Philip Surrey

Canadian painter, founding member of the Contemporary Arts Society

Philip Surrey

Philip Surrey is a Canadian painter born in 1910 in Calgary. He began his artistic studies at the age of 16 at the Winnipeg School of Art while being apprentice at the Brigden advertising agency. There he met Fritz Brandtner. At that time, Philip Surrey already painted the streets and people of the city at night, a subject dear to the artist.

In 1929, he moved to Vancouver to work as a graphic designer at the Cleland-Kent Engraving. He continued his evening training at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts. He studied with Frederick Varley and Jock Macdonald. Philip Surrey continued his training at the Art Student League in New York and moved to Montreal.

"Philip Surrey, a founding member of the Contemporary Arts Society, was a figurative painter with an enduring interest in human subjects within urban nightscapes. For most of his career, Surrey used Montreal as his stage, arranging lighting and figures - most often pedestrians - in compositions that revealed both the gregarious nature and the solitude of humanity. A friend and student of Frederick Varley, Surrey was also closely tied to many of the most important Montreal artists and writers of the 1930s and 1940s."source: Philip Surrey- Nationale Galerie of Canada,

He worked at the Journal le Standard in Montreal and painted in the evening. Little by little, he began to frequent the Montreal artistic milieu where he meet again Brandtner and became friends with Goodridge Roberts, John Lyman and Jori Smith.

Philip Surrey is the founding member of the Contemporary Art Society.

The artist died in Montreal in 1990.

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