Arlene Stamp, painter (b at London, Ont 4 June 1938). Stamp studied art at the Alberta College of Art and Design (1974-76) and the University of Calgary (BFA, 1979, and post-graduate studies from 1979-80). Previously she had studied mathematics at the University of Western Ontario (BA, 1960). This grounding in logic and pattern has influenced her artistic practice, which since the early 1980s has shown a tendency towards serial ordering, geometry and minimalism. Generally described as conceptual painting, Stamp's work derives its strength and depth from the thematic limits she sets for herself. In the early years of her career, she based a series of paintings on the work of the Canadian painter Gladys M. Johnston. Through a process of appropriation that involved quotation and copying without cancelling the original painter's identity, Stamp's project inquired into notions of authorship. A subsequent series - the "RedWorks" - took the painter's choice of colour rather than the search for content as a starting point for conceptual research. Drawing parallels between our perception of visual information and related variables of language and cultural context, Stamp focused on the network of ideas that structure meaning. With the black-and-white "Tile Works" of the early 1990s, the artist turned her attention to the ordering of actual space by introducing subtle variations into a grid pattern laid directly on the floor. As in all Stamp's projects, conceptual structures are demonstrated in a compellingly visual way.
Stamp's work has been exhibited widely, including solo and group shows at the Illingworth Kerr Gallery (1994), Power Plant (1991), Southern Alberta Art Gallery (1987), Nickle Arts Museum (1983), the Glenbow Museum (2000) and group shows at the Florida State University Art Museum (1997), the Art Gallery of Hamilton (1995) and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (2004). She has often worked collaboratively with other artists on installations and site-specific pieces beyond the gallery setting. A lecturer and teacher at art schools across the country, she has also held studio residencies at the Emma Lake Artists' Workshops (1977) and the Banff Centre for Continuing Education (1979). Public commissions include the Ernst & Young lobby, Toronto Dominion Centre, Toronto (1993) and Downsview Subway Station, Toronto (1993).
Arlene Stamp currently lives and works in Calgary.