John Fraser – Painter
John Fraser was born in Vancouver, Canada, in 1938, where he spent his childhood. As a young man, Fraser left Canada to travel in Europe and India, before settling for a period in London, England, where he studied at the Regent Street Polytechnic (1958-1960). The rich imagery of Fraser’s work draws deeply from these childhood impressions of the West Coast and the experiences of his early travels.
In 1963 Fraser returned to Canada, where he collaborated with the architects McCarter and Nairn on projects of Art Applied to Architecture. Among Fraser’s early commissions was a series of murals for the University of British Columbia, which included a collaboration with celebrated Canadian artist George Norris to create a brick mosaic embedded within the exterior wall of the university’s engineering department.
Based in Venezuela for years, his public commissions include a large metal door for the Teresa Carreño Theatre in Caracas, and a mural for the internacional airport in Porlamar. He now resides in Victoria BC.
Since 1988 Fraser has worked uniquely through the medium of paint, establishing himself as a significant figure within the movement of magic realism. The enthusiastic wonder and whimsy in his work show strong affinities with Latin American magic realism. Critic Paul Varnell says, “Fraser’s style is fully representational but manages to trick the mind by combining discordant objects. His paintings are challenging, intellectually intriguing, even fun.” As the artist says of himself, “I have a debt to Magritte and was blessed as myopic, or was it astigmatic?”
Fraser’s work has been exhibited to critical acclaim at numerous shows in the UK, Spain, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, and the United States and many of his paintings can be found among notable public and private collections in Europe and the Americas.
1938 April 27 in Vancouver, Canada
1958-60 Attends the Regent Street Polytechnic, London, England
1961 First individual exhibit at Teddy Hall, Cambridge and at St Mary’s, Oxford, England
1963-70 Works on Art applied to Architecture in Vancouver, Canada and executes carved doors for the National Trust Bank and murals for the University of British Columbia (U.B.C.) with George Norris, Vancouver, Canada
1970-1972 Moves to Spain and exhibits individually at the Palacio Municipal in Malaga, Spain
1972 Establishes his residence in Venezuela
1978 Creates with designer Erling Oloe the metallic door in the foyer of Teresa Carreno Theatre, receiving an honourable mention in the XXXVI Exhibit Arturo Michelena in Valencia, Venezuela
1982 Designs and executes for the Government of the state of Nueva Esparta various projects including a large mural for the Airport at Porlamar, Venezuela
1988 From this date on is dedicated exclusively to painting
XVI Annual Arts Exhibit Bijoux Wizo “Latin America”, Caracas, Venezuela
XLIX Visual Arts Exhibit, Arturo Michelena, Valencia, Venezuela
Conac 1991 Exhibit, “Art and City”, Bogota, Mexico City and Washington, D.C.
Collective Exhibit, “Convergencies”, Minotauro Gallery, Caracas, Venezuela
1992 Individual Exhibit at Felix Gallery, Caracas, Venezuela
Project Venezuela, Living Earth, “Art and Environment”. Exhibit at the Science Museum, Caracas, Venezuela, and the Natural History Museum, London, England
Mars 1992 Exhibit (Minotauro Gallery), Paris, France
XVII Annual Art Exhibit, Bijoux Wizo, Caracas, Venezuela
1993 Group Exhibit at Minotauro Gallery, Caracas, Venezuela
First Biennial “Camille Pisarro”, Caracas, Venezuela
1994 International Art Show, Caracas, Venezuela
Art Miami, U.S.A.
Group Exhibit at Minotauro Gallery, Caracas, Venezuela
Banap Exhibit, Caracas, Venezuela
1995 Art Miami, U.S.A.
Second Biennial “Camille Pisarro”, Caracas, Venezuela
1996 Individual Exhibit at Felix Gallery, F.I.A., Caracas, Venezuela
1997 Individual Exhibit at Alonso Arte Gallery, Bogota, Columbia
1999 Individual Exhibit at Zazzing Gallery, Miami, U.S.A.
2001 Art Miami, U.S.A.
2002 Individual Exhibit, Portals Gallery, Chicago, U.S.A.
2003 Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
2005 Individual Exhibit, Portals Gallery, Chicago, U.S.A.
2008 Portals Gallery, Chicago, U.S.A.
His work is in the Ralli Museum of Art in Argentina and in private collections in Scotland, England, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, France, Colombia, Venezuela, U.S.A. and Canada.
‘I have a debt to Magritte and was blessed as myopic, or was it astigmatic?’ John Fraser