Cantine's work is a poetic and intellectual exploration of a pictorial problem, color as structure which has infinite variations. The artist was quoted in the Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art 2000: "For the past 26 years, I have painted essentially the same still life, which began as a pair of apples and its shadow, and evolved under pressure of color into the present imagery." Cantine may be referred to as a post-minimalist, a term coined by Robert Pincus-Witten in 1971 to describe work with a minimalist tendency but that uses modest materials and aims towards a pure formalist aesthetic.
Cantine was born in Jackson, Michigan (1939) and studied at the University of Iowa (BFA, MA) before moving to Alberta and working as a professor in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta (1965 – 96). His work has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of Alberta, FAB Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art among others and is represented in numerous private and public collections.