Biography of GORDON APPELBE SMITH
SMITH, Gordon Appelbe RCA, BCSA, CGP, CPE, OC (1919-active 2003). Born in Hove, Sussex, England, Smith came to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1934 and studied under Lionel Lemoine Fitzgerald, Winnipeg School of Art (1937); at the Vancouver School of Art, Vancouver, British Columbia (1945-1946); under Elmer Bischoff at the California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, where he was also influenced by Clyfford Still and Douglas MacAgy (summer 1951); and art history at Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts (1957). Working in oil, acrylic, watercolour, silkscreen, and etching, he is best known for his semi-abstract West Coast landscapes. Included among his several series are ‘Ninstints, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia’, pastel-colours in ‘Sea Wall’ (1973), ‘Long Beach’ (1975), dark blues and browns in ‘Squamish’ (1986), dark greens in ‘Dark Forests’ (1995), and blacks and greys in ‘Winter Ponds’ (2002). His early work from the 1960s includes Hard Edge paintings and abstract bronze sculptures. He worked part-time at Brigdens, Winnipeg (1937-1938), taught at the Vancouver School of Art (1945-1956), and in the Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (1956-1982). He is the brother of Donald Appelbe Smith, and remains active in West Vancouver. He was President of the CGP in 1957-1958, received a Canada Council award in 1960, and a honorary doctorate from Simon Fraser University in 1973. He has completed murals for Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver; Simon Fraser University, Burnaby; Canadian Pavillion, World’s Fair, Osaka, Japan (1970); and the Canadian Embassy, Washington, D.C. (1988). He exhibited with the NGC Biennale in 1955-1965, the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1960, the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962, held solo exhibitions at the EAG in 1967, and VAG in 1944, 1947, 1976, 1987 and 1997, and exhibited with the RCA in 1959-1970, and the MMFA in 1961 and 1968. His work is in the collections of the AEAC, AGO, AGGV, CCAB, CCAG, GM, LAG, MAG, MMFA, MOMA, NGC, SFU, VAG, VAM and WAG.
Biography courtesy of The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction: Volume IV: S-Z
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