Randall Steeves’ thickly painted, textured paintings invite the viewer to reconsider the gesture of painting itself. The canvases explore the relationship between the photographic index and the painterly trace with a wry nod towards conceptual art practice.
The subject of his canvases is the fingerprint. Steeves had himself “processed” by the Vancouver Police Department in preparation for this work and the pieces are made up entirely of his own prints. The paintings are all made from encaustic, a beeswax based paint that is heated and brushed onto the canvas where it hardens immediately. The process results in a complex surface that can be read as a chronology of the painting’s construction and as a record of the painter’s physical presence and actions. The physicality of the paintings is reinforced by the fingerprint imagery. For Steeves, the fingerprint is “a metaphor for painting… for what I’m doing when I’m making paintings, but it also has to do with what we’re doing when we look at paintings. It’s about the examination and categorization of human marks, of the traces we all leave behind. Painting can be thought of in similar terms.”
Randall Steeves was born in Saint John, New Brunswick. He studied at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick and received an MFA from the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia. Since then he has been based in the Vancouver area. He has lectured and led workshops at art galleries, colleges and universities across Western Canada and has exhibited his work internationally.
Randall Steeves (b. 1966, Saint John, NB, Canada)
1990 Master of Fine Arts, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC
1988 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB
Exhibitions & Projects
2018 Seattle Art Fair with Elissa Cristall Gallery, group exhibition
2017 Elissa Cristall Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia 2017. Shape Form Colour Line: the language of abstraction – Group Exhibition.
2016 Elissa Cristall Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia 2016. Matter and Energy – Solo Exhibition.
2015 The Kariton Gallery, Abbotsford, British Columbia 2015. Lovers and Fighters – Group Exhibition.
2012 Elissa Cristall Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia 2012. Randall Steeves: SOMA – Solo Exhibition.
2011/12 Proper Research, (solo) The Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford, BC
2011 The Act of Painting – Randall Steeves and Elena Evanoff, Elissa Cristall Gallery, Vancouver BC
2010 47th Annual Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, Lake Oswego, OR.
Luminous Layers: Exploring Contemporary Encaustic – Group Exhibition, curated by Linda Womack.
2009 The Amelie Rothschilde Gallery @ The Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD.
Wax Actual: Contemporary Representational Painting in Encaustic – Group Exhibition, curated by Christine Sajecki and Joseph Young.
Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, Arizona. Fourth Annual Encaustic Invitational – Group Exhibition.
2008 Translucent: Contemporary Works in Wax, (curated group exhibition) Cain Shulte Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA
Everything Matters – solo exhibition, Elissa Cristall Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Show Me Everything – solo exhibition, Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo, BC
2007 Proper Research – solo exhibition, Yukon Arts Centre, Whitehorse, YK
2006 Proper Research – solo exhibition, Kwantlen Art Gallery, Kwantlen University College, Surrey, BC
River Variations, solo exhibition, Elissa Cristall Gallery, Vancouver, BC
2005 River Variations, solo exhibition & presenter, Comox Valley Art Conference, Comox, BC
2004 The Medium of Proof, solo exhibition, Elissa Cristall Gallery, Vancouver, BC
2003 Evidence, solo exhibition, Elissa Cristall Gallery, Vancouver, BC
2003 1977 T-Bird, Artropolis, Vancouver, BC. Curated public art exhibition.
2001 Science Against Modem Crime. CBC Radio 3 (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) An exhibition of ten paintings
2001 Proper Research, Artropolis, Vancouver, BC. Curated public art exhibition.
2000 Arts 2000, Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC juried exhibition.
British Columbia Arts Council Project Assistance Grant, 2008
British Columbia Arts Council Project Assistance Grant, 2003
University of Victoria Teaching Assistantship 1988 and 1989
New Brunswick Cultural Development Grant 1984, 1988, 1989
Mount Allison University, Dean’s List, 1988
Arc Poetry: Canada’s National Poetry Magazine, Winter 2009 issue. Featured visual artist, pages 53-60, and front and back covers (Ottawa, ON)
Conrad Wilde Gallery, Third Annual Encaustic Invitational catalogue, 2008, pages 44-45 (Tucson, Arizona)
The Nanaimo Star, Encaustic Paintings at the Nanaimo Art Gallery, Wednesday, May 14, 2008, page B5 (Nanaimo, BC)
What’s Up Yukon, The Trace of Human Presence by Tara McCarthy, December 14, 2007, page 21 (Whitehorse, Yukon)
The Comox Valley Echo, An entertaining talk by artist Randy Steeves, Friday, October 7, 2005, page B1 (Courtenay, BC)
Comox Valley Record, Things are a changin’, Wednesday, August 24, 2005, page A19 (Courtenay, BC)
Where Magazine, September 2004 issue. Art, on and off the wall by Adriana Barton, pages 18-19 (Vancouver, BC)
Where Magazine, September 2003 issue. Editor’s Choice feature, 1977 T-Bird, page 17 (Vancouver, BC)
Artropolis, Celebrating Contemporary BC Visual Art catalogue, 2001, pages 42 and 59 (Vancouver, BC)
CBC Radio3 2001. Ten paintings from Science Against Modern Crime featured on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s 120seconds.com (Toronto, ON)