TONY SCHERMAN, R.C.A.
UNTITLED (STILL LIFE)
encaustic on canvas
signed in pencil on the reverse
19.5 ins x 27.5 ins; 49.5 cms x 69.9 cms
Tony Scherman is one of the most provocative encaustic painters in Canadian history. He is mostly recognized for his stunning and textured portraits of individuals of historical and popular significance. Sherman combines wax with various pigments to make an encaustic, then applies layer upon layer slowly onto the canvas. This build up of material gives his work a sense of life and earthiness as the wax looks very natural, almost flesh-like. Blanketing the canvas with a heavy weight, the encaustic is dripped and scored across the surface creating an incredible sense of depth.
As seen here in Untitled (Still Life), Sherman has not always been a portraitist. In fact, his practice began with experiments in the genre of still life in order to better understand and engage with the traditions of art. In the 1980s, he began combining subjects with elements of abstraction. However, feeling limited in his expression by this style, Sherman then turned to representation and life portraiture. Yet the interest in still life remains constant in his oeuvre as it greatly informs his current practice. His work conveys beauty and the lightness and darkness of the human experience.
Sherman was born Toronto in 1950 and received his M.A from the Royal College of Art in London, England in 1974. Since then, he has exhibited professionally in North America and Europe. His works are widely collected by major museums and corporations and he regularly lectures at colleges and universities on both continents. He is also a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
Smith, Pete. Interview with Tony Scherman. FOAM (Fine Ontario Art Magazine). 2010. http://www.tonyscherman.com/videos/FoamInterview.html.
Miriam Shiell, Toronto
Canadian Fine Arts, Toronto