carl Ray