DENNIS BURTON "RED FIELD" 1960

Dennis Burton (1933-2013) spent the majority of his lengthy artistic career as a fierce advocate for Toronto’s cultural scene. With the help of his contemporaries, Burton helped to encourage and promote the reputation of Canadian art internationally.

In addition to being a noted arts advocate, Burton was also (in)famous for challenging and erotic subject matter in his personal work, utilizing expressive painting and mixed media techniques. His Garter Belt Series was particularly polemic as he not only shifted towards complete figuration, but focused on a provocative and highly sexualized imagery. 

Burton’s works were met with controversy, and often incited censorship. Regardless, he persevered, and continued to foster progressive artistic attitudes in the courses he taught at Emily Carr University, the Ontario College of Art, Lethbridge University, and the New School of Art (among others). Outside of teaching and art making, Burton pursued interests in Jazz and music production. 

Burton’s unique sense of integrity and deliberate experimentation are still visible in his work. “Red Field” (1960) exemplifies Burton’s astute awareness of trends in North American painting, depicting expressive mark making and an intuitive approach to color and form. While this piece is evocative in its own right, it also represents Toronto’s cultural advancement and growing involvement in international artistic sphere. 

Burton was one of the starts of the legendary Isaacs Gallery and began exhibiting there in 1960 with solo show almost annually throughout the decade. 

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Untitled ("Red Field")

Signed and dated by the artist

Watercolor and ink on paper

Canada, 1960

23.5”H 18.5"W (work)

Very good condition.

 

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