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Dennis Burton
b. 1933

"Landscape of Love"
d. 1962
Oil on canvas
60" x 60"
Signed and dated verso 1962


Dennis Eugene Norman Burton (b. 1933)


An important Canadian painter, sculptor, muralist, illustrator, printmaker, draftsman, graphic artist, and educator, Dennis Burton was born in Lethbridge, Alberta. He's lived and worked in Toronto, Ontario (c.1952 - 1979) and Vancouver, British Columbia (since 1979).

Burton's art education includes Pickering College, Newmarket, Ontario (c.1950 - 1952); a degree from the Ontario College of Art, Toronto (1952 - 1956), where he studied under Jock MacDonald and Fred Hagan; the University of Southern California, Los Angeles (1955), under Frances de Erdely; with Rico Lebrun in Los Angeles (1955); and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine (1959), with Ben Shahn. The works of Willem de Kooning and William Ronald are also frequently mentioned influences. 


Burton worked as a graphic designer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (1957 - 1960) and TDF Artists Ltd., Toronto (1963 - 1964) before devoting himself full-time to painting and teaching. His extensive teaching career includes the New School of Art, Toronto (1965 - 1977, Director 1971 - 1977); Artists' Workshop, Toronto (1965 - 1977); York University, Toronto (1966 - 1968); Ontario College of Art*, Toronto (Chairman, Drawing and Painting Department 1970 - 1971); Banff Centre School, Alberta (1974 and 1975); the University of Lethbridge, Alberta (1976 and 1989); Arts' Sake, Toronto (1977 - 1979); and the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver (1979 - 1999).


He's exhibited with the Canadian Group of Painters* (1956, 1957 and 1958), the Ontario Society of Artists* (1958 and 1963), and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts* (1959, 1960 and 1964). His works have been included in the Spring Exhibitions of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (1958 - 1970); the Walker Art Center Biennial, Minneapolis, Minnesota (1958); in two Canadian Biennials at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (1957 and 1965); and in the Winnipeg Biennial, Manitoba (1968).


His work has also been included in numerous important themed group exhibitions such as "Four Canadians", Art Gallery of Toronto [now Art Gallery of Ontario] (1957); "Environments/Permutations", Riverside Museum, New York City (1968); "Canada 68", Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (1968); "Approaches to Figure Painting", Museum London, Ontario (1970); "Toronto Painting 1953 - 1965", National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (1972); "The Ontario Community Collects: a survey of Canadian Painting from 1766 to the present", Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (1975); "The Figure: A Sensual Response", Art Gallery of Brant, Ontario (1975); "Modern Painting in Canada: Major Movements in Twentieth Century Canadian Art", Edmonton Art Gallery [now Art Gallery of Alberta] (1978); "Pasted Paper: A Look at Canadian Collage, 1955 - 1965", Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, Ontario (1979); "ABC's of Pop Art: America, Britain and Canada, Major Artists and Their Legacy", Florida State University, Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, Florida, and Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, Florida (2000 - 2001); "Defining the Portrait", Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal (2001); "The Sixties in Canada", National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2005); and "Pop Pop Pop: Pop", MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan (2006). (3)


His solo and retrospective shows include "Dennis Burton: Paintings and Drawings 1959 - 1965", New Brunswick Museum, Saint John and Edmonton Art Gallery (1966); "Dennis Burton Retrospective",  Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario and touring  (1977 - 1978); and "Dennis Burton: Landscape Drawings", Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge (1982).


Burton's works are in numerous private, corporate and museum collections. According to the Canadian Heritage Information Network* and individual museum websites, his works are in the permanent collections of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Kingston, Ontario), Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton), Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (B.C.), Art Gallery of Hamilton (Ontario), Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Halifax), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Art Gallery of Windsor (Ontario), Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa, Ontario), Joliette Art Museum (Quebec), Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery (Concordia University, Montreal), MacKenzie Art Gallery (Regina, Saskatchewan), Maltwood Museum (University of Victoria, B.C.), Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec), Museum London (Ontario), Nickle Arts Museum (Calgary, Alberta), Owens Art Gallery (Sackville, N.B.), Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa, Ontario), University of Lethbridge Art Gallery (Lethbridge, Alberta), Vancouver Art Gallery (B.C.), Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies (Banff, Alberta), Winnipeg Art Gallery (Manitoba) and the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), which has 27 of his works in its collection. In the USA his works are in the collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, D.C.),and in the Walker Art Center (Minniapolis, Minnesota).


His most well-known mural is the 5' x 21' Flight without Vehicle (1963) at the Edmonton International Airport.


Burton's awards and honors include the J.F.M Stewart Scholarship, the R.S. McLaughlin Scholarship, a Royal Canadian Academy of Arts* scholarship, and a travelling scholarship to study at the University of Southern California, all awarded while he attended the Ontario College of Art. He also won First Prize, at the Walker Art Center Biennial (1958); First Prize at the Winnipeg Biennial, Manitoba (1968); and he is the recipient of four Canada Council* grants (1961, 1968, 1970 and 1975).

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