Alex Bierk

Alex Bierk

September 13 – October 27


Fugitive Pigment review by Earl Miller


Through a personal lens, Bierk’s painting practice examines past and future identities, and over the past few years has focused on his experience with addiction and loss, being a new father, and archiving his experience in small town Ontario – where he grew up and has subsequently returned with his family. The works are as much an attempt to reconcile the past as they are the future: Bierk strives to capture candid and authentic expressions of the often conflicted, ephemeral intersection of past and present. His painting practice draws on both personal photography and photorealistic painting traditions to create images that express the complex processes of memory, history, and place.

Bierk makes paintings by reframing and reworking photographs taken from his everyday. The scenes are characterized by personal themes and the images are largely undirected; for example, the paintings in his exhibition “Pitfalls and Withdrawals” (2013) used images taken by his twin brother Jeff. He found the photos after leaving rehab and they recounted a story of addiction and loss, including the death of both parents. The series communicated a struggle unique to his but found its cultural context in the recent and widespread epidemic of OxyContin abuse in Ontario. By using candid photographic snapshots as the basis for these paintings, Bierk exposed an unglamorous autobiography, in contrast to the sensationalized depictions of opiate abuse found in popular media.

Bierk’s labour-intensive works combine personal history with wider economic and social contexts, resulting in paintings that express the complexities of emotional and lived realities.

Alex Bierk (b. 1982, Peterborough, ON) has presented works on paper in exhibitions in Copenhagen, Paris and Stockholm. Alex has exhibited his paintings in group and solo exhibitions internationally as well as in numerous art fairs: UNTITLED (New York), Art Toronto, Scope (Miami), Papier 14 (Montreal) and Art Southampton. His work is held in the collections of the Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank and the Art Gallery of Peterborough along with many private collections. In 2013, he was a finalist for the Kingston Prize, a national biannual portrait competition, and is the recipient of grants from the Toronto and Ontario Arts Councils, as well as the Canada Council for the Arts. Bierk’s exhibitions have been featured in The Toronto Star and Canadian Art Magazine. Alex Bierk lives and works in Peterborough, Ontario.

The artist wishes to acknowledge the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council.

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Forerunners exhibition review by Annie Jaeger

Canadian Art Magazine Must See Shows
Bierk’s recently awarded mural commission is installed at Simcoe and Queen Street in Peterborough. Bierk is listed as one of 10 most talked about painters in Toronto

Studio Beat interview

Pitfalls and Withdrawals: Solo exhibition @ GHC
Related reviews:

Toronto Star review by Murray Whyte

Untitled: Toronto Star review

NOW Magazine Must- See-Shows

ArtBitch review

Canadian Art Magazine review

Alex Bierk: Forest City Gallery Blog write up



January 22, 2011 6:32 pm

steven smith

Hi Alex,

It is nice to see someone who is passionate and loves what he creates, nice work Alex.

Happy Birthday!

steven smith

December 13, 2011 12:55 pm

Spencer Cathcart

Had a chance to meet and see Alexs’ work at one of his many showings in Toronto. Not only is his work provocative, stunning and deeply personal; but he’s an amazing guy to meet and a must have in your rolodex.


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