GERALD SQUIRES, O.C., R.C.A., LL.D.
Born in Change Islands, Newfoundland, in 1937, Gerald Squires moved with his family to Toronto at the age of 12. He studied at the Ontario College of Art and with Carl Pappe in Taxco, Mexico.
After an early career as a professional painter, newspaper and freelance artist in Toronto, Gerry, his wife, Gail, and their two daughters returned to Newfoundland in the mid-1960s.
Living first in Exploits, they moved to Bonne Bay where Squires painted, made sculpture and taught art, thus beginning a long association with Memorial University's Extension Service. In 1971 the family moved to an abandoned lighthouse in Ferryland on the Avalon's Southern Shore, where Squires was at the centre of a circle of creative people all drawing on their experiences here, part of the Newfoundland arts renaissance.
Since then, he has been creatively engaged in exhibiting new series of paintings and sculptures, carrying out religious and portrait commissions, teaching, writing peotry and designing for the performing arts.
Squires was awarded an honorary doctorate by Memorial University at Newfoundland in 1992. He lives in Holyrood, and is as active as ever.
Squires feels an afinity with the traditional Western European artistic legacy, rather than with contemporary art practice in Canada or America. Stylistically, his early drawings and paintings were expressionistic and semi-abstract, their accumulating ink lines and painterly brushstrokes developing organically on paper and canvas. This loose method of working is still the basis for Squires' art, but now carries an overlay of realistic detail. He has evolved two parallel approaches to his subject matter - through a relatively literal method of representation, and through surreal and symbolist imagery, alternating them through the years, and applying both to religious and classical themes, to works that can be seen as social and political critiques, and to our dramatic landscape.
As well, he has produced insightful portraits of his family, friends, artists, writers, academics, politicians, and musicians who form an evolving relection of Newfoundland's cultural community.
Extract from: "Gerald Squires: Journey", selections from four decades work at the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1998. Curator: Caroline Stone
-Colin S. Macdonald, Dictionary of Canadian Artists
Awards and Accomplishments
Order of Canda (O.C.)
Royal Canadian Academy (R.C.A.)
Honorary doctorate (LL.D.) from Memorial University, Newfoundland.
Media:Oil on Canvas