Robert Michener


Robert Michener was born in l935 in the small, farming community of Preston, in the southeast corner of Minnesota. The hardwood covered hills, limestone cliffs, and fertile valleys of that area along with the mountains and coasts of British Columbia have long been a visual and emotional source for Michener's landscape paintings. Upon graduation from Preston High School in l953, Michener entered Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota where he received a BA degree in l957. After a two year stint in the U. S. Army, he entered graduate school at The University of Minnesota where he completed his MFA degree in painting in 1962. Michener taught art at the University of Minnesota, Western Washington University and the University of Cincinnati before immigrating to Canada in l973 to accept a position at the Vancouver School of Art (subsequently The Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design) where he retired from teaching in l999. Michener's work has been shown in more than twenty solo shows in Canada and the United States as well as numerous two artist, group exhibitions and competitive shows across North America and Europe. His works are included in more than two hundred public, corporate and private collections in Canada, the U. S. and Europe among them The Department of External Affairs, Canada, The British Columbia Provincial Collection, The Canada Council Art Bank, The Vancouver Art Gallery, The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, The University of Lethbridge, The University of Cincinnati, Petro Canada, Fletcher Challenge Canada Ltd, and the Claridge (Bronfman) Collection. Michener's studio and home are in Surrey, B.C., where he lives with his wife, painter Ann Nelson and their daughter Suzanna. Michener also has a son and a daughter from a previous marriage.
Solo Exhibitions
2002 Recent Landscapes of Coast and Canyon, Ballard Lederer Gallery, Vancouver, BC
2001 Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC
2000 John Ramsay Gallery, Vancouver, BC
1998 Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC
1994 Buschlen-Mowatt Gallery, Vancouver, BC
1993 The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, BC
1990 Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, BC
1988 Waddington & Gorce Inc, Montreal, QC
1986 Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, BC
1985 Waddington & Gorce Inc, Montreal, QC
1983 Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, BC
1983 Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, AB
1983 Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, BC
1981 Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, BC
1979 Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, BC
1977 Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, BC
1975 Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, BC
1974 Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
1971 University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
1969 University of Minnesota (Morris)
1967 Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
1966 Western Washington State, Bellingham, WA
1962 University of Minnesota

Artist Statement
Recent Landscapes of Coast and Canyon
Landscape has been my primary motif for more than thirty years. In the art of painting, the landscape motif symbolizes the conceptions and feelings people hold in relation to nature. I choose to paint landscape because of my boyhood intimacy with nature and because I believe that the most urgent challenge facing humanity is to discover a viable way to live with nature.

My intention is to create visual symbols that articulate a gentler, more reciprocal relationship with nature. I want my paintings to be practical metaphors for a new way of feeling and living in the world. To achieve this, I have set aside traditional “realistic” representation in favor of an imaginative transformation of the landscape motif. Everything is recognizable, and yet nothing conforms to our ordinary perceptions. Trees form articulated patterns. Cliffs are simplified. Three-dimensional space is ambiguous and playful in order to engage and challenge the viewer’s understanding. Everything is designed to participate in an active, abstract structure. The image of nature resembles a wilderness park or garden – a natural world which is cared for and nurtured. This way suggests reverence for life. It arises primarily from the discoveries of science, ranging from new knowledge of the vastness of the universe, to the interconnectedness of all life and the contingencies of the processes of evolution – the accidental nature of our being here at all.

Public and Corporate Collections
Government of Canada, Department of External affairs
Canada Council Art Bank
British Columbia Provincial Collection
The Vancouver Art Gallery
Simon Fraser University
Ring House Gallery, University of Alberta
University of Minnesota
University of Cincinnati
Kamloops Art Gallery
University of Lethbridge

The British Columbia Development Corporation
Shell Canada Ltd
British Columbia Central Credit Union
Guaranty Trust Company of Canada
Inland Natural Gas Company Ltd
Thorn Ridell and Company
Canarim Investment Corporation
Petro Canada
Okanagan Helicopters
Phillips, Hager and North
Eye Care Center, Vancouver
Peerless Carpets Inc, Bram Garber Collection
Teleglobe Canada
Fletcher Challenge Canada Ltd
Vancouver General Hospital