Besner Research Project

Born in 1965 in North Lancaster, Ontario, Besner's work typically feature phantom-like figures dressed in elaborate costumes against decorative backdrops. Known as Madonnas, these often haunting figures embody the artist’s autobiographical mode of expression whilst too functioning as communicative mediators between the space and reality of the spectators, on the one hand, and the artist’s incomparable imagination on the other. With an intimate knowledge of his materials, dramatic forms, and architecture, Besner finds a channel through which to express his deeply cerebral perception of the world.

Rooted in the authors’ collective training in art history, this publication presents a collective and critical response to Besner’s works in the hopes of provoking scholarly reflection. In specific, the collection includes three essays, each of which approaches distinct aspects of the artist’s oeuvre and and style. The three articles published herein were brought together as a discussion of Besner’s formal and material configurations with the intention of shining a critical light on the artist and his singular oeuvre.


A contemporary intervention: Dominic Besner and the Commedia Troupe

Hayley M.L. Eaves

Memories in the Oeuvre of Dominic Besner

Charlotte Jacob-Maguire

Painting the Urban Experience: The Second Birth of Dominic Besner

Anthony Portulese

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