Biography

Allan Switzer, a multi-disciplinary Vancouver artist, was born in Calgary in 1955. He is not only a product of Vancouver sensibilities and a philosophy degree from York University, but also a by-product of the second generation Conceptualists’ of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, who made up a large part of the ECIAD faculty during his time at school.

The work he began in graduate school was a kind of pathology. Allan began sifting through the remains of the recently departed-(Modernism). Utilizing the grid as an organizing structure with an aura of film and photography in respect to models of subjectivity. These works suggested a taxonomy of photography in a modernist field, where both the photographs and the modernism are, in different ways, corrupted.

He continues to explore this broad notion of Pathology to create work that develops these themes but in subtler, more abstract ways. Always interested in exploring the relations of different levels and kinds of” Pathology” to their various organizing discourse. Allan’s work now conducts a less self conscious inquiry into modes of construction, and reflects a refined critical engagement into the specific formal properties and procedures of painting.

Allan utilizes the motifs of abstraction, minimalist grids, stripes and images, and fonts and these works can be read as complex systems of reference, effecting a collision of signs and elements of disparate painterly discourse. The specific interrelationships of these appropriated parts leave meaning residing not in some essence or identity but precisely in the interplay of the various elements.

In his most recent works, Switzer is influenced by Molinari’s colour study and patterns by Bridget Riley. Switzer creates an experience of “pure phenomena” when the viewers interact with his visually (over) stimulating works. The use of text within his work continues to appear discreetly in various forms as an exploration of visual language. Most of Switzer’s texts reference 1970’s rock lyrics and can be seen within the various stylized patterns of his paintings.

Allan Switzer studied Philosophy at Toronto’s York University and obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Vancouver’s Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. He also holds a Masters degree in Fine Art from Montreal’s Concordia University.


Education

1992  
M.F.A. Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

1990  
B.F.A. Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, BC, Canada

1977  
B.A. Philosophy, York University, Toronto, Canada


Exhibitions (Solo)

2015 Group Exhibtion 

Winsor Gallery with Carl Ostendarp

2013
See Me Feel Me, Winsor Gallery, Vancouver BC

2012  
See Me Feel Me, Winsor Gallery, Vancouver BC

2006  
Clark and Faria, Toronto, ON

2004  
Solo exhibition, Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver B.C.

2003  
Good as Gold, Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver, BC

2002  
That's My Soul in There, Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver, BC

2000  
Typodope, Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver, BC

1997  
Paul Kuhn Fine Arts, Calgary, BC

1996  
Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver, BC

1995  
Galerie Nomad, Montreal, QC
The Workspace Gallery, New York, NY
Marcia Rafelman Fine Arts, Toronto, ON

1994  
Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Espace 502, Montreal, QC

1991  
Gallery 163, Vancouver, BC

 

Exhibitions (Group)

2011  
Winter Group Show, Winsor Gallery

2004  
Clark and Faria, Gallery Artists, Toronto, ON

2000  
Gallery Artists, Group selection

1999  
The High Life: A Contemporary Salon, Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver, BC

1998  
Gallery Monaro, Montreal, QC
Gallery Nomad, Montreal, QC

1997  
Artifice, Montreal, QC

1996  
The Return to Paradise, Painting in Montreal, Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, Montreal, QC

1995  
Protective Covering, University of Vermont Gallery, (curated by Michael Oatman), Vermont
Fancy That, The Workspace Gallery, New York, N

1995
Beyond Circumstance, The Art Gallery at Hunter College, City University of New York, New York ,NY
Faculty Show, Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal, QC
Triton Art Fair, Monte Clark Gallery, San Francisco, C

1994  
Articule Gallery, Montreal, QC
Thesis Exhibition, Part 1, Galerie Bourget, Concordia University, Montreal, QC
Thesis Exhibition, Part 2, Space 506, Montreal, QC
Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver, BC

1993  
Artropolis 93, Vancouver, BC
Galerie Bourget, Montreal, QC
Big Ideas - Small Works, Articule Gallery, Montreal, QC

1992  
Codes of Conduct, ECIAD, Vancouver, BC
Invitational, Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver, BC

1991  
Gallery 163, Vancouver, BC

1990  
Artropolis 90, Vancouver, BC


Awards

1992  
Concordia University, Graduate Fine Arts, Dean's Award
Elsie Boone Memorial ECIAD Tuition Scholarship

1991
G.V.R. Memorial ECIAD Tuition Scholarship


Publications

2001
The Vancouver Sun, "Switzer Show Reminds Us Of Our Own Mortality", Michael Scott

2000
dART International, "Boxes and Squares", Ross MacDonald

The Globe and Mail, "Out and About in Vancouver", Blake Gopnick

1996
Le Devoir, "Allan Switzer at Espace 502", Jennifer Couelle

Contemporary Realism, "Allan Switzer", Marie-France Lamourex

1995
The Vancouver Sun, "Artist Meets High-tech Challenge", Michael Scott

The Gazette, "Paintings Make Statement About What Painting is", David Liss

1993
"Beyond Circumstance", Niki Lederer, ISBN 1-885996-03-01, 
Hunter College of the City University of New York

 "Artropolis 93", Robin Laurence, ISBN 1-8953719308-2

The Vancouver Sun, Visual Arts, Ann Rosenberg

1992
The Vancouver Sun, "Diane Farris Shows New Talent"

The Calgary Herald, "The Pleasures of Pattern", Nancy Tousley

1990
"Artropolis 90", Georgiana Chappell, ISBN 1-895371-03-1


Winsor Gallery ~ Allan Switzer, American Gothic, November 9, 2016 #1.jpg