Our next Artist You Need To Know is Paul Sloggett. He’s both an AOCA (Associate of the Ontario College of Art) and a member of the RCA (Royal Canadian Academy). Sloggett has spoken of his works – often monumental and incorporating three dimensional elements – by offering that “I always felt as if I was building paintings as opposed to painting pictures.”
A graduate of the Ontario College of Art (1973, long before it became OCAD University), Sloggett has been a major influence not just as an artist but also as an educator. He was awarded a Teaching Assistantship Scholarship to work under the direction of Royden Rabinowitch (who was Chair of Experimental Art) and later taught Drawing and Painting as an Assistant Professor at York University from 1977-1985. Sloggett would later come to OCAD as a faculty member (part time) in 1978 and in 2001 became a full Professor of Art in Drawing & Painting. He’s also served as the Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Art at OCAD in charge of curriculum planning and student advisor for Drawing & Painting , Printmaking and Photography. (From OCAD)
Sloggett has been described as being of the third generation of artists that were inspired by the Painters Eleven; another notable influence was Dennis Burton, who became head of painting at OCA when Sloggett was a student there. Later, when Sloggett was in a more administrative position at OCA, he hired painters such as Graham Coughtry and Gordon Rayner into more permanent positions, as they had previously been Sloggett`s teachers.
Significant exhibitions of Sloggett’s work have taken place at the Moore Gallery (Toronto, ON), Art Gallery of Peterborough (Peterborough, ON), Confederation Centre Art Gallery (P.E.I.) and the Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa, ON). Two exhibitions stand out as major milestones for Sloggett: in 1976, he was included in the show Four Canadian Painters at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and in 1977 he was one of the painters in 14 Canadians: A Critic’s Choice at the Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, D.C.). Sloggett has been awarded numerous grants by both the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. His work can be found in many collections, including the Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton, AB), the Art Gallery of Hamilton (Hamilton, ON), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, ON), Beaverbrook Art Gallery (Fredericton, NB), the Canada Council Art Bank (Ottawa, ON), Concordia Art Gallery (Montréal, QC), Museum London (London, ON) and the Winnipeg Art Gallery (Winnipeg, MB).
A recent two person exhibition with Dan Solomon inspired the following comments: “Sloggett, alternately, has inserted – or sometimes, based upon the textures, perhaps ‘removed’, like chiselling or incising out – patterns that move ‘beyond’ the canvas. There are recurring motifs (mesh netting, or a more architectural linear structure, that intersects with some of his textured, layered surfaces, or emerge out of them). There’s more of a suggestion of ‘space’ in Sloggett’s scenes (even using that word, implying that the elements are assembled, as opposed to emerging or receding in paint, as with Solomon, acknowledges that). The Colour of Ideas, or Rebar City (Toronto), or May are all examples of this build up of surfaces and symbols, or a very controlled ‘gouging’ of the same out of the paint. Even pieces like Arctic Ranger (Free Radical #5) or Free Radical #1 exist both as towering blocks of colour (an abstracted architecture, standing alone) or a ‘stripe’ of square ‘buttons’, evoking military decorations….surfaces built up in paint, and more paint, then paint is removed, all ‘building’ a ‘space.’” (More can be read here).