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David Craven

Born in London, Ontario, in 1946, artist David Craven was best known for his large works exploring abstraction, figuration and mixed media structuralization. Garnering incendiary attention for his monochromatic and black and white works featuring gestural swoops, curvilinear lines and incised precision, Craven boldly experimented with the stylings of the Moscow avant-garde.

After graduating from the Ontario College of Art in Toronto in 1973, Craven became known coast to coast exhibiting in solo and group exhibitions at every main gallery in the country. As a personification of Canadian art, Craven’s work was a central feature in many of the thematic and collection exhibits throughout Canada.

At the beginning of the 1980’s, Craven moved to New York City, expanding upon his national success and broadening his practice into the world of figuration and folded canvas paintings. Throughout his time in New York, Craven’s work oscillated between the abstraction he was known for and the experimentation of repetitive concentric lines, loosely forming barely-there heads, which prefigured his return to lines and dots abstract works.

In the 1990’s Craven moved upstate to Cambridge, New York, where he continued to expand his body of work throughout the 2000’s incorporating colour and multimedia renderings and text from, what was said to be his favourite show, Judge Judy. David Craven continued to explore the notion of structured painting and the utilization of unconventional media up until his death in 2016. Craven’s works are held by esteemed Canadian public museum collections such as the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the McMichael Canadian Collection, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Mendel Art Gallery, University of Lethbridge and the Vancouver Art Gallery, among many others.

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