• Dada

    A multidisciplinary movement that arose in Europe in response to the horrors of the First World War, whose adherents aimed to deconstruct and demolish traditional societal values and institutions. Artworks, often collages and ready-mades, typically scorned fine materials and craftsmanship. Chief Dadaists include Marcel Duchamp, Tristan Tzara, Kurt Schwitters, and Hans Arp.

  • Dagnan-Bouveret, Pascal-Adolphe-Jean (French, 1852–1929)

    A French Naturalist painter, Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret was known for his Breton paintings, including numerous representations of Breton women in traditional dress. He maintained a Paris studio with Gustave Courtois.

  • daguerreotype

    Among the earliest type of photograph, the finely detailed daguerreotype image is formed on the mirrored surface of a sheet of silver-plated copper. The process is extremely complex and finicky, but these photographs were nonetheless phenomenally popular from the time of their invention, by Louis Daguerre in 1839, up until the 1850s.

  • Dahlem, Björn (German, b. 1974)

    A large-scale sculptor and installation artist influenced by Joseph Beuys and Italian Arte Povera artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, Dahlem is known for works that combine wood and light to consider the cosmos, philosophy, and concepts of space and matter. He is interested in the fragile conditions of human knowledge and often incorporates ordinary materials, like bottles of milk or wine, into his sculptures to reimagine an understanding of the world and the universe.

  • Dair, Carl (Canadian, 1912–1967)

    A distinguished Canadian designer, Carl Dair was also an internationally recognized typographer, teacher, and writer. He believed in typography as a significant feature of communication and designed Cartier, the first Canadian typeface. His influential book, Design with Type, was published in 1952.

  • Dalí, Salvador (Spanish, 1904–1989)

    The star of the Surrealists and one of his era’s most exuberant personalities, Dalí is best known for his naturalistically rendered dreamscapes. The Persistence of Memory, 1931, with its melting clock faces, remains one of the twentieth century’s most parodied artworks.

  • Dallaire, Jean-Philippe (Canadian, 1916–1965)

    A painter and illustrator known for his brightly coloured works featuring fantastical characters. Born in Hull, Quebec, Dallaire worked in Ottawa before setting off to study in Paris, where he met and was greatly influenced by the Canadian artist Alfred Pellan. From 1940–44 he was interned by the Gestapo. Dallaire later taught at the École des beaux-arts in Quebec City and worked as an illustrator at the National Film Board in Ottawa.

  • Dana Alan Williams (b.1953)
  • Danby, Ken (Canadian, 1940–2007)

    Originally an abstract painter, Ken Danby began creating the realistically rendered, posed images of Canadian life and landscapes for which he became known in 1962. His media include egg tempera, watercolour, oil, and acrylic. Paintings featuring athletes, including At the Crease, 1972, an ice-level portrait of anonymous hockey goalie in full pads, typify Danby’s work. 

  • Darling, Frank (Canadian, 1850–1923)

    After training in Britain, Darling developed a successful architectural practice in Toronto, specializing in churches, bank branches, and other public buildings. His most notable projects include the Royal Ontario Museum, Convocation Hall at the University of Toronto, the Winnipeg Grain and Produce Exchange, and Walker Court at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

  • Dasburg, Andrew (American, 1887–1979)

    A modernist painter who was influenced by Paul Cézanne and Cubism. Dasburg taught Kathleen Munn when she attended the Art Students League summer school in Woodstock, New York.

  • Daubigny, Charles-François (French, 1817–1878)

    Daubigny was a naturalistic landscape painter and one of the earliest promoters in France of plein air painting. Although closely associated with the Barbizon school, a group of artists who lived and painted outdoors in the forest of Fontainebleau, he was more dedicated to river scenery than to forest interiors. His interest in the depiction of light and its reflections made him a precursor of Impressionism. He was also an important supporter of Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro.

  • Dault, Gary Michael (Canadian, b.1939)

    An art critic, writer, and artist, Gary Michael Dault has written extensively on the work of Canadian artists, including reviews, catalogues, gallery guides, and monographs. From the 1970s he covered the Toronto art scene, including a decade-long column, Gallery Going, which appeared in the Globe and Mail Saturday edition. Gault was awarded the Order of Canada in 2018 for his work bringing art to a wide public.

  • Daumier, Honoré (French, 1808–1879)

    A prominent artist in politically tumultuous nineteenth-century Paris, known primarily as a satirist. Daumier’s published drawings and lithographs viciously mocked political figures and the bourgeoisie, for which he was jailed for six months in 1832–33. He also helped develop the genre of caricature sculpture.

  • David, Jacques-Louis (French, 1748–1825)

    A Neoclassical painter regarded as the preeminent painter of the late eighteenth century. David is best known for his large-scale history paintings, such as Oath of the Horatii, 1784, although he was also a gifted portraitist. A prominent figure in the French Revolution of 1789 because of his involvement in politics, David completed only one oil painting during this period, The Death of Marat, 1793, a famous work from the unfinished series The Martyrs of the Revolution.

  • David, Joe (Ka Ka Win Chealth) (Nuu-chah-nulth, b.1946)

    Having decided to become an artist at a young age, David spent many years studying Nuu-chah-nulth art in museums and universities as well as within his community. In the mid-1970s he worked with Bill Reid, and he has since gone on to create monumental public sculptures of his own in addition to smaller carvings and works on paper.

  • Davidson, Michael (Canadian, b. 1953)

    A Toronto-based painter of large, emotionally intense canvases who often uses a reduced palette dominated by black and white, recalling the abstraction of Robert Motherwell and Helen Frankenthaler.

  • Davidson, Reg (Haida, b.1954)

    Younger brother of the Haida artist Robert Davidson (Guud San Glans), Davidson is a noted carver who creates jewellery, masks, musical instruments, and prints as well as sculptures. He also sings and dances with the Rainbow Creek Dance Group, a group that he and his brother established in 1980, for which he creates ceremonial regalia. 

  • Davidson, Robert (Guud San Glans) (Haida, Tlingit, b.1946)

    A celebrated carver of totem poles and masks, painter, printmaker, and jeweller, Davidson is recognized for reviving and perpetuating various aspects of Haida art and cultural expression. In 1969, at the age of twenty-two, he carved a totem pole in his hometown of Masset, British Columbia, which became the first to be raised there in ninety years. In 2010, he received the Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts.

  • Davis, Emma Lu (American, 1905–1988)

    Originally a commercial artist, Emma Lu Davis began to create sculptures influenced by global folk art traditions in the 1930s. She traveled to China and the Soviet Union, and was artist-in-residence at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, from 1938 to 1941. Davis was included in Dorothy Miller’s exhibition Americans 1942 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In 1965 she completed a doctorate in archeology at the University of California, Los Angeles, becoming a pioneering researcher of the early histories of Indigenous cultures in the Californian desert.

  • Davis, Gene (American, 1920–1985)

    A Washington, D.C.-born artist who was closely associated with the Color Field movement of abstract painting. He was best known for his energetic stripe paintings that featured vertical lines of interchanging colours. In 1972, he created what was at the time the world’s largest artwork, by painting the street in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He taught at the Corcoran School of Art and served as the commissioner of the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution.

  • Daxhiigang (Charles Edenshaw) (Haida, 1839–1920)

    One of the most renowned Haida artists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Daxhiigang is known for creating extraordinary argillite carvings, silver bracelets, and, with his wife, Isabella Edenshaw, woven baskets and hats. Highly innovative, his works draw on Haida traditions while responding to modern colonialism. 

  • de Brébeuf, Jean (French, 1593–1649)

    A Jesuit priest and linguist who arrived in New France in 1625. He worked to convert the Montagnais, Huron, and Iroquois peoples over the next two decades, eventually learning the Huron language and creating a Huron grammar and dictionary. He was killed by the Iroquois in 1649 and canonized in 1930.

  • de Kooning, Willem (Dutch/American, 1904–1997)

    Although a prominent Abstract Expressionist, de Kooning was not concerned with strict abstraction—figures appear in the dense and riotous brushwork that characterizes much of his work. Among his most famous works are those of the Women series, first exhibited in 1953 to much critical scorn.

  • De l’Aubinière, Constant (French, 1842–1910)

    Constant de l’Aubinière was a painter and an arts lecturer. He and his artist wife Georgina de l’Aubinière travelled to North America in 1882, where they painted and lectured across the United States and Canada. In 1887, the couple were commissioned to create fourteen paintings for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee

  • De l’Aubinière, Georgina (British, 1848–1930)

    A painter working primarily with watercolours, Georgina de l’Aubinière was the daughter of artist John Steeple. She studied both in England and France, and she exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, England. She travelled to North America with her husband, fellow artist Constant de l’Aubinière. There, the couple painted landscapes—including those of British Columbia—operated an art studio, and lectured artists such as Josephine Crease.

  • de Lempicka, Tamara (Polish-Russian, 1898–1980)

    An Art Deco painter, primarily of portraits of those in her circle of artists and socialites. Her work is known for its precise lines, elegance, and decadence. De Lempicka, who emigrated from Russia to Paris and later to the United States, was also famed for her glamour, parties, and unconventional romantic relationships.

  • de Staël, Nicolas (French/Russian, 1913–1955)

    De Staël is recognized for a large number of abstract landscapes that make heavy use of colour blocks, intense hues, and thick impasto. The many ways he applies paint create highly visual works that depict natural forces and movement. In 1919, de Staël’s family fled the Russian Revolution and settled in Poland. He later studied in Brussels at the Académie royale des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, where he was influenced by Cubism and Post-Impressionism.

  • De Stijl (The Style)

    An influential Dutch movement in art and architecture founded in 1917 by abstractionists Piet Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg, and Bart van der Leck. De Stijl originated as a publication in which Mondrian elaborated on Neo-Plasticism, a restrained visual language based on primary colours and simple geometric forms that embodied a spiritualism derived from theosophy. After the First World War, De Stijl embraced the utopian potential of art. De Stijl heavily influenced the International Modern style of architecture.

  • de Tonnancour, Jacques (Canadian, 1917–2005)

    A painter, photographer, and entomologist inspired by nature and vibrant Brazilian landscapes. De Tonnancour’s landscape and figure paintings were influenced by the Group of Seven, Goodridge Roberts, and Pablo Picasso. As a member of the short-lived Prisme d’Yeux group (1948–1949), he opposed the Automatistes. In 1982, he stopped painting and began to study insects. De Tonnancour was named to the Order of Canada in 1979 and to the National Order of Quebec in 1993.

  • de Vlaminck, Maurice (French, 1876–1958)

    A Paris-born painter who, alongside André Derain and Henri Matisse, pioneered the style of Fauvist painting in the very early 1900s, which used intense, unnatural colours to craft highly expressive landscape and urban scenes. De Vlaminck notably criticized the prominence of other modernist art movements prevalent in Europe at the time, especially the Cubism of Pablo Picasso.

  • Dean, Max (British Canadian, b.1949)

    A Leeds, U.K.–born multidisciplinary artist whose work has encompassed performance art, complex photographic self-portraiture, and installations involving robotics and electronics. A well-known example of the latter is As Yet Untitled, 1992–1995, which revolves around a robotic arm that shreds photographs and remains in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s permanent collection.

  • Dean, Tom (Canadian, b.1947)

    A Toronto-based artist whose practice is broadly concerned with the interplay between the everyday and the mythological. After completing his studies in Montreal in the late 1960s, Dean became a founding member of the avant-garde artist-run gallery Véhicule Art in 1972. He settled in Toronto in 1976, and became widely known for his monumental sculpture The Floating Staircase, 1978–81, which floated in Toronto harbour for two years. Dean represented Canada at the 1999 Venice Biennale.

  • Debassige, Blake (Ojibway, b. 1956)

    A painter associated with the second generation of Woodland School artists, Debassige uses a graphic style to explore the intersection of Anishinaabe cosmology and teachings with contemporary social and environmental concerns.

  • decadence

    An artistic and literary movement in Europe during the final years of the eighteenth century. Characterized by novels such as Joris-Karl Huysmans’s À rebours (1884), decadence features literary devices such as neurosis, despair, and mystery taken up in the tradition of Symbolism and the rejection of Naturalism.

  • decalcomania

    Developed in the eighteenth century, decalcomania is a transfer technique in which ink or some other pigment is pressed between two surfaces—often glass, porcelain, paper, or some combination. When paper is used, it may be folded to create a mirror image. The resulting blot may then be embellished or otherwise added to. Decalcomania was adopted by the Surrealists and Automatistes as a way to introduce chance into the making of an image.

  • decorative art

    Decorative art encompasses the design and decoration of objects that are both aesthetic and functional. Craft and applied arts are often considered synonyms. The scope of decorative art objects is wide, including items such as basketry, ceramics, furniture, glassware, jewellery, and textiles.

  • Defeatured Landscapes

    In the late 1960s and early 1970s, artists who would come to be associated with Vancouver photo-conceptualism, including Jeff Wall, created works that they categorized as “defeatured” landscapes. These were images of the urban environment that focused on generic industrial areas and city streets. By contrast to romantic approaches to depicting the Canadian wilderness, through these photographs artists hoped to call attention to the conditions of alienation in capitalist society.

  • DeForest, Henry Josiah (Canadian, 1855–1924)

    DeForest was a Canadian landscape painter best known for his detailed oil paintings of the mountain scenery of Alberta and British Columbia. DeForest was born in New Brunswick and received training at the South Kensington School of Art in London and the Académie Julian in Paris. He travelled and painted extensively in Europe and Australasia. DeForest was a leader of the early arts scene in Vancouver where he served as the first curator of the Museum of Vancouver and on the executive committees of the Arts, Historical & Scientific Association, British Columbia Society of Fine Arts, Arts & Crafts Association, Vancouver Studio Club, Vancouver Photographic Society and the Royal Agricultural and Industrial Society Exhibition at New Westminster.

  • Degas, Edgar (French, 1834–1917)

    A painter, sculptor, printmaker, and draftsman, Degas was aligned with but separate from the Impressionist movement, frequently departing from its norms: he was not interested in changing atmospheric effects and rarely painted outdoors. Characteristic subjects include the ballet, theatre, cafés, and women at their toilette.

  • Delacroix, Eugène (French, 1798–1863)

    A leading French Romantic painter whose use of rich, sensual colours influenced the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Following the Romantic tradition, Delacroix portrayed exoticized Moroccan subjects and dramatic scenes from history and contemporary events. His frenzied brushwork conveyed tragedy and emotion. Among his most well-known paintings is Liberty Leading the People, 1830.

  • Delahaye, Guy (Canadian, 1888–1969)

    Born François-Guillaume Lahaise, Guy Delahaye was inspired by the poetry of Émile Nelligan, whom he discovered during a period of convalescence as an adolescent. His work is associated with the birth of modern Québécois literature, with poems that rejected pastoral subjects of the past. He was the subject of intense criticism after the publication of his first collection, which was condemned as a decadent and pretentious work. Although Delahaye withdrew from public literary activities, he continued to write poetry.

  • Delahaye, Jacques (French, 1928–2010)

    Working in plaster and bronze, Delahaye created roughly modelled figurative sculptures. He was active in the 1950s and early 1960s, exhibiting primarily in France and Germany, including at documenta II in Kassel. At some point after 1960 he shifted his focus from artmaking to teaching, and from 1975 to 1993 he was a professor at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. With Rosaline Granet and Turriddu Clementi, Delahaye established the art foundry Fonderie Berjac in Meudon, France, in 1959.

  • Delaunay, Robert (French, 1885–1941)

    The first truly abstract painter in France. Delaunay’s interest in colour theory—including how colours interact and relate to music and movement—is manifest in almost all of his work. Dubbed Orphism by Guillaume Apollinaire, his style influenced numerous artists and artistic movements, including German Expressionism, Futurism, and Synchromism.

  • Delaunay, Sonia (Russian, 1885–1979)

    A painter and textile designer, Sonia Delaunay was married to Robert Delaunay, with whom she developed Orphism. A leader in the fashion industry during the 1920s, she returned to painting after the collapse of her design business during the Depression. In the 1930s she was associated with the Abstraction-Création group.

  • Delehanty, Suzanne (American, b.1944)

    Beginning with her tenure at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 1971 to 1978, Suzanne Delehanty has been an influential museum director and curator, with positions across the United States. Her work focuses on American contemporary art, with major exhibitions and publications on artists including Agnes Martin, Cy Twombly, and Paul Thek. 

  • Deleuze, Gilles (French, 1925–1995)

    A philosopher of difference, Gilles Deleuze understood that philosophy was a creative activity, and he often focused on questions raised by art and literature. With Félix Guattari, he offered a critique of psychoanalysis that proposes a positive view of desire and a theory of unconscious political collectivity that is neither individual nor familial. Equally a historian, Deleuze chose to highlight neglected philosophies by the rationalist tradition and authors such as Hume, Nietzsche, Bergson, and Spinoza.

  • Delva, Thierry (Belgian/Canadian, b. 1955)

    A sculptor and conceptual artist concerned with issues raised by twentieth-century modernism, including (self-)referentiality, content and form, and material. His work is exhibited regularly throughout Canada. He is a professor at NSCAD University in Halifax.

  • Demuth, Charles (American, 1883–1935)

    A watercolourist and oil painter, Demuth was a key contributor to Precisionism, a movement that imported Cubist influences (like sharp geometric planes and bold colours) to an American landscape. Demuth privately depicted the gay subcultures of Paris and New York.

  • Denis, Maurice (French, 1870–1943)

    A painter, printmaker, designer, and influential theorist whose ideas contributed to the development of the anti-naturalist aesthetic of modernism. Denis was a founding member of the Nabis, an avant-garde artists’ group active in Paris from 1888 to 1900, and is also well known for his later, overtly religious works.

  • Derain, André (French, 1880–1954)

    A painter, sculptor, printmaker, and designer of theatre sets, Derain co-founded the Fauvist movement, active from about 1905 to 1908. He is known for the expressive characteristics typical of Fauvism, including the use of vibrant and unrealistic colours (sometimes straight from the paint tube), simplified forms, and raw canvas that showed in the final product. Derain’s interest in African tribal masks likely influenced Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. His later works turn to a more conservative, Neoclassical style.

  • Descent from the Cross

    A panel painting, c. 1440, by the great Netherlandish artist Rogier van der Weyden, held by the Museo del Prado, Madrid. Considered an example of van der Weyden’s remarkable refinement and spirituality, it is one of the most influential depictions of the Descent of the Early Netherlandish school of painting.

  • Desiderio, Monsù

    It is now known that “Monsù Desiderio” was in fact two artists, François de Nomé (French, c. 1593–after 1644) and Didier Barra (French, c. 1590–1650). Natives of Metz living in Naples, they occasionally worked together. Barra primarily painted views of Naples, while de Nomé is known for his paintings of architecture, ruins, and fantastical buildings.

  • Desvallières, Georges (French, 1861–1950)

    A painter heavily influenced early in his career by the Symbolist Gustave Moreau. Desvallières’s later work portrayed daily life. Still later he concentrated on painting religious subjects; in 1919 he founded the Ateliers d’art sacré with Maurice Denis.

  • Devine, Bonnie (Anishinaabe/Ojibwe, Serpent River First Nation, b. 1952)

    A mixed-media installation artist, videomaker, sculptor, and curator, acclaimed for her explorations of Ojibwe traditions in criticizing colonial legacies. Devine has used textiles, storytelling, and weaving to interrogate complicated issues of land, treaties, and Indigenous-settler contact. She is an associate professor at OCAD University, where she founded the Indigenous Visual Culture Program.

  • Dewdney, Selwyn (Canadian, 1909–1979)

    An artist, teacher, and writer based in London, Ontario, active in the development of the local arts scene at mid-century. One the first Canadians to produce abstract paintings, he was also a scholar of Indigenous art and the co-developer of the country’s first psychiatric art therapy program.

  • Dewey, John (American, 1859–1952)

    An academic, philosopher, and educator, Dewey is associated with the philosophical movement known as pragmatism—specifically experimentalism or instrumentalism—as well as with functional psychology and his concern over social issues. Believing that education was at the root of social and political reform, Dewey lectured on the importance of educational reform, advocating for experiential learning during the 1920s. Among other prominent intellectuals, Dewey founded the New School for Social Research in 1919.

  • Diaghilev, Sergei (Russian, 1872–1929)

    A renowned art critic and impresario, and founder of the Ballets Russes. This innovative company, founded in Paris in 1909, was a watershed in the development of modern performance, bringing artists from all disciplines—many now iconic figures in twentieth-century art—to collaborate in its productions.

  • Díaz de la Peña, Narcisse (French, 1807–1876)

    A landscape painter who, beginning in the early 1830s, established friendships with artists with whom he later formed the Barbizon school. Like most of those artists, he worked extensively in the forest of Fontainebleau, where he often spent his summers. He had a particularly close relationship with fellow Barbizon painter Théodore Rousseau. Diaz de la Peña’s landscapes tend to be more richly painted and to rely on more dramatic lighting effects than do the generally more meditative views of his colleagues.

  • Dibbets, Jan (Dutch, b.1941)

    A Dutch artist known for his Conceptual photography practice that often focuses on geometric forms as well as landscapes and oceans. He trained as an art teacher at the Tilburg Academy and studied painting before gravitating to colour photography. His work can be found in public collections at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Tate Gallery.

  • Dick, Simon (Kwakwaka’wakw, b.1951)

    Born in Alert Bay, B.C., as a young man Dick completed an apprenticeship with the artist Tony Hunt Sr. and worked with Bill Reid. Dick is known as an artist specializing in masks, and he is widely respected as a dancer who has performed at numerous ceremonies. 

  • Dickinson, Preston (American, 1889–1930)

    This American Precisionist painter specialized in industrial subjects and cityscapes rendered with layered geometric shapes. Dickinson studied under William Merritt Chase in New York. His influences included the Parisian Cubists, Paul Cézanne, Futurism, and Japanese prints.

  • Dickinson, Sterling (American, 1909–1998)

    Born in Chicago and educated at prestigious schools in the United States and France, Dickinson travelled to Mexico in 1934 and subsequently spent most of his life there. He became director of the Escuela Universitaria de Bellas Artes in San Miguel de Allende and helped to establish the town as a hub of expatriate American artistic life.

  • Die Brücke (The Bridge)

    A German Expressionist group of artists and architects who were critical of the dominant social order and middle-class sensibilities. Formed in Dresden in 1905 and existing until 1913, the original group consisted of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Erich Heckel, and Fritz Bleyl. Die Brücke embraced a communal atmosphere and a bold artistic style with simple forms and clashing colours.

  • Diebenkorn, Richard (American, 1922–1993)

    Born in Portland, Oregon, Richard Diebenkorn was a California-based artist. Early in his career, he produced abstract work influenced by Henri Matisse, experimenting with a sense of aerial perspective on the landscape developed while he was completing a master’s in fine art at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Diebenkorn established his reputation with the series of figurative works he produced from 1956 to 1966, before returning to abstraction. In all of Diebenkorn’s work the process of painting remains visible in the final canvas.

  • digital art

    Refers to artwork created or manipulated with digital technology, often through the use of computer programs, artificial intelligence, and electronic software. It gained traction in the late 1990s as public access to digital technology and media became more widespread.

  • Dion, Mark (American, b. 1961)

    A conceptual artist, Dion is best known for combining science and art in his installations. He often uses cabinets of curiosity and taxonomic methods to examine how public institutions and dominant ideologies shape human understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. Dion has produced several large commissions and received many accolades, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Lucelia Art Award in 2008.

  • Dix, Otto (German, 1891–1969)

    An Expressionist painter and printmaker who created harshly satirical, sometimes grotesque depictions of figures from Weimar Germany, Dix was a pioneer of the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) movement. War, prostitution, and human depravity were central themes of his work.

  • Documenta

    One of the world’s longest-running international art events and most important recurrent exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. It launched in 1955 in Kassel, Germany, with the primary intention of reintegrating Germany into the international art scene after the Second World War. It takes place in Kassel every five years.

  • Doig, Peter (British, b. 1959)

    An Edinburgh-born artist who lived in Canada during his childhood and youth and later settled in Trinidad. Doig’s paintings command high prices today. Influenced by modernism and popular culture, he uses heightened colour and technique to evoke strange landscapes, often with a human presence and an unsettling, otherworldly mood. He travels widely, always paints in a studio, and often produces works in a series.

  • Domínguez, Óscar (Spanish, 1906–1957)

    Domínguez, a painter, moved to Paris when he was twenty-one, becoming involved in the Surrealist movement led by André Breton. In the 1930s he began using the technique of decalcomania to create works, and he introduced fellow Surrealist Max Ernst to this method of artmaking. Domínguez’s style shows the influence of Pablo Picasso’s Cubist works, and bulls appear frequently in his paintings.

  • Dominion Gallery of Fine Art

    One of the foremost commercial galleries in Canada, the Dominion Gallery in Montreal was founded in 1941 by Rose Millman. The gallery was purchased in 1947 by Max Stern, who became its major proponent and director for the next forty years. The gallery promoted contemporary Canadian artists, both established and emerging, and was the first in Canada to offer represented artists a guaranteed annual income. The gallery closed in December 2000, reopening in 2005.

  • Dona, Lydia (Romanian/American, b. 1955)

    Dona trained in Jerusalem before moving to New York, where she studied under Keith Haring at the School of Visual Arts. Her brightly coloured paintings straddle the line between abstraction and figuration, rigid geometry and gesture. Graffiti-like forms figure prominently in her canvases.

  • Donoahue, Jim (Canadian, 1934–2022)

    An Ontario-born graphic designer, he trained at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. Mentor and teacher Allan Fleming was a great influence, and he eventually worked with Fleming at the graphic design firm Cooper & Beatty in Toronto. Donoahue went on to positions at leading creative agencies in Toronto, and his most famous design was for the Canada wordmark, adopted by the Government of Canada in 1980.

  • Doray, Audrey Capal (Canadian, b. 1931)

    A multimedia artist working in electronics, film, painting, and printmaking, Montreal-born Capal Doray arrived in Vancouver in the late 1950s. Through her involvement in the multidisciplinary art space New Design Gallery and her position as an instructor at the Vancouver School of Art, she became part of the transformation of the city’s art scene in the postwar period. She is married to fellow artist Victor Doray.

  • Doré, Gustave (French, 1832–1883)

    Doré worked in various media, including painting and sculpture, but was best known as a popular caricaturist, illustrator, and printmaker. He produced large numbers of wood engravings for many publications, including literary works by authors such as Dante Alighieri, John Milton, Cervantes, Lord Byron, Edgar Allan Poe, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Technically brilliant, his illustrations and prints were often characterized by their exploitation of fantasy, excess, and the sublime.

  • Doris McCarthy Gallery

    A public art gallery located at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus, which opened in 2004 and is named after the artist Doris McCarthy. The gallery’s permanent collection houses over 2,000 contemporary works of art and two fonds of archival material from McCarthy.

  • Dorland, Kim (Canadian, b. 1974)

    A Canadian landscape and portrait painter known for his thick, almost sculptural, impasto surfaces. In the 2013–14 exhibition You Are Here: Kim Dorland and the Return to Painting at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, in Kleinburg, Ontario, fifty of his paintings hung alongside works by Tom Thomson, David Milne, and Emily Carr.

  • Dorset Fine Arts

    The wholesale marketing division of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative (now Kinngait Studios), based in Toronto and established in 1978, Dorset Fine Arts makes available to an international market Inuit sculptures, drawings, and prints.

  • Douglas, Stan (Canadian, b.1960)

    Since the 1980s, Vancouver-based artist Stan Douglas has been recognized internationally for his diverse image-based practice, which explores moments of social transformation through the creation of speculative histories. Douglas was the artist selected to represent Canada in the 2022 Venice Biennale.

  • Dove, Arthur (American, 1880–1946)

    An important American modernist and one of the first artists in the United States to create entirely non-representational works. Among Dove’s clear influences are the French avant-garde painters Henri Matisse and Paul Cézanne as well as Cubism and Futurism. His first solo exhibition was held at Alfred Stieglitz’s 291 gallery in New York.

  • Dow, Arthur Wesley (American, 1857–1922)

    An American painter, photographer, and printmaker deeply inspired by Japanese woodblock prints, often making use of minimalist compositions; flattened, soft colours; and unconventional cropping techniques in his work. He was largely based in New York City, where he taught at the Pratt Institute, the New York Art Students League, and Columbia University’s Teachers College. In 1891 he founded the Ipswich Summer School of Art in his hometown of Ipswich, Massachusetts.

  • Dowdeswell Gallery

    A gallery opened in about 1878 by art dealer Charles William Dowdeswell in London, England. The Dowdeswell Gallery supported rising English artists from 1878 to the early 1920s, exhibiting their paintings and publishing their prints. Among the artists promoted by the gallery were James McNeill Whistler, Myles Birket Foster, and Byam Shaw.

  • Dreier, Katherine (American, 1877–1952)

    A painter, collector, patron, and—following her exposure to the European avant-garde with the 1913 Armory Show—a fierce promoter of modern art in the United States. To champion this cause, Dreier co-founded the Société Anonyme with Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray in 1920.

  • Drouin, Michèle (Canadian, b. 1933)

    A poet and painter whose early figurative paintings were influenced by Jean Paul Lemieux, with whom she studied at the l’École des Beaux-Arts de Québec (now part of Université Laval) in 1951. In the 1970s Drouin turned to abstraction. The discovery of surrealist poetry informed both her writing and her art, which is more sensual than the work of the Plasticiens who were active in Montreal at the time. In 1992 she was named to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

  • dry plate process

    Developed in 1871 by Richard Leach Maddox, and improved upon by Richard Kennett and Charles Bennett in 1873 and 1878, the dry plate process revolutionized photography with its convenience by comparison to the wet collodion process that preceded it. Rather than needing to be exposed, sensitized, and developed while still wet, the dry plate process allowed a silver bromide gelatin emulsion to dry on glass plates that could then be transported and exposed at a later time.

  • drypoint

    An intaglio printmaking technique in which an image is scratched onto a (usually copper) plate with a needle-like instrument. This method produces a softened line due to raised edges in the metal around the scratched image and is best for creating small editions of works. Drypoint is often used in combination with etching.

  • Du Creux, François (French, 1596–1666)

    A priest and historian who entered into the Jesuit order in 1614. He is the author of the Historiae Canadensis (1664), an illustrated history of Canada that Du Creux compiled from conversations with missionaries who had been in New France, including Jean de Brébeuf and Father Paul Le Jeune.

  • Dubuffet, Jean (French, 1901–1985)

    A rebellious avant-garde artist whose career spanned some fifty years and encompassed painting, sculpting, and printmaking. Dubuffet railed against intellectual authority in culture, countering it with art brut (literally, “raw art”). His oeuvre evidences frequent shifts in style and impassioned experimentation.

  • Duchamp-Villon, Raymond (French, 1876–1918)

    A sculptor and the brother of artist Marcel Duchamp, he was an early and instrumental promoter of the Cubists as a jury member of the Salon d’Automne. Duchamp-Villon began creating Cubist sculptures in 1910, gradually moving toward the more energetic and mechanistic style visible in his last work, Le cheval (Horse), 1914.

  • Duchamp, Marcel (French/American, 1887–1968)

    One of the most significant artist-thinkers of the twentieth century, Duchamp influenced Conceptual, Pop, and Minimal art. Best known for the sensational painting Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2), 1912, he is also recognized for his ready-made sculptures, among them the urinal Fountain, 1917, and his “desecrated” Mona Lisa print, L.H.O.O.Q., 1919.

  • Duff, Wilson (Canadian, 1925–1976)

    An anthropologist trained at the University of British Columbia and the University of Washington, Duff was curator of anthropology at the British Columbia Provincial Museum (now the Royal BC Museum) and its archives in Victoria from 1950 to 1965. While in this position, he became involved in totem pole preservation projects.

  • Duguay, Rodolphe (Canadian, 1891–1973)

    Rodolphe Duguay was a landscape painter who also practised wood engraving. He studied in France for seven years before returning to Quebec in 1927. He existed on the margins of the artistic milieu of his time. A rural and Catholic painter, he did not take part in the debates surrounding the new modernist aesthetic in Montreal, nor did he take orders from the church.

  • Dumas, Paul (Canadian, 1928–2005)

    An art critic, historian, and collector who wrote on such notable Quebec artists as Alfred Pellan, Benoît East, Jean Paul Lemieux, Claude Picher, Paul André, and Jean Dallaire. Dumas was also a medical doctor, with an interest in the role of art in the history of medicine.

  • Dumouchel, Albert (Canadian, 1916–1971)

    A painter, printmaker, and educator. Over the course of his career, Dumouchel worked variously in Surrealist, abstract, and figurative modes, producing a body of work that reflects the trajectory of modern art in Quebec. In 1948, he signed the Prisme d’yeux manifesto spearheaded by the painter Alfred Pellan.

  • Duncan, Alma (Canadian, 1917–2004)

    A painter, graphic artist, and filmmaker, Duncan worked across figurative and abstract styles in a prolific career that spanned the twentieth century. While part of the graphics department of the National Film Board of Canada in the 1940s, she met her partner Audrey McLaren, with whom she would form the experimental film company Dunclaren Productions. During the Second World War she documented industrial production related to the war effort in Montreal.

  • Duncan, Douglas (Canadian, 1902–1968)

    An early advocate of Canadian art, Duncan was a bookbinder, art dealer, and collector. He was a founder and became director of Toronto’s Picture Loan Society, which was the first gallery in Canada to facilitate the purchase of art by making works available for lease.

  • Dunham, Carroll (American, b. 1949)

    An abstract painter active since the 1970s in New York, whose early works evoke modernist predecessors such as Arshile Gorky and André Masson. Dunham’s more recent paintings often display cartoon-like forms, lurid colours, and an interest in organic matter.

  • Dupré, Jules (French, 1811–1889)

    A landscape and marine painter and a leading member of the Barbizon school, although he seldom took the forest of Fontainebleau as a subject. As a young artist, Dupré had been influenced by the work of the English Romantic landscape painter John Constable. Throughout his career he was less interested than most of his Barbizon colleagues in exploring the shifting effects of light than he was in transmuting the landscape into emotionally evocative visual statements.

  • Dürer, Albrecht (German, 1471–1528)

    A German printmaker, painter, and theorist active during the Renaissance. Dürer is best known for his intricate woodblock prints, which transformed the medium into a respected art form like sculpture and painting. One of the most prominent figures of the Northern Renaissance, Dürer travelled to Italy and played a significant role in the exchange of artistic knowledge between northern and southern Europe. He is recognized for his religious prints and paintings, accomplished portraits and self-portraits, and treatises on perspective and human proportions.

  • Durham, Jimmie (American, b. 1940)

    A sculptor, poet, and activist involved in the American Indian Movement of the 1970s, Durham is known for combining natural materials and found objects to challenge Western representations of North American Indigenous peoples. While Durham identifies as Cherokee, in 2017 his claims as such were rejected by prominent Cherokee groups, artists, and curators.

  • Dutch Gallery

    The Dutch Gallery was opened in 1892 as the London, England, branch of the Amsterdam-based E.J. van Wisselingh & Co. art dealership. Operating until the First World War, the gallery exhibited especially Barbizon and Hague School landscapes and genre scenes. The Dutch Gallery was renamed E.J. van Wisselingh’s Gallery in 1906.

  • Dutch Golden Age

    This period of the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic saw rapid economic growth based on trade, shipbuilding, advancements in energy technology, colonization, and the predominance of Protestantism. The arts and several other fields flourished as the population boomed, wages grew, and patronage increased. The nation became one of the world’s wealthiest, with Amsterdam positioned as the arts capital. Notable figures of this era include philosopher Baruch Spinoza and painters Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt van Rijn.

  • dye transfer printing

    A photographic process whereby colours are printed separately and then layered and combined to create a final saturated image. An early version of the process was first used by Technicolor in the late 1920s; the dye transfer materials were manufactured by the Eastman Kodak Company, who improved and commercialized the process in 1946. In the postwar years it was used widely in commercial photography and advertising.

  • dynamic symmetry

    A design theory developed by Jay Hambidge, which had a profound influence on both abstract and representational painters during the 1920s and 1930s. Dynamic symmetry is a proportioning system, whereby mathematical formulas are the foundation of the proportion and symmetry of classical architecture and various natural structures.

  • Dyonnet, Edmond (French/Canadian, 1859–1954)

    Born in Crest, France, Dyonnet immigrated to Canada with his family in 1875. After studying in Turin and Naples, he established a career as an artist in Montreal. He became a professor at the Conseil des arts et manufactures in Montreal, and he was secretary to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts from 1910 to 1949.

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