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De Castro, Robert

Cultural Group :

b. 1923, Winnipeg Manitoba; d. 1986, Victoria, B.C. Studied with Jan Zach, Victoria. Collections include AGGV, Maltwood, UVIC, and many private collections. Source: A Passion for Art: the Art and Dynamic of the Limners by Patricia E. Bovey (Victoria: Sono Nis Press), 1996.

His medium was primarily wood (usually driftwood) which he carved and stained or painted. His subjects were shape, texture and colour. His style was Abstraction, Abstract Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism (1). His works are usually black or dark blue, often with green or red accents and, in addition to carving, frequently have holes drilled in them.

Quote: "I occasionally think of my work as having kinship with that of the local Indian sailors who worked the early ships on this coast and carved scrimshaw in their off-hours, catching up any tribal or family myth, or telling a little story about their daily lives." - Robert de Castro (1967)(2).

He studied sculpture under Jan Zach in Victoria from 1953 to 1957. He also studied with Herbert Siebner in the late 1950's.

In 1960 he was a founding member of the Point Group of Artists (1960-62) . Other members included Michael Morris, Herbert Siebner, Nita Forrest and Richard Ciccimarra. He was also a founding member of the Limners in 1971, a prominent group of about 18 Victoria artists, which included Maxwell Bates, Richard Ciccimarra, Herbert Siebner, Nita Forest, Myfaanwy Pavelic, Colin Graham and Pat Martin Bates He also served with the Canadian Army during World War II.

De Castro exhibited with the Limners in private, and public galleries including the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1972, 86); the Confederation Art Gallery and Museum, Charlottetown, P.E.I. (1975); and the New Brunswick Museum, St. John (1975). He was also included in the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa) Centennial Exhibition of Sculpture in 1967 which included works by the most important sculptors in Canada. Some of the others in the exhibition were Sorel Etrog, Tony Urquhart, Guido Molinari, Walter Yarwood, Kazuo Nakamura, David Partridge and Jan Zach (see all in AskART).

In 1996 the Maltwood Museum and Art Gallery (Victoria) had a major exhibition of his works titled Robert de Castro: A Retrospective.

His works are in many private collections. They are also in the collections of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and the Maltwood Museum and Art Gallery.