Our next Artist You Need To Know is Daniel Solomon.
Solomon is (primarily) an abstract painter who uses intense, vibrant colour in his work, combined with complex, pictorial space, inspired by artists such as Jack Bush, from the Painters Eleven. David Bolduc (a previously featured Artist You Need To Know) and Solomon are often described by art historians as having formed a bridge between the second and third generations of Toronto modernists. He is also considered an intrinsic member of the third generation of Toronto abstract painters which includes artists such as (previously featured Artists You Need To Know) Alex Cameron and Paul Sloggett.
Originally from Topeka, Kansas in the United States, Solomon attended the University of Oregon to study architecture and through that program was introduced to drawing, painting and sculpture. Emigrating to Canada in 1967, he moved to Toronto in 1970 and began teaching at the Ontario College of Art (later OCAD University) after teaching at several other Toronto art institutions.
In 1970, Solomon began what has become known as his “signature style….when he learned to trust the movement of his own body to create the visual handwriting in his paintings. He varied his work of the early 1970s to create paintings that are pattern pictures, pared-down canvases, or paintings that use over-scaled brushstrokes that float across the canvas, a motif he continues to favour.” (from here)
Solomon began to show his work extensively by the mid 1970s: often times these shows were themed around the progression of abstraction in Toronto and Ontario. These include Canada x Ten (1974) at the Art Gallery of Alberta and a Selection of Paintings in Toronto (1976) at the David Mirvish Gallery, which featured Bush, along with Solomon and Bolduc. However, the most significant showing of Solomon’s work was in the international exhibition (taking place in Washington, DC) titled 14 Canadians: A Critic’s Choice which was curated by Andrew Hudson. This took place in 1977.
He has exhibited with numerous galleries over his career, in both solo and group settings: these include the David Mirvish Gallery, Klonarides Inc., Moore Gallery, 13th Street Gallery and Elca London Gallery. Solomon exhibited regularly at Isaac’s Gallery (Toronto) from 1970 to 1977: his paintings and sculptures have garnered him solo exhibitions in major galleries in Canada, including the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in New Brunswick, the Art Gallery of Hamilton and the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa.
Solomons’s artwork can be found in major public collections across Canada, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Kingston), Art Gallery of Windsor, University of Toronto, University of Lethbridge (Alberta), Peel Regional Art Gallery and the Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa). He’s had several commissions, notably an outdoor painted mural on the Flatiron Building (Toronto, 1971) and an outdoor painted metal sculpture, Martha’s Vineyard, installed at the 13th Street Winery (St. Catharines, Ontario, 2013). The artist has also created designs for dance and theatre sets for the duMaurier Theatre in Toronto (1992, 1998), among others.
Daniel Solomon’s career has spanned more than four decades. He has been awarded several Canada Council grants, and – after having been a mainstay of the school, teaching there since 1970 – he is now Professor Emeritus of Art at OCAD.
A more complete listing of his exhibitions can be seen here.
In Solomon’s own words: “Two elements seem to be present in my work throughout my entire career: a love of intense, vibrant colour and an interest in complex pictorial space. This same combination of elements is found in my paintings, watercolours, sculptures and also in my stage sets.” (from his site)
Much more of Solomon’s work can be seen at his web site: he also has been profiled by 13th Street Gallery. Much more of his extensive practice can be enjoyed here, at the CCCA Artist site maintained by Concordia University.