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 David Bierk  (1944 - 2002)

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Lived/Active: California/Ontario/Minnesota / Canada      Known for: Old Master style painting-portraits

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Biography from Odon Wagner Gallery:
Davaid Bierk was born in Minnesota and studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts.  His early works shows an interest and respect of the West Coast Pop and Photo Realism Art movement of the time.

His 1970 graduation project included a large self-portrait painted against a landscape in the manner of Leonardo da Vinci and another large painting, a diptych entitled In Search of the American Dream.  The painting depicted Shirley Temple covering the top half of the canvas with a group of newly arrived immigrants in the lower half/foreground.

After moving to Canada in 1972, he painted Canadian imagery with Hockey Night in Canada in 1973, The Laundromat and A Canadian Interior in 1975 and the Cremation of Sam McGee, which later was reproduced as a Canadian Postage stamp in 1976.

He also painted a series with imagery of Canadian rock formations from locations throughout Ontario along with large scale portraits including (arguably) the largest portrait of Queen Elizabeth in 1981.

He is represented in the permanent collections including the AGO and NGC along with international corporate and private collections alike.  He was founder and director of Peterborough's ArtSpace, a multi-disciplinary, artist-run centre for contemporary art north of Toronto.

He died in 2002.

Biography from Boca Raton Museum of Art:
David Bierk (Born Minnesota 1944-2002)

American Born Canadian painter, Mr. Bierk grew up in Lafayette, California, near San Francisco.  In 1972, he received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Humboldt State University, and in the same year he moved to Peterborough to take a teaching job at Kenner Collegiate, a high school.  Two years later, he founded a successful nonprofit art gallery called Artspace, for which he continued to serve as director until 1987.

He painted copies of works by artists like Vermeer or the Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church, for example, and framed them within broad steel panels, setting up a tension between humanism and old masterly craft on the one hand, and Modernist abstraction and industrial fabrication on the other.
He received many awards including Canada Council Artist-in-Residence, St. Catharines, Ontario.

Information provided by The Boca Raton Museum of Art
Catalina Torres (Intern)

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