TWO ARTISTS * Robert W. Vanderhorst - Surrealist Painter * Nash the Slash (1948-2014) Musician, Composer


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Robert Vanderhorst is a self-taught artist with a talent inherited from his father and a technique born of a strong Dutch tradition in art.

Emigrating from Holland to Canada in 1951, he now lives in Toronto, Canada. In 1973, he held his first solo exhibition. In 1979, he began publishing limited editions of his paintings under Vanderhorst Graphics.

Vanderhorst's work has been used in many diverse ways ranging from music videos, television programs and live stage productions to record jacket designs, aviation books, and psychology books and journals. His paintings have been featured in almost thirty exhibitions, culminating in two major retrospectives at the St. Lawrence Hall, Toronto in 2004 and 2005.

Vanderhorst's work has also been explored in two DVDs titled ‘View from the Gallery 1’ and ‘View from the Gallery 2’ and a book titled, ‘Thirty Three years Twenty Six Paintings’. The book includes an introduction and short story, The Yacht Club, by famed film director, George A. Romero.

Vanderhorst has paintings in the permanent art collections of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington DC, the Canadian War Museum and the National Aviation Museum in Ottawa.

Vanderhorst's surreal style and detailed imagery appeals to individuals with an eye for art and an open mind. The bizarre imagination and attention to fine detail in the classical paintings of Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali was the initial inspiration for Robert's exploration into surrealism. His work also reflects the influence of three additional artists who he considers masters as well as mentors. The ironic and profound juxtapositions of images of the Belgian surrealist Magritte, the hauntingly mathematical and exacting graphics of M.C. Escher and the superb mastery of light and technique of Vermeer, have provided Vanderhorst with a visual and technical foundation upon which his canvases are built.

"I try to create imagery that asks the viewer to participate," says Vanderhorst. "The scenes can be confusing and troublesome but still impart an odd sense of cohesion and normalcy."

Highly introspective or simply there to admire, Vanderhorst's work is as thought provoking as you allow it to be.

“By asking ‘What does this mean?’ they express a wish that everything be understandable. But if one does not reject the mystery, one has a different response. One asks other things.”

René Magritte



Nash The Slash (Jeff Plewman (1948 - 2014), was a Canadian multi-instrumentalist who formed the progressive rock band FM with Cameron Hawkins in 1976. Nash left to pursue his own vision in 1977 just before FM released their first album -- Black Noise. Technically fluent, Nash used counter-intuitive instruments such as the electric violin and the electric mandolin in a guitar-laden world of hard rock. His sonic soundscapes mixed his influences and ignored conventions. Nash was on the cutting edge of electronic music since the 70s. He also created his own independent music label, Cut-Throat Productions to retain control of his recorded output.

Validated by contemporaries such as Gary Numan and Iggy Pop, he opened shows for mega stars like The Who, The Tubes and Devo. Nash flirted with fame, but ultimately decided to follow the path of an anti-star.

Nash the Slash was born of silent film. The name is that of a killer butler encountered by Laurel and Hardy in their first film, Do Detectives Think? (1927). Nash the Slash continued to give form to his unique concepts of sound and vision for over 30 years. His first live presentation of music to film was a performance set to Salvador Dali's 1926 silent film Un Chien Andalou . Throughout his musical career, Nash continued to compose music for both television and film. He wrote music for several silent film classics, giving new life to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919), The Lost World (1925) and Nosferatu (1922).

In 1978, TV Ontario Nightmusic produced a 30-minute show called Nash the Slash Rises Again. The show presented a series of surreal paintings on the screen, gradually revealing all their intricate details to the viewer while Nash performed live. These were the paintings of Robert Vanderhorst. Robert and Nash would continue their collaboration for over 30 years.

Describing his music for Vanderhorst's paintings, Nash stated, "There are many disconnected images occurring in the minute details. The images can be familiar yet unsettling. We both use 'classical' influences -- fine art, form and melody -- juxtaposed to misplacement, distortion, and backward imaging. My music helps to make things connect”.

Nash was inducted posthumously into the Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

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