Tony Scherman

Heroes, Ghosts, and Dreams

Tony Scherman, The Blue Rain, 2005-07. Encaustic on Canvas. Winnipeg Art Gallery, Gift of Ian and Catherine Delaney, 2018-3.


Since the 1970s, Tony Scherman has pursued image and figuration even while Pop Art and Conceptualism gained prominence. He adopted and perfected the ancient encaustic technique – mixing hot wax with pigment – a medium seldom used among his contemporaries. In his work, he confronts both world history and art history, often utilizing stills and close-ups, and the modern technologies of the camera and film to achieve the desired outcome. Not surprisingly, the portrait is his primary genre, supporting what the artist calls “contemporary meditations on villains and celebrities, heroes and intellectuals.” 

Scherman’s commitment to working serially is undisputed, and in this exhibition, you'll find seminal paintings from several series, including: About 1789, About 1865, The Junkies, and Difficult Women. Also displayed is a group of smaller easel works, including flower, still life, and animal paintings, genres which individually engage the artist between his larger series. Two other large-scale portraits, one of the artist and one of his wife Margaret, complete the arrangement. Drawn from the WAG and private collections, this group of paintings spans the last 40 years of the artist’s production.

Curated by Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO

This exhibition is presented by the Winnipeg Art Gallery Foundation in honour of the 70th Anniversary of the Associates of the Winnipeg Art Gallery

The accompanying exhibition catalogue is made possible through a generous gift of Malcolm Wells, B.Sc. (Hons) M.Sc. MD FRCP.

Tony Scherman, Walk on: no Lines, from the series About 1865, 2004–2006. Encaustic on canvas. Winnipeg Art Gallery, Gift of Ian and Catherine Delaney, 2018-2.

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