Canadian Artist Steven Shearer Takes Center Stage at Peter Brant’s Foundation

Peter Brant. Courtesy of photographer Sylvain Gaboury © Patrick McMullan.
Peter Brant. Courtesy of photographer Sylvain Gaboury © Patrick McMullan.

An exhibition surveying the 20-year career of Canadian artist Steven Shearer will debut in November at the Brant Foundation Art Study Center.

The exhibition, which runs from November 13–March 2017, will highlight approximately 45 of Shearer’s ink, oil, crayon and pastel drawings and paintings, as well as collage works. Several of Shearer’s word pieces, created for the Canadian Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale, will also be on view. Shearer made a façade for the structure, titled Poem for Venice, jumbling together words and phrases from death metal song titles and lyrics to create a monumental poem, written in white text on a black background.

Although Shearer has had some major shows overseas, the Brant exhibition is a bit of a breakthrough for the artist stateside, where he last showed in 2013 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. Peter Brant has been quietly collecting Shearer’s work for about 10 years, name-dropping a 2011 Art Basel in Miami Beach purchase to the New York Times and mentioning his plans for the current exhibition—which has been in the works for six years—to Artspace back in 2014.

Steven Shearer, <em>Poem for Venice</em> (2011). Installation view, Canada Pavilion, LIV Venice Biennale. Courtesy of Sebastiano Pellion di Persano.

Steven Shearer, Poem for Venice (2011). Installation view, Canada Pavilion, LIV Venice Biennale. Courtesy of Sebastiano Pellion di Persano.

Shearer’s work is often figurative, in a way that is reminiscent of the Impressionists. “He draws like an Old Master artist,” said Brant in a phone conversation with artnet News.

As such, it is a bit of departure from Brant Foundation exhibitions of recent vintage, which have included Dash Snow, Jonathan Horowitz, and Rob Pruitt.

Brant, however, doesn’t think the exhibition will come as a surprise to regular visitors to the foundation. “I think he’s a very contemporary artist,” he said. “[Shearer] has a very very broad range of work that has a very interesting conceptual quality to it as well.”

According to the artnet Price Database, Shearer’s biggest sale at auction is the 2oo4 painting HASH, which smashed his previous record of £11,875 ($19,006) when it went for £106,250 ($164,016) at Sotheby’s London in 2015.

See more works from the exhibition below.

Steven Shearer, <em>The Mauve Fauve</em> (2007–2015). Courtesy Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London and the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut. © Steven Shearer Studio.

Steven Shearer, The Mauve Fauve (2007–2015). Courtesy of Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London and the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut. © Steven Shearer Studio.

Steven Shearer, <em>Ban Run</em> (2012). Courtesy the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut. © Steven Shearer Studio.

Steven Shearer, Ban Run (2012). Courtesy the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut. © Steven Shearer Studio.

Steven Shearer, <em>Smoke</em> (2005). Courtesy of Laurence & Patrick Seguin and the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut.

Steven Shearer, Smoke (2005). Courtesy of Laurence & Patrick Seguin and the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut.

“Steven Shearer” is on view at the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, 941 North Street, Greenwich, Connecticut, November 13, 2016–March 2017.


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