Keyword: hospital

Conference thumb


In Conference, Robert shows the modern hospital as a place that gives rise to different conversations depending on who’s talking and where. Three earnest-looking doctors are portrayed as men lost in debate, while the patient lies somewhat forgotten in the background.

New Steps (Crowd) thumb

New Steps (Crowd)

A patient in street clothes, braced by two nurses, practices walking down a crowded hospital corridor. The excited witnesses include a fellow patient in a wheelchair, at an earlier stage in her own treatment. Robert created many versions of New Steps, starting

Hospital Room and Ocean thumb

Hospital Room and Ocean

Robert draws his own feet on a hospital bed and a window in a bare room opening to a world outside that is inaccessible to him, yet a source of dream and hope. This drawing, made in a downtown Toronto hospital, pictures

Elevator with Terry Fox thumb

Elevator with Terry Fox

Robert had used an elevator in a painting from 1985, Exit, to suggests the up and downs of a relationship between a man and a woman. He found the metaphor of ascending and descending worked just as well for patients who experience frequent

Solarium thumb


The older kissing couple contrast with the solitary patients around them. Robert had his parents, Bill and Isabel, pose for this image. The figures are quite small in the frame, but attention is directed to them by the round light

City Rooftops with Distant Hospital thumb

City Rooftops with Distant Hospital

A view from Robert’s Morris Street apartment, looking over city rooftops toward the distant Victoria General Hospital. The image is reminiscent of Robert’s earlier Halifax Citadel over Rooftops, 1982, a bird’s-eye view of a city with a symbolic landmark in

Studies for Exterior View of Hospital thumb

Studies for Exterior View of Hospital

Robert starts his Illness & Healing series with his arrival at the hospital. Like a filmmaker, the artist breaks down the action into different shots and angles. The first wide view shows the dark buildings in the distance through barely-delineated

Studies for Hospital Entrance and Waiting Area thumb

Studies for Hospital Entrance and Waiting Area

Robert concludes his sequence of studies for arrival at the hospital with a view of the entrance punctuated by traffic arrows on the ground. The building is impersonal; the arrow supplies an added push. Patients attempt to relax in the

Waiting Area thumb

Waiting Area

Waiting is a big part of the patient’s experience. While Robert waits, he observes and draws. Robert’s charcoal drawing, while almost identical to the pen and ink sketch of the same subject, focuses more on the patients and on capturing

Examining x-rays thumb

Examining x-rays

Robert contrasts light from the x-ray wall with the shadow on the doctors, as well as the spectral interior of bodies with the solid masses of the two men. The x-ray gives a privileged view inside the body of the patient, but these doctors