Our latest Artist You Need To Know is a Montreal native who relocated to London, Ontario. Both are sites for significant movements in Canadian painting, and Gerald Pedros (born 1951) displays aspects of this in his work, which has moved back and forth between evocative abstraction and more figurative works that also still employ colour and mark making to create engaging scenes for the viewer.
In speaking about his own prolific practice, Pedros stated the following: “When I was sixteen, I realized that most of us live our lives through other people’s experiences, i.e., pop singers, religious leaders, politicians, neighbors, family, etc. Why? Because we do not trust our own judgment. My artwork is a timid attempt to trust my judgment.” In this respect, it can be seen how Pedros incorporates some of the ideas from the rich history of abstract painting in Montreal, and yet also creates works that play upon symbol and narrative, with a nod to the tradition of painters in London (Pedros occupies a space similar to Paterson Ewen, in this respect, of trusting his own vision in taking from such disparate, but innovative, groups, to create his own unique paintings).
In a review of an exhibition by Pedros in 2018, Nida Home Doherty offered the following: “How is it that an artist can apply simple childlike scribbles of shape and line to a flat plane…in such a way that the viewer not only grasps immediately a certain reality but transcends it…”
Pedros has exhibited internationally in countries including Switzerland, Germany, Mexico and Ireland. He is also the founder of La Raza Artists, which is a group of Canadian visual artists engaged in cross-cultural collaborations, locally, nationally and internationally. He has works in a number of collections, both Canadian and International: these includeMuseo Nacional de la Estampa and Consejo Nacional Para La (both Mexico City), Musee d’Estampes and Centre de Gravure, Geneva (both Switzerland), Bibliotheque Gabrielle Roy (Quebec City), Elgin-St. Thomas Art Gallery, (St. Thomas, ON), Woodstock Art Gallery (Woodstock, ON), Concordia University (Montreal), University of Western Ontario (London, ON), Canadian Art Bank and Museum London (London, ON). A more complete listing of his exhibitions – and several curatorial projects, notably with artists such as Tobey C. Anderson and Aidan Urquhart – can be seen here.
Gerald Pedros’ site, which you can visit here, is unsurprisingly sparse when it comes to text but offers an extensive overview of his practice, and many images for you to enjoy.