Douglas Bentham: Still Life

October 10 - December 6, 2019

Opening Reception: Thursday, October 10, 6-8pm


Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of sculptures by Douglas Bentham. The exhibition will open on October 10th and run until November 2nd with an opening reception on Thursday, October 10 th from 6 to 8 pm. This is Bentham’s inaugural exhibition at the gallery.


Douglas Bentham is a senior Canadian sculptor who has been practicing abstract constructivism for over forty years. His major influences include sculptors David Smith and Sir Anthony Caro, having worked alongside Caro at the Emma Lake Artist Workshops in Saskatchewan at a formative time in his career. While formally his work flows out of the modernist tradition, each series subtly alludes to nature or literature, in both their motifs and titles.


Bentham’s sculptures are often made from stainless or Corten steel although he regularly  experiments with other materials including wood, brass or bronze. Of particular interest is the tactility of his materials which he lets guide the direction and inspiration of his work. Poetic and complex, his sculptures evoke familiar forms filtered through a modern language of sculptural form.


In the Still Life series, Bentham creates assemblages in an intimate scale from utilitarian and ornamental brass and bronze. Decorative figures and vessels are eloquently combined with planes and rods, transcending the materials’ original purposes and inspiring new meaning. Just as a traditional still life subject has a front and a back, Bentham’s sculptures are defined in this way and each side is equally compelling. While remaining largely abstract, the sculptures contain certain shapes or rhythms that are reminiscent of a particular historical artist’s work, as referenced in his titles.


Each composition is unique and occupies its own space - similar to how a still life becomes its own microcosm, established within a specific time and place. I often reference a historic artist’s work by emphasizing a certain motif that feels familiar. It is a way of expressing my gratitude for their influence on my work, and for their contribution to the ‘onward’ of art, in which I remain immersed.

– Douglas Bentham


Douglas Bentham was born in 1947 in Saskatchewan, where he continues to live and work. His sculptures have been exhibited across Canada and in the United States and Europe. Bentham has completed several public commissions including for the Rogers Place Arena, in Edmonton, AB; the University of Western Ontario, London, ON; and the city of Saskatoon, SK. His sculptures are included in public collections throughout Canada, including the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario; the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, New Brunswick; the Art Gallery of Alberta and the Confederation Art Centre, Prince Edward Island.


For more information on the artist, click here.