Robert Young was always a vivacious and peaceful spirit, filled with an eagerness for life and a thirst for knowledge. Robert was always seeking and creating, bringing forth to the world endless gifts of beauty with his paintings filled with an abundance of discovery. His gentle kindness was palpable wherever he was, he was always listening, thinking, and painting in his mind.
Everything has a story in his works, each element has its own life force, with a million possibilities that is yet to be explored and discovered by Robert and his viewers. His accomplishment lies in his true mastery in the use of his medium and the success in which he delivers every line, form, and colour, in the most precious and precise manner. His paintings evoke a sense of wonder, they are often paintings within a painting. He imaginatively reconstruct spaces and experiences with seamlessly collaged images, often drawing details everywhere, from allegorical images from philosophy and art history, but mostly, he likes to paint about the house that has been his home for decades. "In so many ways this shelter of mine feels temporary: doors won't stay closed in certain seasons; the earth surrounding it heaves up here and sinks there and the earthquake in January this year was most distinctly felt. The cedar of Lebanon and the crab apple tree in the front, the maple and the willow at back, honeysuckle vines at front and back together with autumn leaves scattered on window sills make it leafy.”
Robert Young was an influential artist and mentor. He taught painting and drawing at UBC from 1982-1998, held solo exhibitions at Burnaby Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and more. His works are held in important public, corporate, and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Glenbow, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Vancouver Art Gallery, De Beers Consolidated Mines, Elton John Collection, Toronto Dominion Bank , and more. Most recently, he exhibited with other talented artists at the Surrey Art Gallery in an exhibition titled ‘Through the Lattice’, curated by Rhys Edwards.
Robert Young once said: "I’m generally not very purposive, intentional or goal-orientated -- rather I trust to inspiration and try to keep out of the way.”
A Tribute to Robert Young
May 13, 2023