Elizabeth McIntosh

Elizabeth McIntosh (b. 1967, Simcoe, Ontario; lives/works: Vancouver) is a painter who pulls together abstract and figurative languages to work through questions of representation, the limits of perception, and the status of images, among other issues that haunt contemporary painting. Over the past two decades, McIntosh’s practice has shifted through the styles of various art historical epochs, sampling from geometric abstraction, hard-edge painting, abstract expressionism, pattern and decoration, and even pop and cubism. In her more recent works, she has slowly begun to introduce hints and full glimpses of figuration. McIntosh’s process involves culling images from a vast personal archive, and pasting them into digital collages of art history, doodles, past work, and personal references with the traces of the process left visible. For example, in Sunset (2017), horizontal bands of pink and turquoise divide the canvas into an ocean landscape. A female figure in a white dress and veil appears to be floating on the water’s surface, her veil spanning out behind her. Next to her, there is an indeterminate vibrant object, that cuts off abruptly, apparently a line left by painter’s tape. Sunset is just one example of McIntosh’s adept ability to play with contemporary image-making, and to take on epochal styles like drag, putting on and shrugging off heroic painter personas through her skillful command of the medium.

McIntosh holds an MFA from Chelsea College of Art, London and a BFA from York University, Toronto. In 2013, she received the VIVA Award from the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts, Vancouver. Her painting is featured in Vitamin P3: New Perspectives in Painting (Phaidon Books, 2016).

McIntosh’s solo exhibitions include Oakville Galleries, Canada (2020); Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver (2020, 2017); CANADA, New York (2016); Diaz Contemporary, Toronto (2016, 2014); Division Gallery, Montreal (2012); Exercise, Vancouver (2011); and Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2010). Group exhibitions include Galería Pelaires, Mallocra, Spain (2020); Oakville Galleries, Canada (2018); Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2017); Bonavista Biennale (2017); Arsenal Contemporary, New York (2017); Venus, Los Angeles (2016); Logan Center, University of Chicago (2014); Galerie de l’UQÀM, Montreal (2013); Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto (2012); Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Greensboro (2010); and Vancouver Art Gallery (2009).