Elizabeth McIntosh

Elizabeth McIntosh (b. 1967, Simcoe, Ontario; lives/works: Vancouver) is a painter who uses abstract and figurative techniques to work through questions of representation, the limits of perception, and the status of images. For more than two decades, McIntosh has reinvented familiar forms via playful yet exacting decisions, creating works that oscillate from the abstract into the surreal and representational, from the illusionistic mind to the sensational body.

Bold and angular, her compositions begin as digital sketches, layering collaged elements drawn from her vast personal archive that includes modernist and historical paintings, personal drawings, and freeform scribbles. Digital techniques of repetition, translation, and inversion are transcribed with thick brushstrokes, deploying a varied technical vernacular to portray still lives, domestic scenes, and imagery bookended by window frames and notebook spreads. Throughout, her works evince an attentiveness not only to colour, but also to paint’s reflective and absorptive properties, often incorporating proprietary mixtures of oil, acrylic, flashe, and gouache. McIntosh’s acute sense of rhythm, specificity of placement, and interplay of diverse painterly approaches result in works that demonstrate both severe precision and exuberant creativity.

McIntosh holds an MFA from Chelsea College of Art, London and a BFA from York University, Toronto. McIntosh’s solo exhibitions include Oakville Galleries, Canada (2020); Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver (2023, 2020, 2017); Diaz Contemporary, Toronto (2016, 2014); Division Gallery, Montreal (2012); and Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2010); as well as CANADA, New York, and Tanya Leighton, Los Angeles/Berlin. Group exhibitions include Galería Pelaires, Mallocra, Spain (2020); Oakville Galleries, Canada (2018); Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2017); Bonavista Biennale (2017); Vancouver Art Gallery (2017,2009,2006); 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); and the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon (2005).

In 2013, she received the VIVA Award from the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts, Vancouver. Her work is featured in Vitamin P3: New Perspectives in Painting (Phaidon Books, 2016).