Robert Bean is an artist, writer and teacher living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Born in Saskatchewan, he moved to Nova Scotia in 1976 to pursue a career in contemporary art and education. He obtained a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University) in 1978, and an MA in Cultural Studies from the University of Leeds, England in 1999. He is currently a Professor at NSCAD University. Bean has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the United States, Europe, South America and New Zealand.
He has published articles on photography, art and cultural history, written catalogue essays and has completed numerous curatorial projects. Bean has served on peer review juries for the Canada Council for the Arts and has received grants and awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Nova Scotia Arts Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). In March 2007, Robert Bean received a SSHRC Research/Creation grant to pursue a three-year investigation with co-applicant Ilan Sandler on the subject of “Obsolescence and the Culture of Human Invention”.
Robert Bean’s solo exhibition “Metamorphosis was presented at the Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto in February 2007. Other solo exhibitions include “Verbatim”, exhibited at akau Inc, Toronto Ontario, January 2006 and “Lapsus”, exhibited at the Dalhousie University Art Gallery in January 2005. Bean has published the audio work “Silenzio” in conjunction with the exhibition “Disquiet” at Modern Fuel Gallery, Kingston, Ontario. “Silenzio” is an audio work based on the aural sensations of the Sistine Chapel.
Robert Bean edited the book “Image and Inscription: An anthology of Contemporary Canadian Photography” published by Gallery 44 and the YYZ Press in November 2005. In addition, his essay on an unpublished snapshot titled “Coldspot” was published in the arts magazine “Prefix Photo”, Issue 13, 2006.
During the last year Bean has published several feature articles, curated the exhibition “In the Flesh” in conjunction with the international conference “Expanding Bodies” hosted by the Association of Computer Assisted Design in Architecture (ACADIA). Recently published works include “High Definition”, Blackflash Magazine, a curatorial essay for the exhibition “In the Flesh”, and “Artifacts of Research”, in the Canadian Review of Art Education. A group show titled “.txt” was exhibited in May 2008 at the Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, in conjunction with a SSHRC sponsored Symposium on the subject of “Obsolescence and the Culture of Human Invention”.
In September 2008, Robert Bean curated the exhibition “Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests and Honorary Degree”. The exhibition was sponsored by the Centre for Art Tapes, Halifax, Nova Scotia and was shown at the Anna Leonowens Gallery, NSCAD University. The exhibition catalogue included a curatorial essay by Bean.
Bean's work is in public and private collections, including the Nova Scotia Art Bank, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography.