Robert Rutherford

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" Several times each year, I pack my 17 year old classic motorcycle with camping gear and explore part of Atlantic Canada. When a good subject shows up, I find a quiet hill and draw for two or three hours. No photographs. The image is translated in the oldest, most direct language of symbols. " - Robert Rutherford

The wide angle world of a Robert Rutherford print seems to filter out all but the most essential lines and details, so that each element, whether wind or sail, hillside or house, shares the same organic simplicity. The Toronto-born artist, who now works from Musquodoboit Harbour on Nova Scotia's Eastern shore, simplifies and repeats the fundamental shapes of his world to create an effect almost visionary in its dramatic, expansive evocation of sea, sky, and shoreline. Wistful at times, often whimsical, Rutherford uses muted colours and a sense of Maritime history to heighten the reality of a pared-down world which exists in a simplified, yet astoundingly accurate form.

Although Rutherford works in oils and acrylics, he is best known for his silkscreen or serigraph prints. Serigraphy allows for sharp, well-defined lines, as well as more fluid effects, making it a natural choice for an artist who compresses a mass of visual information into every stroke. Studying initially with printmaker David Blackwood at Trinity College School, Port Hope, Ontario, Rutherford continued his development as an artist at the Banff School of Fine Arts, Banff, Alberta, L'Ecole des Beaux Arts d'Avignon in France, and the Ontario College of Art in Toronto.

The work of Robert Rutherford has been exhibited widely throughout New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario and shown in numerous galleries from Toronto to Cornerbrook, Newfoundland.. His prints can also be found in the corporate collections of Saint Mary's University, Halifax, N.S., Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, British Columbia, Imperial Oil Inc., Parks Canada, as well as in many distinguished private art collections.

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Brief Biography

Name: Robert Rutherford

Born: Toronto, Ontario

Media: Serigraph (silkscreen), oil and acrylic painting

Studio: Petpeswick Inlet, Nova Scotia

Education: Trinity College School (David Blackwood), Port Hope, Ontario; Banff School of Fine Arts, Banff, Alberta; L'Ecole des Beaux Arts d'Avignon, France; Ontario College of Art, Toronto, Ontario.

Selected Permanent Collections:

Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.; Owens Art Gallery, Sackville, N.B.; Parks Canada; Imperial Oil; Royal Military College, Kingston, Ont.

Selected Solo Shows:

Dartmouth Heritage Museum, Dartmouth, N.S., 1988, 1993

Nova Scotia Teacher's College, Truro, N.S., 1989

Herring Gull Gallery, Chester, N.S., 1983--89

Dresden Gallery, Halifax, N.S. 1987

Ewing Gallery, Corner Brook, Newfoundland, 1985

Lyghtesome Gallery, Antigonish, N.S. 1982, 1985

Tom Thompson Memorial Art Gallery, Owen Sound, Ontario, 1975

Selected Group Shows:

Hidden Values: Atlantic Corporations Collect, Art Gallery of N.S.,

Halifax, N.S., 1994

Art Expo '94 (juried), Art Gallery of N.S., Halifax, N.S., 1994

N.S. Printmakers Assoc., (travelling), 1990-91

Owens Art Gallery, Mt. Allison Univ., Sackville, N.B., 1975

(special award), 1976, 1977

Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, British Columbia, 1975

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In review

Robert Rutherford's works have wonderful. curved movement, powerful, animated lines and dramatic skies."

Chronicle Herald, Halifax, N.S.


"...whereby we know we've just witnessed a "Kenning"-the old Norse word for poeticizing reality-in operation."

Arts Atlantic, Charlottetown, P.E.I


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Available Prints

RR-1 "Fish Houses"

"The drawing was made at Malpeque, P.E.I. The provincial campground was not open yet, but the motorcycle went between some trees, and I had the place to myself. It was a Sunday in early June and only one boat came in during the three hours of drawing. A few weeks later I began the printing in my studio, starting with the whites, then light colours, blues, greens, then darker colours. Twenty one stencils and three weeks of steady work produced this example of Prince Edward Islands north shore." - R. Rutherford

Serigraph; Edition 50; Size 10" x 24"; Produced for the Lyghtesome Print Folio, 1994; $200.


RR-2 "Chester In June"

Wind-rippled sea-green bay of Chester, N.S. with a backdrop of red and green roofed village houses nestled in the green summer foliage.

Serigraph; Edition 60; Size 8 1/4" x 23 5/8" (horizontal); 1994; $200.


RR-3 "Big Bras D'Or"

A view from the brown and green rocky shore of the Big Bras D'Or Lake in Cape Breton, N.S.; in the distance a narrow island spit and white sailboat, with whispy clouds adrift in the sky.

Serigraph; Edition 45; Size 8 7/8" x 18 1/2" (horizontal); 1988; $150.


RR-4 "Meccanno Buses"

The words "Dinky Toys" in yellow, outlined in red, are the backdrop for two toy buses, speeding along below; one is a double decker.

Serigraph; Edition 40; Size 8 5/16" x 11 1/2" (horizontal); 1990; $100.


RR-5 "Port Of Lunenburg"

Waterside view of the picturesque south shore town with its church spires, grey roofs, and burgundy dock-side warehouses interspersed with soft green foliage, blending gently against the dark blue sky and the dappled reflections in the harbour.

Serigraph; Edition 40; Size 8 3/4" x 11 3/4" (horizontal); 1992; $150.


RR-6 "Red Fences"

A white church, a mustard yellow house and three small outbuildings sit overlooking a quiet Newfoundland bay, with a running red fence line dividing up the lots of land.

Serigraph; Edition 40; Size 6" x 8 3/4" (horizontal); 1993; $75.


RR-7 "Canoe"

A red canoe pulled up alongside a huge grey boulder outcrop with green wilderness behind and a mysterious white ring of ripples along the surface of the water.

Serigraph; Edition 40; Size 6" x 8 13/16" (horizontal); 1992; $75.

Note on other available prints: There are additional prints available by Robert Rutherford. Slides of his other work can be sent upon request.
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