The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 8

CARVED IN STONE
by ALEX TEMPORALE OAA, FRAIC | PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR

n Ontario, stone has traditionally been employed in the construction of buildings
that were intended to last a hundred years or more. In some communities, including
Guelph and Kingston, the availability of nearby stone quarries meant the material
had broader use. For banks, insurance companies, institutions and government
buildings, stone was a first choice. It was synonymous with stability and permanence.
For centuries, stone provided the opportunity for artists to contribute to the overall
architectural vision. Stone was often used as the decorative or functional ornamentation
on buildings - an intrinsic part of the building. The language of architecture includes
words such as keystone, quoins, frieze and bas-relief as a result of the sculptural
use of stone.
The Bauhaus, founded in Germany in 1919, ignited the Modern Movement. In North
America, the sterility of the Modernists' purist designs was not quick to catch on, but,
beginning in the 1920s, Ontario architects started turning away from classical motifs
and looking to other means to create texture, shadow, relief and interest. Architect
John Lyle went further, crusading to create a Canadian expression in his work. The
means was sculpture and the use of Canadian motifs carved into friezes and basreliefs on his buildings.
At the same time, a series of exceptional sculptors that had been born around the
turn of the century were coming of age, having immigrated to Toronto or graduated from
the Ontario College of Art. Among others, they included: Emanuel Hahn, Cleeve Horne,
Florence Wyle, Elizabeth Wyn Wood and Jacobine Jones.
From the 1930s to the 1960s, excluding the war years, there was a strong involvement of artists and architects in the design of major buildings
and monuments. Sculpture was incorporated as part of the
Modern Movement, as an integral part of the building skin.
Margaret and Merilyn McKelvey's book, Toronto: Carved in Stone,
probably best chronicles the impact of this phase in Toronto.
Following Canada's 1967 centennial, public sculpture and
the use of stone cladding on buildings gradually ceased.
The Toronto Dominion Centre and the glass office towers
that followed demonstrated a less costly means of cladding
buildings. The stripped minimalism of the glass towers had
cost advantages.
My father, Louis Temporale, was a quiet and talented sculptor; he did not possess the artist's grand ego. Rather, he
became the man to execute in stone the work of the wellrecognized sculptors of the period. The process of stone
carving is tedious. It begins with small clay maquettes, then
scaled plaster castings and lastly the carving away of stone
blocks. It is a time- and labour-intensive pursuit, in which
one mistake can destroy the piece.
My father and his brothers Peter and Mario were most
frequently the carvers selected to execute the important commissions. In Elspeth Cameron's book, And Beauty Answers:
The Life of Frances Loring and Florence Wyle, Louis Temporale,
by the late 1950s, is described as "Canada's leading stone
carver." Poignantly, only ten years earlier, during WW2, he
had been stripped of all government commissions, due to
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City - a stone carver
working on a capital with an angel.
the fact that he was an Italian Canadian. My father and
PHOTO: BAIN NEWS SERVICE
PUBLIC DOMAIN IMAGE FROM WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
his brothers were among a handful of sculptors capable
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018

Message from the Board
Art & Architecture
UX and Architecture
Index to Advertisers
Locations
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - Intro
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - cover1
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - cover2
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 3
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 4
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 5
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - Message from the Board
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - Art & Architecture
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 8
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 9
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 10
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 11
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 12
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 13
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 14
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 15
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 16
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 17
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - UX and Architecture
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 19
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - Index to Advertisers
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - 21
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - Locations
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - cover3
The Right Angle Journal - Spring 2018 - cover4
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