Gordon Caruso was an important senior British Columbia painter in the abstract tradition. He and his contemporaries, such as Jack Shadbolt, Gordon Smith and Peter Aspell, set the direction for many B.C. artists who followed. Caruso was also a respected teacher and communicator who influenced many artists during his substantial teaching career.
Abstract expressionism propelled North America into the forefront of the modern art movement. It was a reaction, in part, to the proceeding world wars, when artists such as de Kooning, Jackson, Pollack and Gorky strove to find the means to broaden the language of emotion and to reveal the subconscious. Many pieces of Caruso’s art can be read as a reaction to his WW11 service in the first Canadian-US Special Service Force, the Devil’s Brigade.
Caruso studied at the Vancouver School of Art and the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. He later taught at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver School of Art and Langara College, where he was fundamental in establishing the college’s Fine Arts Program. His final studio was on Saltspring Island where he continued to create his mixed media sculptural collages.
Caruso has been exhibited in major North American galleries including the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum and the Vancouver Art Gallery, and his work is in numerous private and corporate collections.