Studio 21 collector selections Winter 2021

Published Feb 17 2021

Every now and then we dig through our inventory and come up with some ideas to offer collectors. Here are some current selections from our inventory that we think have special potential. Please also visit our website for a range of other works from these artists and others. They are in three categories: 

Well established in the market with more work to come:
Alex Livingston
Richard Thomas Davis

Estates and Second Market
Gerald Ferguson
Harold Town

Emerging Artists
Vanessa Cornell
Kizi Spielmann-Rose

Alex Livingston is a Professor in Painting at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University). Born in Kingston, Ontario he received a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and an MA Fine Arts from the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, England.
In 2005, the Dalhousie University Art Gallery mounted a large 20-year survey exhibition of Alex Livingston’s painting. This exhibition represented a juncture in his practice. After 2005, he began a shift from oil on canvas painting toward digital explorations – partly due to environmental sensitivities to paint solvents, and partly due to the allure of new frontiers for image making. The result has been a series of exhibitions of artwork that feature large digital paintings that investigate form, composition and pictorial space in new ways.


The first series were black & white: “Part gigantic electronic doodles, part expansive, painting-like gestures, the interwoven cable-forms ultimately generate a new kind of visual territory.”

Next came colour abstractions, Chromophilia Digitalis which “offer, for example, what appear to be vibrant, intensely saturated “tubular” skeins of colour (one wants to think of them as “tubular” because they frequently demonstrate a digitally-hewn, shadow-casting “roundness”), sometimes juxtaposed, sidling up to one another, and shouldering one another in a demonstration of a (sentimentally) satisfying fictive “mass” or “weight”….” (both quotes above from Globe and Mail art critic Gary Michael Dault )

In 2017, Livingston turned to Flowers combining painterly still life with futuristic, digital flora. And in 2019, Studio 21 offered Livingston’s series DEER, again with a focus on the intersections between the natural and digital realms. The portrayal of deer in treed landscapes link to his research on the history of natural history dioramas.Studio 21 offers Livingston’s digital explorations, all in limited editions of 3 to 4 prints. Livingston prints these large – and they are mounted on aluminum structures that float off the wall. They bring a painter’s sensibility of space and colour into the digital medium and to the artist they are definitely paintings, made with a digital toolbox.


Alex Livingston

A Night in the Forest 2019
pigment ink on di-bond
47 x 55.7 inches






Richard Thomas Davis is an (almost) Nova Scotia secret. His extraordinary handling of the high realist style puts him in the very top echelon of painters in this genre. His methods are very similar to the 17th century Dutch masters, using hand mixed pigments in egg tempera and oil. Born in Middletown, New York in 1947, Davis attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia from 1965-1966. His work resides in numerous public and private collections throughout North America, and he has had many solo and group exhibits. Richard Davis was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2011. In 2014 he was the winner of the national “Kingston Portrait Prize”, with a purse of $20,000. Since then, most of his new works have found immediate buyers. In 2019, Davis was the honorable mention winner of the prestigious Figurativas competition in Barcelona for the painting Kindling and Mirrors, 50” x 56”, a masterwork that shows off Davis’ ability to depict surfaces of wood, glass and stone, illuminated from a source in the upper left corner. (available for purchase) 

In 2019, Studio 21 became Davis’ sole gallery and introduced his paintings to Nova Scotians for the first time in a solo exhibition with a variety of recent landscapes, still lifes and portraits. Davis’ technique is extremely time consuming and therefore his output is very small and opportunities to buy his work are rare. He is under-recognized in the market to date.

Richard Thomas Davis
Kindling and Mirrors
oil over tempera on panel

50 x 56 inches

price upon request


Harold Town was one of the best known of the Painters Eleven, based in Toronto in the 1950’s, who threw off the landscape-based reputation of Canadian art. His work is highly eclectic, ranging through many contemporary and historical styles.

Studio 21 offers a selection of work directly from Town’s estate. Included are “SAP”’s (Single Autographic Prints) which he developed in the 1950s. These mono prints were acquired by the Solomon Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Alfred Barr the director of MoMA at the time called Town “one of the world’s greatest printmakers.”

Also at Studio 21 is a remarkable example of the “Silent Lights” series from 1969-70. This series of hard-edged abstracts was inspired by Town’s overloaded Christmas tree falling over, with a resulting destruction of many glass ornaments. Town collected the shards and became fascinated by the mixing of colored light. He made a serious of
“ingeniously complex paintings, in which layer upon layer of paint is laid down by progressive shielding with masking tape”. David Burnett, Town, p. 135, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1986)

Silent Light #17
oil and lucite on canvas
26 x 36 inches
Price upon request

(1937 – 2009)
Studio 21 offers a painting by Gerald (Jerry) Ferguson from a local collector in Halifax.
Ferguson came to Halifax in 1968 at the invitation of Garry Kennedy, the newly appointed president of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and taught there until 2006. Together Kennedy and Ferguson transformed NSCAD into an internationally renowned art college. An influential and rigorous teacher, Ferguson initiated many important programs at the college, including the Lithography Workshop, the NSCAD Press, the Visiting Artists series and the New York Loft. Ferguson’s studio production represented an ongoing commitment to an examination of the conventions of painting and to the deconstruction of its strategies. He has made significant contributions to minimal, process and conceptual art through his “task-oriented” paintings, which involved the use of stencils, spray paint, household enamel applied with rollers, and similar utilitarian, commonplace materials and methods. Despite their matter-of-fact production and the artist’s skeptical posture, the paintings display a surprising elegance. Ferguson was included in the defining show of conceptual art at the Museum of Modern Art in 1970 titled Information. Over the years his work was exhibited and collected internationally and nationally with important exhibitions in Cologne, Los Angeles, New York and Warsaw, and in Canada in Calgary, Halifax, Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa (National Gallery of Canada). In 1995 he received the $50 000 Canada Council Molson Prize in the Arts.

Gerald Ferguson
Fence #7 (2005)
enamel on canvas
49 x 53.5 inches
Price upon request


Vanessa Cornell is a newcomer to Studio 21 and offers work at a very modest price. These are best purchased in suites. Please look at a larger selection on the Studio 21 website. We can vouch for Vanessa as highly professional, determined, and thoughtful artist with a future.

Currently residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Vanessa Cornell’s multimedia approach questions and re-evaluates photography and painting and how these frequently opposing mediums can work together. She often employs other processes and mediums to continue her on going enquiry of the commonly clichéd female identity, including beauty and constructed identities, aging, sexuality, domesticity and the crucial “alone time”. Through her “mixed media” approach she creates honest, unapologetic and often satirical narratives of women in their domestic spaces.

Cornell received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University (2009), an MFA from the University of Windsor (2014) and most recently a Post-Baccalaureate from NSCAD University (2018) all with honours or distinction. Vanessa has participated in exhibitions throughout Canada and the United States and been featured in publications including Brenda Magazine (UK), Barbed (USA) and C-Print Journal (Sweden).

Vanessa Cornell, 

photo and digital painting on paper
each 12” x 12” paper size
























Kizi Spielmann-Rose is another newcomer with vision. He holds an MFA from the University of Ottawa and a BFA from NSCAD University. Accolades include being named a finalist in both the 19th and 20th RBC Canadian Painting Competitions.

His drawings-paintings have a huge sense of the material. Layers of oil and oil pastel are incised with undulating lines. Kizi states that his influences are diverse: Baroque exuberance, Art Deco ornamentation, and Fauvist colour, which are all brought to bear on images which recall 20th century lyrical and biomorphic abstraction. “I am fascinated by the mechanics of vision, the sheer physical marvel of sight. While I am wary of overtly assigning meaning, the wave-forms that traverse the surface of my work are, in an oblique way, images of the vibratory operations that underpin light and vision.”

























Kizi Spielmann-Rose
Road Trip Weather
oil & oil pastel on paper
30 x 22 inches

Studio 21