About David Charles Bierk
David Bierk (9 June 1944, Appleton, Minnesota – August 28, 2002), was an American-born Canadian painter. His work is exhibited at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New York City. According to Askart.com, Bierk was primarily active in California and Canada, and he was best known for producing landscape paintings, as well as paintings incorporating "Old Master appropriations". Bierk evidently became a Canadian citizen, for Artcyclopedia.com calls him an "American-born Canadian Painter". According to artnet.com, Bierk became a Canadian citizen in 1978]. Under the heading of "Paintings in Museums and Public Art Galleries" for this artist, Artcyclopedia lists the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, British Columbia; the Art Gallery of Peterborough, Ontario; and the Ellen Gallery at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec.
Among David Bierk's children are actress Dylan Bierk, professional hockey goal tender Zac Bierk, Toronto based photographer Jeff Bierk, Toronto based painters Charles Bierk, Nick and Alex Bierk and former lead singer of Skid Row Sebastian Bach. His most widely recognizable work is the 1991 album cover of Skid Row's Slave to the Grind.
In a June 2001 Art in America review, critic Jonathan Goodman writes that "Bierk quotes from the past not so much to critique current art as to reinterpret a way of seeing that he associates with artists as disparate as Vermeer, Eakins, Ingres, Manet and Fantin-Latour", and that Bierk "accomplishes this particularly well when he starkly juxtaposes two or three of his eclectic art-historical references within a single work." Noting the work's "virtuoso" technical quality, Goodman also observes that Bierk's "marvelously romantic" landscape paintings are, unlike these referential paintings, invented images, rather than appropriated or copied from masterworks. Both Goodman's review and Bierk's 2002 New York Times obituary note that Bierk used framing to call attention, in a way that is pointedly "postmodern", to the historical disjunction between the evoked masterworks and the contemporary cultural environment: "He painted copies of works by artists like Vermeer or the Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church, for example, and framed them within broad steel panels, setting up a tension between humanism and old masterly craft on the one hand, and Modernist abstraction and industrial fabrication on the other." Thus, the manner in which the painting is framed is often intrinsic to the work itself.