Iain Baxter came to British Columbia in 1964 and from there built an enviable world-wide reputation as an artist specializing in photo conceptualism – a form of art that emphasizes ideas over images.
This was the first global art movement of the post Second World War, and Mr. Baxter led what became known as the Vancouver School, a generation of photo-conceptual artists whose works are appreciated and prized around the world.
Mr. Baxter is Canada’s first conceptual artist, making innovative use of photography and pioneering the use of plastics in art. His highly regarded conceptual installations and environmental projects have earned him the label the Marshall McLuhan of the visual arts. His works are in the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Belkin Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Museum of Modern Art, N.Y., Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague.
Mr. Baxter was born in England, came to Canada at age one, studied in the United States and Japan before choosing British Columbia as his home. He taught at U.B.C., Emily Carr College, S.F.U, where he designed the university logo and set up Visual Arts in the Centre for Communications and the Arts. From his base in Vancouver, he traveled to lecture elsewhere in Canada, the United States and Europe.
Now, retired from his academic career, Iain Baxter remains active as an artist. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and has received the Order of Ontario, honorary doctorates from UBC and the University of Windsor, the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, the Canada Council Molson Prize for the arts and the Gershon Iskowitz Prize – both for Lifetime Achievement.