David Bierk

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David Bierk (9 June 1944, Appleton, Minnesota – August 28, 2002), was an American-born Canadian painter. His work is exhibited at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New York City. According to Askart.com ([1][2]), Bierk was primarily active in California and Canada, and he was best known for producing landscape paintings, as well as paintings incorporating "Old Master appropriations". Bierk evidently became a Canadian citizen, for Artcyclopedia.com calls him an "American-born Canadian Painter".[3] According to artnet.com, Bierk became a Canadian citizen in 1978.[4] Under the heading of "Paintings in Museums and Public Art Galleries" for this artist, Artcyclopedia lists the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, British Columbia; the Art Gallery of Peterborough, Ontario; and the Ellen Gallery at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec.

Among David Bierk's children are actress Dylan Bierk, professional hockey goal tender Zac Bierk, Toronto-based photographer Jeff Bierk, Toronto-based painters Alex Bierk, Nick Bierk and Charles Bierk and former lead singer of Skid Row Sebastian Bach. His most widely recognizable work is the 1991 album cover of Skid Row's Slave to the Grind.

Critical appraisal: "virtuoso" post-modernist[edit]

In a June 2001 Art in America review, critic Jonathan Goodman writes that "Bierk quotes from the past not so much to critique current art as to reinterpret a way of seeing that he associates with artists as disparate as Vermeer, Eakins, Ingres, Manet and Fantin-Latour", and that Bierk "accomplishes this particularly well when he starkly juxtaposes two or three of his eclectic art-historical references within a single work." Noting the work's "virtuoso" technical quality, Goodman also observes that Bierk's "marvelously romantic" landscape paintings are, unlike these referential paintings, invented images, rather than appropriated or copied from masterworks.[5] Both Goodman's review and Bierk's 2002 New York Times obituary note that Bierk used framing to call attention, in a way that is pointedly "postmodern", to the historical disjunction between the evoked masterworks and the contemporary cultural environment: "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." [6] Thus, the manner in which the painting is framed is often intrinsic to the work itself.


Art shows and museums[edit]

David Bierk's work has been widely shown throughout the United States and Canada at public institutions including:

Bierk art collections[edit]

David Bierk's works are found in many public collections, including:


Bierk was named Artist-in-Residence by the Canada Council, St. Catharines, and the Canada Council, North Bay, Ontario. He received three grant awards from the Canada Council.

Bierk gained many awards for his work throughout his life including:

  • Music Awards
  • 1991 Best Album Cover of the Year, RAW Magazine
  • 1981 Canada Council Artist-in-Residence, St. Catharines, Ontario
  • 1980-81 Ontario Association of Art Galleries Poster Design, First Prize
  • 1980 Ontario Association of Art Galleries Catalogue Design, First Prize
  • 1979-80 Ontario Association of Art Galleries, Best Overall Gallery Image, First Prize
  • 1979 Ontario Association of Art Galleries, Newsletter Design, First Prize
  • Canada Council Artist-in-Residence, North Bay, Ontario
  • 1978 Canada Council Short Term Grant
  • 1974, 1986, 1987 Canada Council Project Grant
  • 1975, 1983, 1985 Canada Council "B" Grant
  • Royal Canadian Academy of Arts[7]

Art commissions[edit]

Bierk was commissioned by many organizations including:


David Bierk died in Peterborough, Ontario in August 2002, aged 57, from bone marrow cancer and leukemia.


  1. ^ "David Bierk - Artist, Art - David Bierk". Askart.com. 2008-05-26. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  2. ^ "David Bierk - Keywords David Bierk". Askart.com. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  3. ^ "David Bierk Online". Artcyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  4. ^ "David Bierk on artnet". Artnet.com. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "David Bierk, 58, Canadian Artist Who Reinterpreted Masterworks - New York Times". Nytimes.com. 2002-09-07. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
  7. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013.

External links[edit]