The art of Gerard Collins resists categorisation. Over a 50-year career, Collins’s conceptual imagination and dizzying array of influences has produced a body of work as eclectic as it is stimulating. His oeuvre, ranging from still lifes to landscapes, from realism to neo-conceptualism, remains undeniably embedded in Saint John, while partaking in — and pushing against — national and international conversations about art and theory.
Featuring over 75 reproductions of Collins’s work, including examples from his famous Women in Hats, 100 Portraits, and Harlequin series, Gerard Collins: Fifty Years of Painting is the first book to encompass Collins’s entire career, from his early training at St. Martin’s School of Art and under the “NSCAD school,” to his return to Saint John and pandemic-era experiments with online pop-up galleries. Robert Barriault, a contemporary of Collins at NSCAD, develops a fresh critical methodology to analyze Collins’s enigmatic vocabulary, drawing connections and identifying distinctive features of Collins’s massive body of work.