Gertrude Kearns

Gertrude Steiger Kearns, C.M. is a Canadian war/military artist, and abstractionist. Gertrude has worked both officially and unofficially as a war/military artist since the early 90s. She was appointed as Member of the Order of Canada June 27, 2019 “for her contributions to preserving and understanding Canadian war history as a contemporary artist.”
She was appointed Honourary War Artist to the Royal Canadian Military Institute in 2019.
Her first American military subject in 2018-2019 was the notable American General David Petraeus. Three portraits resulted. In late 2019 the smaller civilian study was acquired by The National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. The other two military, large format and more contemporary works are featured here, and available in several formats up to 6 x 5 ft as prints or 6 x 5 ft as the original painting and Multiple Original.
These works attempt to succinctly present US (military) history via this commander in the post 9/11 period in the Counter-Insurgency campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gertrude's large body of Canadian military works The ART of COMMAND 2006-2018 do the same, but specifically within Canada's mission which fell first under US and then NATO command.
In 2020, her Canadian portrait subject was Major-General Jennie Carignan, Commander of NATO MISSION IRAQ. Currently she has a Canadian Forces Health Services project in progress.
A driving motivation in all her conflict-related paintings, mixed media drawings and image/text print making is straddling the line between military and war art, while suggesting each commander's character and psychological complexities within defense urgency, mission concept and military ethos.
A body of large abstract works are also available. Please see CCCA database link below and this recent Ryerson U, Toronto exhibition 'Seeking the Periphery' here:
Gertrude's studio is in central Toronto, Canada.

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