Gary Slipper (1934- )
"Girl in Mumu"
Oil on Panel
21.5" x 30" Image
30" x 38" Frame
Provenance: Private Hamilton Collection
Born in Calgary, AB, the son of Stanley Edes Sliper, surveyor and geologist. His father discovered a number of large gas fields in the Peace River area. Gary started to paint by himself at the age of nine. He attended night classes at the age of 11. At 12 he studied at the Allied Arts Centre in Banff, AB (1946); at the Banff School of Fine Arts (1948); The Vancouver School of Art, Van., BC (1950); American Academy of Art, Chicago, Ill. (1951-52); Post graduate work at the Academy of Bellas Artes de san Fernando, Madrid, Spain (1953); studio of Prof. Zoball, Florence, Italy (1954). He lived in Hamilton from 1960-65 when he first made dreamlike qualities in his work with medieval motifs and moral allegory. He shared a studio apartment with his first wife Joyce. He then moved to Toronto where within 12 months of his arrival he was acclaimed an exciting new artist producing high quality work. Collectors began buying his work at a sellout solo show. During his study time he had become influenced by the Flemish School of painters especially the masters of the 15th and 16th centuries. But he also produced lighter works as described in 1965 by Rea Montbizon in The Gazette, who noted, “…his spontaneous ink washes and pen-and-inks tell us that Gary Slipper is an artist to wat. Light and carefree as they appeared in their general flavor, these drawings still tell us that they have grown from firm craftsmanship. Yet next to the sure hand, Slipper’s twelve drawings at Klinkhoff’s reveal a delightfully chaste imagination.” Viewing other work in the same exhibition Michael Ballantyne in The Montreal star noted, “Slipper is a craftsman. He is particularly attracted to Renaissance painting and the technique he often uses himself –grisaille-had probably its greatest vogue during the fifteenth century. It is not unusual for him to spend up to 100 hours on a single picture and they are not large. The preparation of Masonite board…may take as long as three or four days-applying the gesso, letting it harden, …before it is ready for the finished picture.” Slipper will fill a canvas or board with 12 coats of gesso until it builds to a clear hard ivory surface. Using minute strokes, he puts in his details in black, and then he applies his colours with thinned oils. The reviewer in the Globe & Mail, December, 1996 commented on his finished work as follows, “He gets light through his colors, as though from stained glass. He achieves velvety textures and grainy woods, and Rubenesque Skin Tones. And whatever he achieves comes from simple dedication.” By 1971 a dedicated dealer/collector, David Mitchell, added impetus to the growing popularity of Slipper’s paintings and security for him so he could focus on his work. Later Slipper painted on Plexiglas he found to be a good base for oil paints. He applies his colours by thinning them so that they give a glow of white to his surface not unlike porcelain. He met and married Annemarie (nee Teuscher) in Toronto in the 1980’s, who by a former marriage had three children. Gary and Annemarie travelled around the world and arriving at San Miguel in 1988 at Easter time, they fell in love with the town and after a brief period north they returned that winter to take up permanent residence. Annemarie was born in New York and raised in Montreal. She was originally a painter who had studied fine arts at McGill University and later switched to sculpture. They planned their San Miguel home, designed by architects, Daniel Sirdey and Genevieve Desgagnes, to be unlike any other in the town with a spectacular view across the valley to “Misty purple hills and superb sunsets” as noted by City & Country Home magazine in their series entitled “A Canadian Art Colony in Mexico” (1990).
Gary’s solo shows include: Alice Peck Gallery, Burlington ON (1962); Alan Gallery, Hamilton ON (1960, 1962); Galt Public Gallery, Galt, On (1962); New design Gallery, Van. BC (1964); Tom Owen Assoc. Gallery, Amarillo Texas (1963-64); Studio AG Intl., Van., BC (1965); Fleet Galleries, Wpg., MB (1966); Walter Klinkhoff Gallery, Mtl., QC (1965-66); The Mitchell Gallery, Tor. (1971, 1972); and among many other exhibitions.
Source: A Dictionary of Canadian Artists Vol. 8 Pt. 1, by Colin S. MacDonald