The distinguished Canadian artist, Aba Bayefsky, was born in Toronto in 1923. As a teenager he was encouraged to paint by Group of Seven artist Arthur Lismer. He subsequently studied art at Toronto's Central Technical School and Academie Julian, Paris, France.
In 1942 he joined the R.C.A.F. and was appointed an official war artist in 1944, assigned to depict airborne operations over north-west Europe. The nearly 50 works completed on this assignment form part of the art collection of the Canadian War Museum.
A Member of the ORDER OF CANADA, Bayefsky was president of the Canadian Group of Painters and the Canadian Society of Graphic Art. He was an associate member of the Royal Canadian Academy. His work has been exhibited throughout Canada, USA, England, India, Nepal and Japan.
Christopher Varley wrote, "Aba Bayefsky is one of a small number of working Canadian artists whose outlook was shaped by early experiences of racism, economic depression and war. Like his two close contemporaries, Bruno Boback and Jack Nichols, he is caught between two epochs today. His doubt, his caution, his identification with the dispossessed, are all puzzling to a generation that has grown up without fear. Likewise, our bright new world puzzles and doesn’t much interest Bayefsky. He keeps to himself, and initially seems remote, oblivious and unworldly.
Beneath the surface beats the heart of a self-directed and committed painter, however, who draws strength from his sense of continuity with the past and a belief in the universality of human experience. Underlying all his endeavours is the conviction that mankind shares an essentially similar core of mythology and symbols, the meanings of which have not been lost, changed or drained in the modern age.
Bayefsky has long been identified as an artist of “social consciousness”. Since his teens, he worked from the figure, placing his subjects in familiar environments, and imbuing them with archetypal significance, so that they speak of the ‘human condition’ throughout the ages. Here are faces with histories and gestures familiar throughout the world.”
I had the great pleasure and honour of working with Aba Bayefsky in his later life. We hosted his last solo exhibition which he was very proud of and attended. It was an exciting exhibition and a great success! Our final exhibition of his Estate works were from his Tattoo Series held in 2007. Beckett Fine Art continues to respect the memory of Aba Bayefsky and is now working in the capacity of providing written art appraisal for insurance, market value and estate purposes and is interested in selling select works on a consignment bases and placement of his art works into important art collections. With much respect, Thomas Beckett
Elected President, Canadian Society of Graphic Art
Invited to be a member of the Jury for the Second International Biennial Exhibition of Prints in Tokyo, Japan
Elected President of The Canadian Group of Painters
The National Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA
The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
The Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario
The Art Gallery of London, London, Ontario
The Art Gallery of Sarnia, Sarnia, Ontario
Hart House, University of Toronto, Ontario
The Beaverbrook Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., USA
Yad Vashem Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Ecole des Beaux Arts, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Hebrew Union College, Library Collection, New York, NY
The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Loyola College, Quebec
McMaster University, Hamilton
Massey College, University of Toronto, Toronto
York University, North York, Ontario
The Public Libraries of Toronto, North York and Scarborough
The Quebec Provincial Library, Quebec
Sir George Williams University, Montreal
Canadian War Museum, Ottawa
Toronto City Hall, Toronto
Commissioned to design and execute three 9-foot panels for the 1958 Brussels World Fair
"Tales from the Talmud" was published and illustrated with 18 lithographic prints by Aba Bayefsky.
Commissioned to design and execute a mural for the Queen's Park Project, complex of Government Buildings, Toronto