In this dynamic sculpture, the traditional pedestal is transformed into a dynamic situation in three-dimensional space. Perched atop a copper-green globe, a crouched nude figure clutches the wire circles running through this work. Using imagery and symbolism, Robinson describes this work as “this figure is leveraged against collapse becoming an unmoored monument that becomes an emblem not of status, but of equilibrium.” David Robinson’s figurative works push the human body to the edges of extremes, creating a psychological connection with the viewer.
Contemporary artist David Robinson’s figurative sculptures speak to the inherent tensions of life, myth, and monument. He works in a variety of materials ranging from bronze, steel, and silver to concrete, mirror and paper but always employs the historically traditional form of representational modelling. This decision is deliberate, as much of his work allegorically expresses our alienation from both the past and future.
The human figure is the nucleus of Robinson’s complex sculptural works, which are made through the historically traditional form of representational modelling and metal casting. By situating human figures in a variety of contexts, such struggling to free themselves from whirling globe or poised on the edge of a void, are meant to provide a narrative for both personal and communal catharsis.
Born in Toronto in 1964, David Robinson grew up in his father’s church and loyally attended until his father retired. He entered the Fine Arts stream in high school specialising in sculpture. He continued his studies at Langara College and became an Honours Graduate in the Sculpture Program at the Ontario College of Art.
A great deal of Robinson’s sculpture figures engaged in daunting labours, struggling to meet physical challenges in arduous and overwhelming settings. The artist began to consider this theme in the 1980s, during his time in Toronto at the Ontario College of Art, when he served as a teaching assistant to the sculptor George Boileau, an early influence. In an era of conceptualism and media art, Boileau remained fiercely committed to the human subject and emphasised the tactility of his materials.
Robinson’s reinvention of figurative iconography in sculpture was evident early in his artistic practice. Three years after graduating from the Ontario College of Art in 1987, he was given his first professional exhibition at Vancouver’s Regent College and was signed by the prestigious Diane Farris Gallery.
In 2018, Robinson’s large public installation, Windward Calm, travels vertically through the 7-storey glass atrium at the Gordon and Leslie Diamond Centre at Vancouver General Hospital. Robinson created the work with the viewer’s emotional state in mind and demonstrates the power of art to aid in the healing process. The same year, another public project, Reflections on the River, for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo was recognized at the Creative City Summit as one of Canada’s best public art projects of 2018. Robinson has produced numerous solo shows, and participated in many group exhibits nationally and internationally. His sculptures have been commissioned by such clients as Polygon Homes, the Four Seasons Hotel Resort in Whistler, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, and Century Group.
His work is in many private and corporate collections including the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Dentons Canada LLP, Painted Rock Estate Winery, Toronto Dominion Bank, and Vancouver General Hospital, City of New Westminster, BC, City of Richmond, BC, Civic Hotel Surrey, Concordia University in Irvine, CA, the McMurray Airport Authority, Four Seasons Hotel Resort, Whistler, McAlpine and Associates, North America-Hotel Arts in Calgary, Paul Sangha Creative, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Toronto Dominion Bank, Trent University, West Coast Reduction, Vancouver General Hospital.
Robinson currently lives and works in Vancouver.