Biography: An apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, Toronto-born oil, acrylics, and watercolour painter Gordon Adaskin graduated from the Vancouver School of Art (1952) with Honours in Drawing and Painting. His professional experience ranged from docent and Assistant Curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery (1955 – 1956) and arts commentator on Radio CJOR Vancouver (1956 – 1958) to partnership in Design Consulting Firm (1975 – 1976) and Acting Head of the University of Manitoba’s Department of Environmental Studies (1984).
One of Adaskin’s students, John Glassco, described him as “a profoundly sensitive and thoughtful teacher who was one of the few who gave… advance warnings about the difficulties … [and] the rewards and satisfactions available to those of us who chose to pursue a career in the arts. Gordon never referred to himself as an artist. If he was addressed in this way, he would correct the speaker and explain that he was merely a painter. He was a modest man of enormous wisdom.”
Adaskin staged many solo exhibitions, including at Alberta House in London, Maison Canadienne in Paris, Melnychenko Gallery in Winnipeg, and Bau-Xi Gallery in Vancouver. Numerous public collections house his work, including those of the Winnipeg Public Library, the University of Saskatchewan, and the National Gallery of Canada. He received the Canada Packers Purchase Prize, and was appointed to the Royal Canadian Academy of Artists (1976).
Adaskin died at his home in Gibsons, British Columbia in 2001.