Tony Scherman (born 1950 – Toronto, Canada)
At a time when Pop Art continued to prevail and Conceptualism was on the rise in the 1970s, Tony Scherman chose to pursue image and figuration, working exclusively in the uncommon wax and pigment encaustic technique. His paintings and works on paper weave through the history of art and embrace image-imprints through the modern technologies of camerawork and film. Over the past 30 years, portraiture has become a primary subject matter that are his contemporary meditations encompassing villains and celebrities, bombshells and intellectuals.
Born in Toronto in 1950, Scherman spent his childhood and young adult life in Paris, Europe and then London from 1955. His father Paul was professionally active as a conductor and violinist in Canada, Europe and England. In 1974, Scherman received an MA from the Royal College of Art in London, and returned to Toronto in 1976. He has had more than 100 solo exhibitions across Canada, in the United States and Europe, and in Beijing and Hong Kong. His solo exhibition Chasing Napoleon circulated to six American university museums in 2001-2002. The concurrent book was published by Cameron & Hollis, UK in 1999 (distributed by D.A.P. in North America and Thames and Hudson, world-wide). Scherman has been included in numerous group exhibitions internationally. Among the earliest was The Human Clay, curated by artist R.B. Kitaj for the Hayward Gallery, London, in 1976. Kitaj’s selections included works by Frank Auerbach, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Leon Kossoff. This landmark exhibition toured public galleries in the UK and Belgium. In 2012, his painting Macbeth Witch #1 was selected to represent 1994 for the exhibition Spotlight on 40, Ottawa, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Canada Council Art Bank.
Poseidon, 2007—and a rare self-portrait as stand-in for the Greek god Poseidon for his series “The Odyssey II”—is featured on the cover of The Aesthetics of Emotion: Up the Down Staircase of the Mind-Body (Dr. Gerald C. Cupchik, Cambridge University Press, 2016). The book includes a chapter-interview with Scherman.
Scherman’s work is represented in 30 public collections across Canada and internationally in the Los Angeles County Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, Denver Museum of Art, San Diego Museum, High Museum Atlanta, The Birmingham Museum of Art, Library of Congress, Washington, Contemporary Arts Society London, Arts Council of Great Britain, Pompidou Centre, Paris, F.R.A.C. Ile de France, and the Schlossmuseum Murnau, Germany.Scherman has been a visiting lecturer at numerous universities, art schools and public galleries in England, Canada and the United States since the mid-1970s. He was a sessional instructor at the University of Guelph Department of Fine Art and University of Toronto Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in the 1980s.