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Peter Aspell was among a core group of influential artists who challenged convention in post-war Vancouver. Unlike many of his contemporaries, who were involved in nature-based abstraction, Aspell chose the figure as his main subject. A strong colourist, he honed a distinct palette using oil paint applied with knives and brushes that he then scraped and scratched with sticks. His vocabulary included flaming vessels, floating figures, Egyptian motifs and African masks. Aspell, who died in 2004, had exhibitions in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Paris.