Born in Calgary, Alberta - 1910
Died in Montreal, Quebec - 1990
"Each individual is alone, cut off. Each wonders how others cope with life. A work of art is a particularly complex statement, valuable because packed with meaning... Like icebergs, four-fifths of our personalities lie below the surface; of the fifth that shows, only part can be expressed in conversation. The only effective outlet for all deeper feelings and thoughts is art." (Philip Surrey, c. 1949)
Philip Surrey, a founding member of the Contemporary Arts Society, was a figurative painter with an enduring interest in human subjects within urban nightscapes. For most of his career, Surrey used Montreal as his stage, arranging lighting and figures - most often pedestrians - in compositions that revealed both the gregarious nature and the solitude of humanity. A friend and student of Frederick Varley, Surrey was also closely tied to many of the most important Montreal artists and writers of the 1930s and 1940s.
Philip Surrey began his art training in Winnipeg at age sixteen, when he took an apprenticeship at Brigdens commercial art firm. There, he met Fritz Brandtner. In the evenings, he took classes at the Winnipeg School of Art under LeMoine FitzGerald and George Overton. It was at this time that he started painting the streets and people of Winnipeg after dark, by the light of streetlamps and restaurants.
He moved to Vancouver in 1929 and took a job as a commercial artist at Cleland-Kent Engraving. In night classes at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts, he studied with Frederick Varley and Jock Macdonald. Surrey left Vancouver in 1936 and spent three months at New York's Art Students League, studying under Frank Vincent Dumond. The following year, he settled in Montreal and found work at the Standard newspaper. He continued to paint in evenings and on weekends and became immersed in the art scene, rekindling his friendship with Brandtner and befriending John Lyman, Goodridge Roberts, Jori Smith and Jean Palardy.
Surrey built a successful 25-year career at the Standard and its successor, Weekend Magazine. Then, in 1964, publisher John McConnell offered Surrey the opportunity to paint full-time under salary. Surrey accepted, and continued to work as a salaried artist for twelve years, mounting numerous solo shows and signing an exclusive contract with Galerie Gilles Corbeil.
Surrey's earliest work shows the influence of Varley, with its lyrical, sensuous form and colour, as seen inGoing to Work (1935). Later in the 1930s, his approach showed a greater concern with society and human realities, especially the effects of the Depression. This is evident in The Red Portrait (1939), with its image of a solitary sitter and tense mood. The Young Ladies of the Village (after Courbet) (1966) reveals Surrey's lifelong interest in classical painting.
Philip Surrey was awarded the Centennial Medal (1967). He held an honorary doctorate form Concordia University (1981), and was a member of the Order of Canada (1982).
Copied directly from: National Gallery of Canada - http://www.cybermuse.beaux-arts.ca/cybermuse/
|Philip Surrey is a Canadian artist born in Calgary, Alberta.|
|La Parete Gallery Fine Art Gallery - Toronto - Canada
La Parete Gallery is recognized for its selection of Fine Art: Canadian Art - Native Art - Inuit Art - First Nations Art - International Art
|Artists: Antonio, Marcel Barbeau, Carl Beam, Paul-Vanier Beaulieu, Molly Lamb Bobak, David Bolduc, Miller Brittain,
Christopher Broadhurst, Frank Leonard Brooks, Israel Broytman, Jack Bush, Antonio Cardarelli, J. Cardinal-Schubert,
Konrad Cramer, Greg Curnoe, Barker Fairley, Pal Fried, Richard Gorman, Giovanni Guarlotti, Tom Hodgson,
Lee L'Clerc, Kenneth Lochhead, Alexandra Luke, Gershon Iskowitz, André Jasmin,
René Marcil, Isabel McLaughlin, Norval Morrisseau, Louis Muhlstock,
William Ogilvie, Frère Jérôme Paradis, William Ronald, Rolph Scarlett, Armand Schonberger, Gerald Scott,
Michael J. Seward, Arthur Shilling, Roland Strasser, Philip Surrey, Peter Taçon, Harold Town, Jesus Carlos de Vilallonga,
York Wilson, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Ruben Zellermayer