Raymond Rowley King

Raymond Rowley King

This page is being taken down in favor of pages segmented alphabetically.

Current Market for Raymond Rowley King’s Work

    There have some inquiries recently as to the current market for King’s work, in particular as to prices.  Some discussion of the marketplace for art is useful to understand the dynamics.  Fifty years ago, when King first became popular, an art gallery would take one third of the sale price to cover its costs.  That rose to 40% for a while.  For the last twenty years, or so, it has been 50%.  Now, there are rumors of 60%.  There is also the not insignificant cost of shipping large paintings with safety.

      For their percentage, the gallery provides retail space for showing the artwork, a suitable atmosphere in terms of temperature, humidity and lighting, insurance, advertising, sales staff, bookkeeping (so that the artist gets paid) and staff to deal with the increasing intrusion of government into the marketplace.  The best interests of a gallery may be served by representing established artist’s with a history of sales.  Those relationships often begin early on with the gallery “taking a chance” on a new artist.

     In the case of Raymond Rowley King, his reputation was built in four places: in Vacaville, at the Medical Facility, during the early 1960s; in Israel, in the 1960s and 1970s; and through the Clothes Horse Gallery, both in Portland, Oregon and in Palm Beach, California, from the 1960s until Ray’s death in the early 1980s.  His works are very widely distributed in the United States, South Africa, Denmark, Scotland, Israel, and in Sweden.  Yet, today, his name is not well known to most art galleries.

     It is this condition that I am attempting to ameliorate through maintaining an online presence for Ray and for other artists such as Maxine Dal-Ben and Victor Heady.  These were artists that I first knew of fifty years ago.  Their works were ground-breaking.  I suppose that those who collected their works may now be amenable to donating them to Art Museums, but such places are frequently over-flowing with donations.

      Such pieces seldom see the light of day.  There are simply too many of them.  They are expensive to store and to handle.  Display space in art museums is limited.  The Internet, on the other hand, has virtually limitless storage space for images.  The added benefit when a collector puts their collection on-line is that the world does not have to wait until the collector dies to get a chance to see the art.  The additional benefit is that the works of the artist do not remain hidden in the homes of collectors.  The artist’s work can be seen, understood and appreciated for decades that it would otherwise remain invisible, and forgotten.

Jazz Combo

Recently (January 2012) sold at auction in Brentwood, California is an oil painting of some jazz musicians.

I have temporarily labelled it Jazz Combo.  The signature is done in a style that is characteristic of his, however, he signed only “Rowley King”.

Early Signature of Raymond Rowley King

It is possible that this was painted in an earlier time, prior to his incarceration.  Raymond was a jazz musician.  He was an accomplished artist by the time he was locked up in Vacaville Medical Facility.  He had to have created some works to get that good.  The work measures 48 inches in width by 55 inches tall.

Girl On A Roof

This exquisite triptych is titled Girl On A Roof.  It feature three images of a woman taking a bath in a tub and toweling off.

Girl On A Roof by Raymond Rowley King a triptych

The dimensions of each are 7.5″ x 6.75″.  They are oil on flat panel.  These were painted in January of 1966 in Tel Aviv.   The painting on the left gives us a feeling for the circumstances.  The bathing area is small with tile placed vertically to protect the wall from water yet, it is really too small to be a bath tub.  There is a light shadow cast against the wall.  From the projected angle, the light source must be nearly horizontal.  From the title, we can infer that the light is from the sun.   The portions of tile that are in the shadow are illuminated by the sky as well, thus the shadow is not too dark.

Girl On A Roof left 1 of 3 in triptych by Raymond Rowley King

The subjects hands are busy working with the bar of soap.  Irregular pipes run exposed along the wall.  Nearby shelves are cluttered.  Here, a detail shows the brush work on the face.

Detail of left painting in Girl On A Roof triptych by Raymond Rowley King

In the middle painting we see that there is a small canister of water resting in the bathing area.

Girl On A Roof middle of 3 in triptych by Raymond Rowley King

The subject is attending to personal hygiene.  She appears to be wearing a sandal.  In a detail of the middle painting, we see what may be a slotted spoon.

Detail from middle painting of Girl On A Roof triptych by Raymond Rowley King

The right-hand painting of the triptych shows her toweling off.  the sandal is more apparent.  The clutter on the shelves seen are possibly equipment use in cooking.

Third painting in Girl On A Roof triptych by Raymond Rowley King

Once again, a detail reveals the treatment of the face.

Detail of Right side painting in Girl On A Roof triptych by Raymond Rowley King

The model who stood for these paintings may have been one named Contessa.  This work is now in a private collection in Europe.

From the Glasgow Herald

A newspaper article has emerged from the past.  I am putting it at the top of the page so that it will be easier to find.  It is repeated in the text about 2/3 of the way down the page.

From the Glasgow Herald – December 14, 1964 (under Art Shows inEdinburg):

At the Crestline Gallery a feature has been made of the paintings of Raymond Rowley King. a Californian now living in Edinburgh.These, with their constant palette of the darker earth colours thinly brushed (this painter, as a technician and draughtsman, is both assured and able), comes as something of a relief after so much conscious brilliance (referring to other artworks on show).

But one is troubled by the extreme polarity visible in King’s work.It is difficult to understand how the man who painted “Highland Tapestry” for example (a bold abstract with more or less landscape connections), or even “The Man from Leith” with its broad treatment of realism, could conceive the little composition “The Dance Studio” so niggled and so fussy.

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The purpose of this page is to present the collected works of a brilliant artist as well as to add to the knowledge regarding his biography.   My wife and I purchased our first painting by Raymond Rowley King over forty years ago.  In recent times, we have been able to locate other of his works some of which we were able to purchase.  Many of the works covered in this diary will be in private collections other than our own.  If you have one of his pieces and would like to have it included in this presentation, email me at collectedartworks (@) hotmail.com using the name ‘Raymond Rowley King’ in the subject line.  If you would like to add any information about a piece or about Ray’s history, please email me.
Also, if you have one of this artist’s paintings and wish to sell it, please contact me through email. Occasionally people make inquiries through me regarding available pieces.

Three paintings are known to have sold at a single auction in Europe from 1999 to 2000. An Oil on panel dated 1974 and titled Ebba with a Book sold on 18 Jul 1999. An Oil on canvas measuring 50″ x 50″ and titled EuropeanTown sold on 12 Jan 2000 . An Oil on panel measuring 54″ x 54″, dated 1970 and titled The Clock sold on 24 Oct 2000 probably in France.  If you have possession of this painting, please contact me. 

Below is a photo of Ray that is from an article written around 1962 or 1963.  He appears to be working on a piece known to me as 6 pm Post Street.  I may be misremembering the title of it.  Its whereabouts are unknown to me.  If anyone has a copy of the article (it was probably published in northern California) I would like to talk with the author.

Ray was born in on February 13, 1927 and died August 13, 1984, a life far too short for such a brilliant talent.  He was survived by his first and second wife and one son, Moshe, who, sadly, died in Denmark.

One of his students, Adit (Edith) Pank, has become a successful artist and also an illustrator of children’s books.

Five Sisters

Five Sisters is a work done, in 1975, in oil on six small pieces of Masonite.Once framed, it measures 41″ x 50-1/2″.

A detail of the left three panels shows three of the sisters.

and of the right three panels shows two sisters and another (left) whom we are to guess is their mother.

Details of the left panel shows one sister with something interesting in her upraised right hand and another sister turned sideways giving an additional clue regarding the period of the clothing that they all wear.

A third detail of the right panel shows that another sister is holding an odd device.


These individual panels all begin with stain on gesso for the background.Note that the background contains evidence of both vertical strokes as well as ones in the horizontal.This ensemble item is in a private collection though, at this time, its whereabouts are unknown to this author.It is presumed to be in Israel.

The Raven

Not all of Raymond Rowley King’s works are immediately accessible to the viewer.  One or two are downright disturbing.  That was my feeling when I first came upon a photo of a piece called, ‘The Raven.’  The work appears to have been painted in 1963 or 1964 and purchased either at Vacaville or from a Bay area dealer who had obtained it at one of the ‘prison artists’ shows.

This seems a rather unhappy bird, as well it should being in a cage too small.  In that regard, it may be viewed as a self-portrait of the artist himself whose time spent in prison was surely time wasted although, on the other hand, he had never been so prolific prior to incarceration.  The bird appears to be cleaning a feather with its beak.

The Monks

The Monks presents itself as a set of sixteen Masonite panels painted in Denmark the Autumn of 1975.  The overall size of the framed work is 10 inch by 39-1/2 inch.  This is the entire piece though the photo was taken at an angle.

The Monks by Raymond Rowley King

A detail of the left is shown here:

The Monks by Raymond Rowley King

And a detail of the right is shown here:

The Monks by Raymond Rowley King

Note the edges of the panels.  These are made from 1/4″ thick pieces of Masonite.  The mostly flat surface of each painted panel stands out from the background on which they are mounted.  It creates a rather harsh, abrupt feeling that may colour our feeling toward the subject matter.  Contrast this with the edges of the panels in the work called The Parlor House.  From a private collection.  Location unknown at this time.  I have had communication from and individual who would be interested in purchasing The Monks, if it is ever offered up for sale.

The Parlor House

Raymond Rowley King’s The Parlor House is a powerful study done in oil on Masonite in pieces that are shaped like window.  The effect is to make us voyeurs able only to peer through these windows and to come no further and to not be able to hear.

The Parlor House by Raymond Rowley King

As we come in closer for details, we see the faces in the left three ‘windows.’

The Parlor House by Raymond Rowley King

The middle three panels.

The Parlor House by Raymond Rowley King

The left three panels.

The Parlor House by Raymond Rowley King

Finally, an expanded view of the right-most 2/3 of the work.

The Parlor House by Raymond Rowley King

One person, who had seen this piece on another site, remarked that the faces seem like prostitutes.  Quite so.  This piece was done in the Winter of 1964, which I take to mean December of 1963 through March of 1964 at a time when King was still in Vacaville Medical Facility and, for the most part, his models for women were the screaming queens know in prison as ‘punks.’  Although prison regulation dictated the clothes that they wore and the style of haircut, they could still act like women sufficiently to be models for this kind of painting.  They could also have been painted nude, with clothing added.
Note that in the two panels on the left, the arm in the first panel is continuous with the hand in the second as though the two paintings were connected and that the strip between the two parts had been erased.  Prior to applying gesso to the surface of the Masonite, the surface is sanded down along the edges giving them a rounded appearance and making the edges very thin.
The over-all work measures 35-1/2 inches by 48 inches.
The whereabouts of this work is unknown to me, possibly somewhere in Southern California.  I have had communication from and individual who would be interested in purchasing The Parlor House, if it is ever offered up for sale.
 The Sleeping Girl
 
These two works, both done in 1966, seem related to me though they are not of the same woman.
Sleeping Girl by Raymond Rowley King
The above work, Sleeping Girl, is 18 inches by 18 inches and is of Ray’s first wife, Happy for whom Ray had much concern.  A photgraph of the two of them appears in the Edwards/Pedersen Collection.   It is possible that she is still alive and, if so, I would like to hear from her and to know her story and her outcomes.
Estelle

Estelle by Raymond Rowley King

Estelle, in the second piece, was an actress and entertainer of considerable beauty who died suddenly in 1979 at the age of 53.  Though Ray had met her previously, the work was completed in Israel in 1966 from several Polaroid impressions.

In private collections.  The whereabouts of Sleeping Girl is unknown.  Estelle is in a collection on the North Coast of Oregon.

Head Turning

This 1975 piece, which is a study of a woman’s head turned at six different angles, measures 11 inches by 27 inches and appears to be done on Masonite.

Head Turning by Raymond Rowley King
 
 
Myself
 
This is a self-portrait even if a bit of a fanciful one.  It was done in the winter of 1967, probably in Denmark where it is presumed to remain.  The top hat like one that belonged to Raymond’s grandfather.  Putting on that top hat made Raymond look older than he was.  Oil on canvas, the piece measures 26 inches by 58 inches.
Myself by Raymond Rowley King
A closer look.
Myself by Raymond Rowley King detail
And a head shot.
Myself by Raymond Rowley King - headshot

Given the title, we have to believe that this is a self-portrait of Ray.  It was Winter in Denmark and heavy clothing would have been called for, but this is more stylized and the top hat seems to be a flourish.  There is a bicycle present and riding such a device in Winter in Denmark might be accomplished only with some difficulty.  My father came from Denmark and his Winter-ware was an Überrock that, when removed, was made of such thick material that would stand up by itself.  No bicycle could be ridden wearing such an item of apperal.

So, is this the artist, so interested in the lifestyles of the locals so that he could ‘blend in’ without fear of discovery?  There exists a painting by Ray that is of this face and of this face alone.  It must represent his view of himself to a degree that is almost repulsive,  I am set upon the course of tracking that small self-portrait down.  It is almost certainly still in the Sacramento area.

A Sacramento Wedding

 

Sacramento Wedding by Raymond Rowley KingThis piece is reproduced from an old magazine article dating back to the 1960s.

Happy and Raymond King

A photograph of Ray and his first wife Happy (known as Hap … actual name Elspeth) has emerged.  It is from May of 1966 when they were living in Tel Aviv.  The photographer was Stuart Fox.

We can see two paintings that are figure studies hanging on the wall.  The one on the left appears to be wearing jeans.  The frontal painting to the right of it may be the reverse view of the same model.  To the left of the paintings there are several items, notably keys, hanging on the wall.  Someone who was close to Ray told me that it was his way to decorate the places where he was with a variety of objects hanging from hooks.   Above Ray’s head hangs a decoration that appears to be a half-silvered spherical light bulb.  It may have acted as a pull for the window shade.

On this day I have had the privilege of seeing many photographs of Ray and some of those who were a part of his life.  There were photographs from the time in which he served sentences in Vacaville Medical Faclity in circumstances that are difficult to comprehend.  There were prison guards whose lives were so mundane that their only choice was to work as guard in a prison setting, forcing hundreds of men to have haircuts within certain parameters, to wear the clothing provide with very little opportunity for self-expression.  The guards themselves had no more freedom of expression on their clothing or personal appearance and yet, here was a man whose time and concentration and every bit of energy went into creating Art.  A sketch pad would be filled, a canvas covered with the most exquisite painting, blocks of styrofoan would be rounded, covered with plaster and gesso and painted with marvelous scenes from history, then hung in the dining rooms of the prison.  Late into the night, he could be found at would work painting as though he had no other mission but to make that Art happen.  How many of us have that drive … that power .. that situation in which our only route to sanity and away from complete boredom … is to create, to draw, to paint every waking moment …  for eleven years of our life?

“That’s what it’s like to be a slave.”  I borrow that line from the film, “Blade Runner.”  There are those years of incarceration that Ray faced because somewhere along the line, he became addicted to heroin.  In those days there were no drug diversion programs.  Narcotics Anonymous was about thirteen steps away from being created.  The “junkie” was a character of fiction, represented by the filmed struggles of Frank Sinatra, turned into a monument to the simplicity of overcoming addiction to heroin during the short course of a Hollywood movie.  The response that Ray had to prison time was to draw, paint and create Art for as many waking moments as he had available to him.  The story told to me adds up to one in which the whole phenomenon of people coming to prisons to see “primal Art” and to pick it up cheap begins with Ray.  Ray’s people … his mother and his grandfather … were worlds away from understanding either Ray’s addiction to heroin or to the creative process.  Ray was both a slave to that powerful opiate and to that urge in the human makeup to create and leave something that will last … and, ultimately to define … one’s human existence.

There was an area in Vacaville Medical Facility that was set aside for prisoners to use for painting.  To many prisoners, it was a craft project.  For a few who had had some training in the arts, it was a place for some release from the boredom.  For Ray, it was a place so important to the expression of his skills and talent that, for reasons that are not clear, he had keys to the studio where most of the painting took place.  In a mileau in which virtually all prisoners were confined to their cells during the night, Ray could be found working on one or more paintings during the wee hours of the morning.  In a perverse way, the conditions were ideal for this creative genius.  He was, at the very least, a people person.  He did have sufficient sway over the prison operation and the local Media that, when his work (and the work of one or two others) was ready , the visitors would show up in the prison parking lot, wanting to see the very promising “prison art.”  For many, it was a way to facilitate the otherwise elusive “rehabilitation.”  For others, it was a way to obtain, rather cheaply, works of art that rivaled those in museum collections.  In Ray’s case it wasn’t just, “In this painting, I express my repentance and sorrow for my crime … and please let me out on my next parole hearing.”  For Ray, each show was an opportunity to sell the few pieces that he had left from the last show plus those new works he had created since the last one.

It has been suggested that Happy may still be alive.  She was known as “Hap”, but her formal name was Elspeth.  If she is still around, I would like to hear from her.

After doing some research, both using Google and talking to a photographer and an owner of a gallery that features photography, there seems to be little record of a Stuart Fox except for a reference to the book by Pearl S. Buck titled “The People of Japan: A Perceptive Portrait of Their Life Today” and another to photography done for a botanical garden in Australia.  It may be that he was more widely know in Europe and in Israel.

There was another photographer who took pictures in the prison.  I think that I met him back around 1963.  He had come into an art gallery where I worked and had shown an interest in works of different prisoners … works that had been purchased by the owner of the Gallery for resale.  I later described him to another artist that I knew who had been “in the joint” with Raymond and, in fact, had learned to paint from him.  He said that this photographer had just gotten out on parole and that he had been the one that the prison officials would call on to photograph thing that occured such a grizzly murders.  I have recently seen more photograph taken of Raymond in the studio with other inmates.  He may be the person who took the picture of Ray working on 6pm Post Street that is on the entry page here.

I would very much like to talk with Elspeth (Hap) about herself and her relationship with Ray.

Kibbutz Shower Room

A new work emerged in July of 2008 from a private collection in Oregon.  It is done in oil on a circular piece of fiberboard like Masonite, 16-1/2″ in diameter.

Kibbutz Shower Room 1967

As the title implies, it depicts a shower room on a kibbutz in Israel.  Note that the hands that are shown are doing something.  They are busy … not just simply “there”.

Here is a view with a bit more detail:

Kibbutz Shower Room by Raymond Rowley King 1967 detail

The image here is roughly one half the actual size.  The amount of detail is extraordinary … the wineglass in the right hand of the forward figure for instance and the knuckles and thumbnail.  In the background a water pipe rises, fastened to the wall and juts out to a faucet with the faucet handle seen as a suggestion of light against the area on the wall not lit directly by the shaded lightbulb.

The reverse side of the painting bears Ray’s inscription:

Kibbutz Shower Room by Raymond Rowley King 1967 inscription on back

The painting was done in the Autumn of 1967 in København.  He may have been working from sketches.  If anyone can identify the specific kibbutz, I would appreciate it.

The Critics

Early in the process of having prisoner art shows at Vacaville Medical Facility, there must have come around a certain number of ‘art critics.’  There is an old saw that goes, ‘Those who cannot do, teach and those who cannot teach, criticize.  The Critics, done in oil on 37-1/2 inch by 45-1/2 inch canvas in 1962, shows two such creatures as aloof and stylish even as he demonstrates a handling of paint that few critics could fully understand.

The Critics by Raymond Rowley King

Of course the chair is a fiction, but its design is such as to emphasize the aloofness of the two subjects.

The Critics by Raymond Rowley King focus

Above we see in the first detail the almost bored expression of the man while the woman appears to be studying a work or perhaps studying the artist.

The Critics by Raymond Rowley King legs detail

In the second detail we have a chance to examine more closely how the brushwork captures the woman’s legs.  One can almost feel the strength of the bones inside yet the legs are soft, smooth and elegant.  The models for the painting were a fellow inmate and a small pocket-size snapshot of the inmate’s wife.

Note the delicate rendering of her right hand … she is holding something between her thumb and two fingers … perhaps a nosh.  Note also, the fine detail on the abdomen of the dress near her hand.  Nor is his left hand idle either … it is clutching his right arm.

In a private collection in California.

 

A Study from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet

The word that I had from Victor Heady was that after Raymond Rowley King was paroled, his parole officer advised him along the lines that he knew that Ray would come up dirty one day on a drug test and that he, the officer, would have to bust him back to the Joint (Vacaville Medical Facility in California) and that Ray would be well advised to split the country.One version has it that Ray then fled to Canada, married a woman there, got a British passport and left for Israel ending up living in a kibbutz.  Another version is that he simply applied for a passport while on parole and it was issued to him without any unusual delay.Somewhere along the way he must have stopped by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.He may have returned in 1970 to do these two studies.  It is also possible that they were done from photographs or from sketches.  In fact, both may be true.

A Sturdy From The Royal Winnipeg Ballet by Raymond Rowley King

               A Study from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet

The first one is titled ‘A Study from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.’  Two male figures may be seen here that are of interest.  In the background near the window stood the Hungarian defector Attila Ficzere who later starred with San Francisco Ballet and who now teaches at the University of Utah Ballet Department.  In the foreground the central red-haired male is Eric Horenstein who went from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet to do A Chorus Line and other Broadway musicals.

A Moment by Raymond Rowley King

The second entitled ‘A Moment’ shows us a woman (or perhaps Eric Horenstein once again) deep in thought with another woman looking on.  Is she (or he) facing some conflict or perhaps having a moment of creative realization?  Note the shadows on their arms as the light floods in from the window.

At the time of this writing, I have little information as to the ownership of these to works.  They appear to be the same size, roughly 9 inch by 12 inch which is amazing considering the purity of line and done on canvas.

Two Nudes in Yaffa, Israel

The two nude studies were both done in 1966 when Ray was in Israel.  The first titled ‘Leah’ one is a fairly simple wash or stain technique which shows a good handling of paint to recreate an anatomy.  It is 29 inch by 46 inch and seems to have been done on canvas.

Leah

Leah by Raymond Rowley King

A Moment in Israel

 The second work titled A Moment in Israel is a bit ‘dark’ in its mood.  The work is 30 inch by 52 inch and appears to be on canvas also.  Here we have the woman seen in several ways.  The seated version shows here wringing a towel or piece of cloth as though in anguish over some problem or decision.  Her face is studied in a series of positions on the right side of the painting and we see the left arm in two or more positions.  She may also be wringing water from a towel after it has been cleansed.  It has been suggested by one viewer that this painting may involve the ritual purification known as Mikvah, used after childbirth or after of menstruation.  Among the Orthodox Jews, the community is required to construct a Mikvah for women even before the building of a synagogue and the waters for such rituals must obtain a certain degree of purity such as rainwater.

A Moment In Israel by Raymond Rowley King

This is but one of a series done with this model.

These works are presumed to be in private collections in Israel.  I have had communication from and individual who would be interested in purchasing The Monks, if it is ever offered up for sale.

Amsterdam

Ray did have some fascination with unique houses and would spend long hours adding detail to their paintings.  In Amsterdam he has capture the unique feel of one of those tall buildings used for commercial ventures.  The storage area is on the upper floor and may reflect a concern over the potential for flooding.  A kind of davit protrudes from the front of the building to provide the ability to hoist goods up to the storage loft.

Amsterdam by Raymond Rowley King

This 24 inch by 52 inch oil painting appears to be of such a building converted to residential purposes.  The detail below shows the lower two floors and the occupants there-in.

Amsterdam by Raymond Rowley King detail

Light streams out of the window on the right side front window where the sidewalk rises to catch the light, which reflects off of the wet pavers.  There is light coming out of another window on the left side wall of the house, a window we cannot see directly except partially through the left front window.  However, we see the light upon the pavement and there is just enough light to reveal a figure, a person or possibly two, walking by protected by an umbrella.  These two people are hidden in shadows.  Ray and his wife could not be too open as to who they were or even that they existed at all because Ray had fled California while on parole and on advice from his own parole agent.  He had said to him, “Ray, if you stay here in this country, you’re going to get dirty again and I’ll have to bust you on a parole violation.”  So Ray fled the country … and went to The Netherlands where, of course, there is no heroin.

Through the second story windows we see, on the right, a brass bed with a white cover, on the left, someone watches the street and in the center we can see a portrait.  The third story, seen in the full view above, seems quite vacant while there is a light on in the fourth level.  A cobalt-umber-gray scumble represents a wisp of smoke emitting from the chimney and blown part way down the sharply peaked roof in a downdraft before continuing upward.

This work is said to be in a private collection in California.

Three works from 1964

Lincoln in Portland

Some guesswork takes over here.  The first work, titled Lincoln in Portland, seems a bit fanciful and may have been painted in the early month of 1964 in that there are more days of winter in the first part of the year than in the latter.  It may represent a melding of the personality of Ray’s grandfather with the notion of Abraham Lincoln.  The dimensions are 32 inches by 59 inches.  There is some indication that the work was begun in California and finished in Portland, Oregon.  I may soon have access to photos showing more detail including the long, knuckled hands, which may have been the last part finished on this piece.

Lincoln In Portland by Raymond Rowley King

Once released for prison, Ray found no difficulty in finding models for nude studies other than prison punks (effeminate homosexuals).  This 9 inch by 9 inch is titled Martha Long, R.N. and is said to have painted in the Spring of 1964.

Martha Long, R.N.

Martha Long RN by Raymond Rowley King

This third work was perhaps done later in 1964 in Scotland.

The Man From Leith

The Man From Leith by Raymond Rowley King

 

 

Titled The Man From Leith, it is 51-1/2 inches by 52-1/2 inches.  The background indicates oil on Masonite as a medium however that material is usually available with a maximum width of 48 inches.  The dimensions may include the frame.

When Ray got to London, he bought a Porsche ragtop.  His preference, in the United States, had been a Cadillac convertible.  On a trip to Scotland (his recollection was of travelling over a red asphalt road), his Porsche was overtaken by a small Cooper, much to his surprise.  In spite of the incident with the Cooper, he enjoyed Scotland immensely.

Dance Stdio, San Francisco

Arriving too late to my office was an announcement of an auction in Edinburg, Scotland of a painting by our man of the hour, day, year, and decades.  It is a small (32x28cm) oil painting on board (probably the equivalent of Masonite), titled “Dance Studio, San Francisco“, and was said, by the auctioneers, to be dated 1967.  Blouin Art Info states that in 2007 this piece sold for $817.  Another source indicates that the price was $417.

Dance Studio - San Francisco by Raymond Rowley King

The following article may stand as a correction to that dating.

From the Glasgow Herald – December 14, 1964 (under Art Shows in Edinburg):

At the Crestline Gallery a feature has been made of the paintings of Raymond Rowley King. a Californian now living in Edinburgh.These, with their constant palette of the darker earth colours thinly brushed (this painter, as a technician and draughtsman, is both assured and able), comes as something of a relief after so much conscious brilliance (referring to other artworks on show).

But one is troubled by the extreme polarity visible in King’s work.It is difficult to understand how the man who painted “Highland Tapestry” for example (a bold abstract with more or less landscape connections), or even “The Man from Leith” with its broad treatment of realism, could conceive the little composition “The Dance Studio” so niggled and so fussy.

 

                                          David Eric Horenstein

Untitled pencil drawing by Raymond Rowley King    Created  in approximately  Winter, 1971.  Subject was David Eric Horenstein, (also red headed) dancer, Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Untitled by Raymond Rowley King


Diane

Diane, a work by Raymond Rowley King … a large oil on canvas with areas appearing to be under a coating of varnish or similar product.  My source believes that it was painted in mid the 1970’s in the San Francisco Bay area. Her broodingly beautiful, draped nudity glows amber much like her seductive red hair.  Hung with the figure at “a standing height”, the painting is at once captivating, fascinating, frightening, almost as though she appears out of the shadows, nowhere, glistening and glittering, a sensational, sexual haunt. Approx. size, 50″ x 60″

Diane by Raymond Rowley King

Diane by Raymond Rowley King detail

A sensational, sexual haunt.

 An Autumn Love Story


This oil on Masonite(?) piece is photographed sitting in a bent wood chair, approx 6 ”  diameter oval. I apologize that I cannot furnish more accurate information, I am working from photos only, and memory is sketchy (pardon the pun)
Will not attempt any further inaccuracies regarding time or place, but hope you will be able to enjoy these recoveries.

An Autumn Love Story by Raymond Rowley King

A detail from above piece.

An Autumn Love Story by Raymond Rowley King detail

 

Three Untitled Etchings

These three pieces are from a private collection.  They are described as etchings having dimensions of 5″ by 7″ and are untitled.

Untitled Private by Raymond Rowley King

Untitled by Raymond Rowley King

This work above seems to be a study for the painting called Amsterdam.

Untitled by Raymond Rowley King

Jennie In A Blanket

The size and medium for this painting are unknown to me as yet.  It would have been painted in the mid 1960s.

Jennie In A Blanket by Raymond Rowley King

In slightly greater detail …

Jennie In A Blanket by Raymond Rowley King detail 01

And with closest detail …

Jennie In A Blanket by Raymond Rowley King detail 03

This work is believed to be in a private collection in Northern California.  From the pallette knife marks on the surface, I am guessing that it was painted on tempered Masonite.

Nude from Behind

 Also offered recently is an oil painting measuring 11.5 inches by 11.2 inches.  The summary titles is Nude from Behind.

Nude from Behind by Raymond Rowley King

It appears that the work is signed on the left side.  The hardwood frame is something of a Raymond King signature in itself.

Leah

Another Raymond King painting is titled Leah.  The unusual frame makes it seem, at first glance, to be the cover of an old book.

Leah by Raymond Rowley King

In a closer detail of the profile head, we see the signature and the date, 1976.

Leah by Raymond Rowley King detail of profile head showing signature and date

An additional close-up view:

Leah by Raymond Rowley King close-up detail

And a view of the reverse side:

Leah by Raymond Rowley King reverse side

The negative space in the pieces show Ray’s typical use of oil paint as a staining medium.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Hi– I just bought a large painting of 3 jazz musicians, signed Rowley King. It is in the style of the painting of the large black bird which I saw on your website. I would be happy to send you a photograph of it. You make no mention of the artist signing his name this way without the “Raymond” included, I’m curious about that. I bought it at an estate sale in Brentwood (Los Angeles) California and there were two other King paintings there, smaller ones. I had never heard of this artist so I was happy to find your website.

  2. Hy i new ray in edinburgh he painted me for that exibishn we we’re
    Close i never forgot him or her…

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