Nicholas Bierk

Home: Toronto, ON
Title: On the Ferry
Media: Oil on linen
Dimensions: 30.5 x 25.5


Nicholas Bierk (b. 1985 Peterborough Ontario), studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. Bierk lives and works in Toronto and has exhibited work in Canada and the United States. He is the son of Canadian painter David Bierk and brother to Jeff, Alex and Charles, also artists.


On the Ferry is a portrait of my partner, Canadian artist Darby Milbrath, whom I have returned to as a subject throughout our time spent together as a couple. The painting depicts her bathed in sunlight on a long awaited journey home, caught in a moment when the spiritual and sensual dissolve into a singular sense of euphoria. In speaking of Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Teresa, art historian Irvin Lanvin said, “The transverberation becomes a point of contact between earth and heaven, between matter and spirit.”

Portraiture has been the constant in my painting practice. It was presented to me early in life by my late father, David Bierk, through his own work and through the artists he loved and admired. Additionally, he instilled in me a strong desire to let the studio be a place to play, to explore and to fail. In doing so, my work is varied in terms of its subject matter and execution, while remaining connected by a dotted line that leads back to him.

Rhode Island School of Design, 2007, Painting

Selected Exhibitions
2019 Art on Paper Fair, New York, NY
2018 Drawings, Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto ON
2018 20 years, Katharine Mulherin Gallery, Toronto ON
2017 Artist in Residence, The Sussex Contemporary, Ottawa ON
2017 Kingston prize finalist (Canada wide Portrait Competition), Firehall theatre, Ganaoque, Peel Art Gallery, Archives & Museum, Artport Gallery (Harbourfront Centre)
2017 Group show, Katharine Mulherin Gallery, Toronto
2017 Nick Bierk: Paintings, NO FOUNDATION, Toronto
2016 Two Comets Racing Across the Sky, Project Gallery, Toronto
2015 The Cultivated Landscape, CK2, Montreal
2015 AGO Massive, The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
2014 After, The Art Gallery of Peterborough, Peterborough ON
2013 Cone Monochramy, J. Cacciola Gallery, New York, NY
2013 Toronto International Art Fair (TIAF), J. Cacciola Gallery, Toronto
2012 Context Miami, J. Cacciola Gallery, Miami
2010 Family Portrait: A Group Show by Four Brothers, CRAM Gallery, St. Catherines, ON
2007 Senior Painting Show, Woods-Gerry Gallery, Providence, RI