1944 – 2002
Peterborough, Ontario based Bierk exhibited extensively across Canada and abroad. His work can be found in numerous private and public collections in Canada and abroad, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, National Gallery of Canada, and the Canada Council Art Bank. Major exhibitions include The Painted Photograph, a three-person exhibition (with two other WTG artists, Jaclyn Shoub and Sarah Nind) organized and circulated nationally by The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography in 2005- 2006, and In the Absence of Pardise: The Art of David Bierk, which travelled to several museums across North America in 2000-2002.
David Bierk was born in 1944 in Appleton, Minnesota and earned an MFA at Humboldt State University, California, in 1971 It was there that he first started to work with the appropriated image. He emigrated shortly after his education and settled in Peterborough, Ontario where he became an influential member of the local art community and founding member in 1974 and Director of Artspace.
In his studio practice he combined his masterly painting process with his interest in the current media saturation, juxtaposing such references as historical paintings and art magazine covers. He often incorporated steel and concrete panels, as well as his own romantically inspired, sublime landscapes.
Bierk sought the tension brought about between the humanism and the craftsmanship of the Old Masters with the seemingly coolness and distancing of the reproduced image, the modernist abstraction and industrial fabrication. In many of his paintings and mixed media works, Bierk often dedicated his paintings to the memory and spirit of painters that he referenced.