Artwork by Chris Temple,  Composition #3

Chris Temple
Composition #3

oil on canvas
signed and dated 1982 lower left; titled and dated 1982 on the reverse
40 x 50 ins ( 101.6 x 127 cms )

Sold for $1,003.00
Sale date: June 13th 2018

Private Collection, Toronto

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Chris Temple

By definition, Chris Temple is a landscape painter. He carries on a well established tradition that has charted Canada’s evolution as a country. His chosen landscape is urban rather than the iconic great Canadian north or the majestic rugged terrain that Canada is known for around the world.

Temple grew up in a small town east of Toronto that was built as a military industrial complex during World War II. His earliest memories are of a landscape filled with above ground steam pipes; corrugated metal buildings – disused and rusting; abandoned endless miles of railway tracks everywhere; and, a steam plant in the centre of town with a smoke stack belching steam. On those rare family trips to the big city, Toronto always filled him with wonder. Toronto in the early 1960’s was a city of tall buildings of stone and steel covered with layers of black coal soot. Those impressions have never left him and continue to fuel his imagination.

Since 1982, Temple has been exploring this urban fascination with paint. His paintings are meditations on the psychology of the man-made environment: The physical nature of architecture and light. He remains fascinated by the evolution of cities and the constant destruction and renewal of urban culture. The paintings are like the cities themselves, evolving over time, months can turn into years until he achieves the subtlety of light and mass that can turn the familiar into the profound.

His work can be divided into two categories, Pastoral/Industrial and Urban Core.

The Pastoral/Industrial paintings are highly influenced by 18th and 19th century romantic landscapes artists who were preoccupied with the ruins of ancient classical civilization declining gracefully in a contemporary landscape. As well, early 20th century industrial architecture, particularly the iconic grain elevator – the hub of many North American communities – that now marks the landscape as a tombstone to a lost industrial age. And yet in their decline, the grain elevator remains a noble tribute to the people who built and toiled in them – a symbol of North American wealth, power and optimism that no longer exists.

The Urban Core paintings are more complex in conception and execution. His raw material comes from the cities he most loves, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, London and more recently the major cities of Europe. He is drawn to the psychologically charged spaces, narrow streets overshadowed by tall buildings, elevated highways and trains, bridges, tunnels and urban decay. They provide a visual language for meditations on power, macho ego, greed, and altruism that have shaped and defined North American architecture and hence our cities.

Chris Temple’s work is exhibited internationally and is included in private, corporate and public collections across Canada and globally, including The Art Gallery of Mississauga, The Art Gallery of Hamilton, the University of Toronto, Scotiatrust, TD Bank, Manulife Financial, Fours Seasons Hotels, Hammerson Inc. UK, and Bell Canada. The artist is currently represented by Nicholas Metivier Gallery in Toronto.

Further information regarding the artist and his work can be found on his website at (and is the source for this biography).