David Tycho


About the Artist:

David Tycho was born in Vancouver and went on to study painting under renowned Canadian artist Gordon Smith at the University of British Columbia, where in 1983 David received a degree in visual arts education. After working through a number of Modernist styles, he arrived at his personal interpretation of figurative expressionism, which remained his focus until moving to Asia in 1984.

In Japan, David was particularly intrigued by the calligraphy of Zen monks, whose fluid, gestural brushwork often rendered the characters illegible, and ultimately abstract. At the same time, he was also inspired by the paintings of Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Franz Kline and Willem deKooning, and David soon began to explore abstraction for himself.

In 1990, David began working through a number of abstract styles: from gestural, painterly expressionism, to hard-edged minimalism.

In 1995, David began making treks into wilderness areas of North America, from the austere deserts of Nevada and California to the coastal rainforests of British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. Forms and colors of the natural environment found their way onto his palette, and, in combination with intuitive aesthetic impulses, the resulting works were a synthesis of landscape painting and abstraction. This remained David's source of inspiration and painting process for many years.

A trip to Asia in 2011 rekindled David’s interest in Japanese art, and his 2012 exhibition “The Japan Series” is inspired and informed by this. His reacquaintance with the dynamism of Tokyo has spawned an interest in urban themes and motifs, resulting in his more recent "Urban Rhapsody" and "Metropolis" series. In addition to this, he is experimenting with abstract images and mixed media techniques.

Tycho's inclusion in the 2014 "Paint the City Project", during which his paintings appeared on 22 giant digital billboards in the Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal areas for one month, was a new format for bringing his art out of galleries and museums and onto the streets. His works also frequently appear on movie and television sets.

Over the past 25 years, David has exhibited his works in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Penticton, Whistler, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Seattle, Los Angeles, Brussels, Geneva, Singapore and Manila, and his work is collected worldwide. He has also donated a number of paintings to non-profit organizations, institutions, and charities, including Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, and Unite with Art, a Vancouver auction to raise money for UNICEF.

In addition to painting, David is an often-published writer of articles and book contributions on art, social issues, travel and the wilderness, and he was the winner of a Canadian Literary Award for a personal essay on Nevada’s Great Basin Desert. He frequently appears on radio and television and in print media.

David now divides his time between painting, writing, traveling, cycling, hiking and karate. He currently lives and works in Vancouver.



B.Ed. in Visual Arts Education, U.B.C., 1983. Studied painting under Gordon Smith.

Diploma, Vancouver Film School, 2004

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2018    Fire and Rain: A Journey to Extremes 

2017    Station to Station, South Main Gallery, Vancouver
2016    Metropolis: Variations on a Theme, South Main Gallery, Vancouver
2015    Urban Rhapsody, B.C. Supreme Courthouse, Vancouver
2011    The Vital Gesture, Petley Jones Gallery, Vancouver 
2010    The Vital Gesture, Gallery I.M.A., Seattle
2008    The River Series, Petley Jones Gallery, Vancouver 
2007    Black Tusk: Variations on a Theme, Petley Jones Gallery, Vancouver
2006    Recent Works, GBR Foundation, Manila
1998    Elements II, Foster/White Gallery, Seattle
1998    Elements II, Simon Patrich Gallery, Vancouver
1996    Elements, Foster/White Gallery, Seattle
1995    Rain Shadow, Foster/White Gallery, Seattle
1995    Primordial, City of Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond
1994    Earth and Sky, Patrick Doheny Gallery, Vancouver
1993    The Archetype Series, Alexander Gallery, Vancouver

Selected Group Exhibitions

2017     South Main Gallery, Vancouver
             Latitude Art Gallery, Calgary
2016     South Main Gallery, Vancouver
             Gurevich Fine Art, Winnipeg
             Latitude Art Gallery, Calgary
             Frame Society Gallery, Singapore
2015     South Main Gallery, Vancouver
             Gurevich Fine Art, Winnipeg
             Rouge Gallery, Saskatoon
             Hilton Lac-Leamy, Ottawa
             Frame Society Gallery, Singapore
2014     Bezanson Art, Vancouver
             Rouge Gallery, Saskatoon
             Frame Society Gallery, Singapore
2013     Bezanson Art, Vancouver
             Rouge Gallery, Saskatoon
             Frame Society Gallery, Singapore
2012     Frame Society Gallery, Singapore
             Gallery I.M.A., Seattle
2011     Frame Society Gallery, Singapore
             Gallery I.M.A., Seattle
             Petley Jones Gallery, Vancouver
2010     Frame Society Gallery, Singapore
             Gallery I.M.A, Seattle
             Petley Jones Gallery, Vancouver
2009     Masters Gallery, Calgary
             Gallery I.M.A., Seattle
             Petley Jones Gallery, Vancouver
2008     Axis Contemporary Art, Calgary
             “U-8” Sopa Fine Art, Kelowna
             “Vistas and Visions” Petley Jones Gallery, Vancouver
2007     Petley Jones Gallery, Vancouver
             Art Gallery of the South Okanagan, Penticton
             Tribute to Rotonde, Gallery Gabrichidze, Brussels
2005     University of British Columbia, Vancouver
             Foster/White Gallery, Seattle
2004     Don O’Melveny Gallery, Los Angeles
             Foster/White Gallery, Seattle
2003     Abstracte Elegant, Don O’Melveny Gallery, Los Angeles
             Foster/White Gallery, Seattle
2002     The Night Eclectic, Don O’Melveny Gallery, Los Angeles
             Foster/White Gallery, Seattle
2001     Simon Patrich Gallery, Vancouver
             Foster/White Gallery, Seattle
2000     Foster/White Gallery, Seattle
             Simon Patrich Gallery, Vancouver
1999     Foster/White Gallery, Seattle
             Simon Patrich Gallery, Vancouver
1998    “La Galerie du Projet”, Geneva 
             Foster/White Gallery, Seattle
             Simon Patrich Gallery, Vancouver            
1997     The Atrium, Hong Kong Bank of Canada, Vancouver
              Foster/White Gallery, Seattle
              Simon Patrich Gallery, Vancouver
1996      Foster/White Gallery, Seattle
1995    “Space, Time, Spirit”, Fran Willis Gallery, Victoria
              Foster/White Gallery, Seattle
1994     Alexander Gallery, Vancouver
             Galerie Woltzen, Edmonton
             Shepard Gallery, Whistler
             Foster/White Gallery, Seattle 
1993     Alexander Gallery, Vancouver 
1992     Alexander Gallery, Vancouver 
1989    “Images and Objects”, B.C. Festival of the Arts, Chilliwack
1984    “Richmond Interpretations”, Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond

Art Fairs

2015    Art Vancouver, Vancouver 
1995    Seattle Art Fair, Seattle

Public Art Projects 

2014    Paint the City Project, March 15 - April 15: paintings projected 
            on 22 giant digital billboards in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal

Selected Collections

Dynamic Outdoor Inc., Montreal

Allvision Canada Inc., Toronto

Maersk Broker Shipping Inc., Tokyo

City of Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby    

City of Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond

GBR Foundation, Manila

HSL Automation Ltd., Victoria

Gateway Property Holdings Inc., Manila

University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Burnaby Public Library, Burnaby

YMCA, Vancouver

Kaplan International College, Vancouver 

Kaplan International College, Toronto

Pacific Language Institute, Vancouver

Standish Associates Lawyers, Bristol

Stikeman Elliott Lawyers, Vancouver

Ronald McDonald House, Vancouver

in addition to numerous private collections in Canada, U.S.A., Germany, Switzerland, U.K., Belgium, Japan, Hong Kong, Philippines, and Singapore.

Selected Press

"End of Empire"  Artist First Radio, interviewed by Chris Bromage, June 1, 2016
“Choses à savoir Art” French podcast, interviewed by Louis Guillaume, March 1, 2016
“Gallery Surf: David Tycho, Pat Valade, Glenn Lewis, and more art for your weekend” by Amanda Siebert, Georgia Straight, February 19, 2016

“A Sense of Place” 98.3 FM Roundhouse Radio, interviewed by Carol Thorbes, January 26, 2016   “Art Vancouver: David Tycho” a short film by Ehrin McPhee, May, 2015
"Vancouver's David Tycho" by Dan Tidsbury, Fresh Vancouver Magazine, May-June issue, 2015
“Artist Profile: David Tycho” by Portia Priegert, Galleries West Magazine, Summer issue, 2015
“Making the Complex Simple” by Omid Yaghoobi, Farheekhtega Newspaper, Tehran, March 4, 2015 “Paint the City: David Tycho” a short film by Eric Peterson, March 2014              
“10 Best Abstract Paintings” by Daniel Ferris, It’s Only Art? March 29, 2013
“David Tycho: Painter” a short film by Eric Peterson, November 2012
“North by Northwest” CBC Radio, interviewed by Sheryl MacKay, November 10, 2012
“The Fine Art of Independence” by David Tycho, Vancouver Sun, November 10, 2012
“Art Work – Eastside Culture Crawl” by Noa Glow, Vancouver View Magazine, November 2011
“Urban Rush” Shaw T.V. Channel 4, Vancouver, interviewed by Fiona Forbes and Michael Eckford, February 15, 2011
“North by Northwest” CBC Radio, interviewed by Sheryl MacKay, February 13,  2011
“David Tycho Sees Art in all Facets of Life” video by Glen Baglo, MontrealGazette.com, February 10, 2011

“David Tycho’s Abstracts Need to be Experienced” by Jennifer Moss. NationalPost.com, February 10, 2011
“David Tycho’s Beckoning Gestures” by Jennifer Moss, Vancouver Sun, February 10, 2011
“Live From Studio 430” at the Eastside Culture Crawl, CJSF Radio, interviewed by Jay Peachy, November 27, 2011
“Urban Rush” Shaw T.V. Channel 4, Vancouver, interviewed by Fiona Forbes and Michael Eckford, September 29, 2008
“Art Beat: David Tycho” by Bettina Matzkuhn, Essential Vancouver magazine, July 2008 
“North by Northwest” CBC Radio, interviewed by Sheryl MacKay, November 18, 2007
“David Tycho” by Mia Johnson, Preview Magazine, November 2007
“Editors Picks: Galleries and Museums” by Alison Malone, Where Vancouver. magazine, November 2007

“An Artful Stroll on Gallery Row” by Lloyd Dykk, Vancouver Sun,  October 26, 2007
“Abstract Expressive Painters” by Daniel Ferris, It’s Only Art? June 11, 2007 
“Abstract Paintings by David Tycho” by Daniel Ferris, Contemporary Art Gallery Magazine, December 2006
“Abstract Elegante” Don O’Melveny Gallery Exhibition Catalogue, March 2003

“Between the Covers” CBC Radio, interviewed by Peter Tiefenbach, April 2002        
“North by Northwest” CBC Radio, interviewed by Sheryl MacKay, February 3, 2002
“This Morning” CBC Radio national broadcast, interviewed by Bill Cameron, January 30, 2000
“When Art Gets the Rational Treatment” by David Tycho, The Vancouver Sun, February 22, 1997
“Communications Come through Paint” by Robert Amos, Victoria Times Colonist, November 9, 1996
“Mystic Inspiration” by Nancy Wells, Scene Magazine, February 1995

Lectures and Professional Experience

Instructor, Kaplan International College, Vancouver, 2011 - 2014
Lecturer, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby, March 2013
Instructor, Pacific Language Institute, Vancouver, 1991 - 2011
Lecturer, “The Role of the Artist”, Mensa Conference, Richmond, November, 2002
Lecturer, “Reading the Land”, Meadowlark Festival, Pentiction, May, 2002
Lecturer, “Roads to Abstraction”, Richmond Art Gallery, February, 1995
Instructor, Vancouver School Board, Vancouver, 1990 – 1991
Instructor, Dorset College, Vancouver, 1988 – 1990


A writer with numerous book contributions, published articles and a Canadian Literary Award to his credit; also an avid wilderness hiker, cyclist and karate student.


I have been preoccupied with the nature of large cities over the past few years. My recent work explores the physical, formal and/or psychological elements of cities, ranging from what could be interpreted as very positive, brightly-coloured renderings filled with optimistic vitality, romanticism and a hint of nostalgia, to darker and more somber depictions of sterile concrete canyons with an ominous sense of isolation and alienation. 

Taking the idea further, I have conceptualized and abstracted the urban grid into matrices of sorts, metaphors for the physical design and the restraining and conforming psychological effects of this plan on a city’s inhabitants. 

For me, the intriguing aspect of cities is the coexistence and duality of these seemingly disparate characteristics: the yin and yang of human urban existence, so to speak. In this sense, the viewer is invited to see and interpret each painting in his or her own way. 

– David Tycho