Dennis Eugene Norman Burton

1933 - 2013

Dennis Burton was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, in 1933, and died in Vancouver, BC, in 2013. An important figure in the Abstract Expressionist movement, he played a key role in the development of contemporary art in Canada. Burton is mainly associated with his Garterbeltmania, a series of large paintings from the 1960s that featured garter belts as a common subject. He would go on to explore other erotic themes throughout his career, like other artists such as Michael Snow and Joyce Wieland. He is also known for having incorporated mixed media and writing into his work, and for his brightly coloured, large-format abstract paintings.

In addition to his artistic practice, Burton taught painting and drawing at the Ontario College of Art, and was named director of the New School of Art. He also taught at the Banff School of Fine Arts, at the University of Lethbridge, and at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design. His paintings have been presented as part of major exhibitions on abstract art organized by the National Gallery of Canada, namely Toronto Painting: 1953–1965, in 1972, and The Crisis of Abstraction in Canada, the 1950s, in 1992. His work is included in private and public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, the Glenbow Gallery, and the Robert McLaughlin Gallery.