Keyword: hospital

Progress thumb


A family stand close together forming a totemic tower of smallest to tallest, their bodies overlapping with a patient stretched-out resigned on a hospital bed. Their gazes alternate from side to side, creating a turning, twisting motion that leads upward

Inside the Machine (CT Scan) thumb

Inside the Machine (CT Scan)

This recently discovered painting shows a patient lying inside a womb-like CT-scan machine, as if awaiting birth, an illustration of the immersive nature of technology to modern medicine. The design features a man at the intersection of a circle inside

Lung Operation thumb

Lung Operation

Robert created large paintings showing chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer patients. Both paintings show a lone patient undergoing a trial. There is no doctor, only machinery and drugs that hint at technological wonders about to be performed. The only image

Emergency thumb


As a photographer, Robert sought out patterns more actively than in his paintings and drawings. This tightly cropped view of the rear entrance to a city hospital shows an ambulance bay surrounded by white walls and repeating windows. It looks like a prison, an impression

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