John Richard Fox was born in Montréal in 1927. He attended McGill University followed by studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Montréal. Dissatisfied with the academic approach, he left Beaux-Arts and studied at The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, School of Art and Design from 1946 to 1949, where he was influenced by William Goodridge Roberts.
He worked for critic-painter John Lyman in McGill's Department of Art. In 1952 he received a British Council Scholarship to study at the Slade School of Art, University of London, Followed by two years of independent work in Florence and Paris.
When he returned to Montréal Fox Began focusing on painting as a career. He also taught at the Saidye Bronfman Centre in 1960's. In 1970 he became a professor in the Painting and Drawing Department at Concordia University. He retired in 1998.
Fox's work can be seperated into three defining stages; intimist figures, interiors and landscape, and abstracts. His painting style and subjects changed intermittently throughout his artistic career. He also produced prints, ranging from abstract to figurative etchings serigraphs. In 1970 he produced a limited number of bronze sculptures.
Fox Was a member of the Canadian Group of Painters and an Associate Member of the Royal Canadian Academy, however he did not remain active with the group throughout his career due to personal differences.
In the 1960's he was awarded a mural commission for the inauguration of the Confederation Art Centre in Charlottetown.
He died in Venice, Italy in 2008.
Fox has had many solo exhibitions in Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. He participated in group exhibitions internationally. His work is in major public represented, corporate and private collections in Canada, the United States and Europe.