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Born in 1929 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to Ralph and Dora Gladstone, Gerald was the sixth of nine children. In his youth, Gladstone was as committed to music as he was to painting, teaching himself to play the clarinet and forming a jazz band.
He married in his early twenties supporting his young family with a variety of jobs ending up with a position in commercial advertising. He set up a sculpture studio and began working on a series of welded pieces influenced by Constructivism. In the 1950s, Gladstone was exhibited by Toronto gallery owner Av Isaacs along with artists such as Michael Snow, Gordon Rayner, Graham Coughtry, and Tony Urquhart.
In 1959, he received his first Canada Council of the Arts grant and relocated to London, England. He studied at the Royal College of Art where he met and befriended the British sculptor Henry Moore. Under Moore’s influence, Gladstone began a long period of experimentation with figurative work.
In 1967, Gladstone received three commissions for Montreal’s Expo 67, but several years later he was struggling to find work. There was an exhibition of his mid- to late-career plastic cube sculptures and his Downtown Nudes Series – a collection of oils on canvas – at the opening exhibition of Toronto’s St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and in 1973 he produced the Electric Figure Series, another collection of oils on canvas. Among his late-career commissions were the Three Graces, a fountain and bronze sculpture for the Ontario government buildings, Female Landscape, a fountain and bronze sculpture at Montreal’s Place Ville Marie, Optical Galaxy Sculpture, a fountain and sculpture in Belconnen, Australia, and in 1978 a fountain and precast concrete sculpture for a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in a Civic Center plaza in Compton, California. The sculptures in the entrance of La Ronde in Montréal Québec Canada are made by Gladstone.