Steven Shearer - 2012
Over the span of nearly twenty-five years, Canadian artist Steven Shearer has developed an oeuvre of sculptures, photography, paintings and silk-screen prints, which are often shown together in the form of installations. His work puts high next to low culture in a theatrical manner.
Shearer’s work is characterised by a strong duality. On the one hand he portrays dark figures from the metal scene, on the other hand he uses a colourful, almost fauvist painting style. The formal dominance of androgynous, long-haired figures – that look like Leif Garrett – is striking. With this long-haired grunge-like types, Shearer refers to subcultures of his youth.
Steven Shearer also makes books, using thousands of images he has collected over the years. These images and photos he doesn’t only find on the Internet, but also in old magazines and secondhand stores, and they often form the basis of his paintings and drawings.
Steven Shearer was born in New Westminster, Canada, in 1968 and earned his BFA in 1992 from the Emily Carr University of Art & Design in Vancouver, where he continues to live and work.
The artist’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions worldwide. In 2016, the Brant Foundation Art Study Center in Greenwich, Connecticut, hosted a retrospective that included paintings, drawings, collages, and poems by the artist. A comprehensive monograph, which includes an interview with the artist by author Jim Lewis, accompanied the exhibition.
In 2011, Shearer represented Canada at the 54th Venice Biennale with the exhibition Exhume to Consume, the title of which was taken from the 1989 song by British metal band Carcass. The presentation included a mural-sized work from his Poems series set upon a multistory facade that fully obscured the Canadian Pavilion.
Double Album: Daniel Guzmán and Steven Shearer, a two-person exhibition, was on view at the New Museum, New York, in 2008 before traveling to MUCA Gallery at the University Museum of Arts and Sciences, Mexico City.
Earlier solo presentations of Shearer’s work were held at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto (2007); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, United Kingdom (2007); and the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2004).
Shearer’s work is included in prominent museum and public collections worldwide, among them the Kunsthaus Zürich; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; M HKA – Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Antwerp; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Rubell Museum, Miami; and the Vancouver Art Gallery.