Art Metropole is pleased to announce the online availability of Evidence of 30 Years Â±, a complete history of the organization, up to 2004 – compiled, sorted and easily downloadable as a PDF document.
Evidence of 30 Years Â± documents the exhibition of the same name at Art Metropole (October 23 to November 27, 2004). Curated by AM Director Ann Dean and co-founder AA Bronson, the show was organized and mounted to celebrate the organizationâ€™s 30th anniversary.
Comprising 300 titles (including editions, publications, ephemera and other items), Evidence of 30 Years Â± represents Art Metropoleâ€™s integral role in the realm(s) of contemporary and conceptual art. The show – and the respective online resource – includes a graphic timeline, compiled by curator Fern Bayer and designed by Nestor Kruger. Many of the items featured in Evidence of 30 Years Â± are also housed in The Art Metropole Collection (The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa) and includes work by Art Metropole’s international roster of lifetime members: James Carl, Tom Dean, Robert Fones, Jamelie Hassan, Matthias Herrmann, Luis Jacob, Garry Neill Kennedy, Terence Koh [a.k.a. asianpunkboy], Sol Lewitt, Sally MacKay, Will Munro, Maurizio Nannucci, Daniel Olson, Yoko Ono, Sandy Plotnikoff, Michael Snow, Chrysanne Stathacos, Lawrence Weiner, Andrew Zealley, and more.
Evidence of 30 Years Â±, Art Metropole, 2008. 40 pp, PDF. Graphic timeline designed by artist Nestor Kruger and compiled by Fern Bayer. Document design by Tonik Wojtyra.
Art Metropole thanks the National Gallery of Canada and private lenders for the loan of the items.
AA Bronson, born Michael Tims, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1946 -.
Nestor Krger’s studio practice consists of on-site painting installations that create on echo of the presentation space through strategies of mirroring and duplication; digital animations that superimpose an internal rhythmic structure with architectural models and simulated natural environments and recently a series of spatiotemporal sound works. His work has been exhibited nationally including the Power Plant, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery, the Contemporary Art Gallery and at Optica in Montreal and internationally, including Germany, Sweden, France, South Korea and in the United Arab Emirates. His work is represented by goodwater gallery in Toronto and can be found in a number of private and public collections. He teaches Drawing and ‘Media Convergence’.
Fern Bayer served as the Chief Curator of the Government of Ontario Art Collection between 1977 and 1995, during which time she was responsible for the research and promotion of the collection, its exhibition, and the acquisition of new artworks. In this position she also served as International Cultural Promotion Consultant (1987-1995), responsible for the international promotion of Ontario artists, primarily in Japan. More recently, Bayer has worked as an independent curator and consultant, completing a number of curatorial and research projects, including the processing of the General Idea fonds. Bayer has also been a guest lecturer at Project (Dublin), the National College of Art & Design (Dublin), the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art (Dublin), and the Centre d’art contemporain de Basse-Normandie (Caen). Prior to her appointment with the Government of Ontario, Bayer completed a Masters of Arts at the Department of History of Art of the University of Toronto, Toronto (1975); a Diploma of Museum Science and Restoration of Works of Art at the UniversitÃ Internationale dell’ Arte, Florence (1972); and a Bachelor of Arts, in Anthropology and Art History, at McGill University, Montreal (1971). Bayer has received numerous awards, including the Independent Critics and Curators Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts (2004 and 2006) for the publication of General Idea Editions, 1967-1995; the 2004 Melva J. Dwyer Award for Excellence in Canadian Art Publishing from the Art Libraries Society of North America (2004); the National Gallery of Canada Research Fellowship (2003-2004); the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for the publication of The Ontario Collection (2002); and the 1998 Best Historical Research & Writing Award from the Ontario Association of Art Galleries for texts in The Search for the Spirit: General Idea 1968-1975 (1998). Bayer currently sits on the Board of Directors of Art Metropole, a not-for profit artist-run centre in Toronto, which publishes and distributes artists’ book works, audio and video works, and multiples. She is authoring a catalogue raisonnÃ© of the works of General Idea.
Born in Poland, part French, tall, white, ugly and raised in the jungle… Tonik’s art investigates the pneumatic romance between everything and nothing at all. His work is represented by Art Metropole, Toronto and Printed Matter, New York. Tonik is looking forward to going back to Europe in the autumn of 2007.
Based in Toronto, James Carl is one of the cityâ€™s leading artists. He creates small- and large-scale sculpture, made from a wide range of materials, from cardboard to marble, to venetian blinds. In the early 1990s Carl entered the art scene in Montreal by crafting expensive consumer goods (washing machines, stoves) from inexpensive materials such as found cardboard, only to place the finished sculptures back on the streets where their materials were originally retrieved. In a subsequent body of work, Carl carved replicas of disposable electronics out of marble â€“ a traditional sculptorâ€™s material with connotations of permanence. Most recently, Carl constructs large-scale, amorphous sculptures by intricately weaving brightly coloured venetian blinds in a series titled jalousie.
Carl has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. Most recently, the first major survey of his work, entitled do you know what, was presented at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery at the University of Toronto, the Cambridge Galleries Queenâ€™s Square and the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre in Guelph. Other recent shows include: jalousie at Galerie Heinz-Martin Weigand in Karlsruhe, Germany; negative spaces at Florence Loewy in Paris; plot at Vancouverâ€™s Contemporary Art Gallery, and bottom feeder at Mercer Union in Toronto. Carl earned his MFA from Rutgers University and has degrees from McGill, the University of Victoria and the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing. His work is in public and private collections across North America and Europe. Currently, Carl is an Associate Professor of Studio Art at the University of Guelph.
om Deanâ€™s work eludes categories. He has made paintings, videos and multiples, but is best known for his sculpture. His art plays upon the tensions between ordinary and mythical, with works varying in scale from miniature to monumental, their subject matter ranging from familiar, everyday objects to classical icons. His epic subjects allude to the dream world of the psyche and matters of the soul, but always reside in the intensely material world of desire and the body.
Dean was recognized in 1999 with the honour of being chosen as the Canadian representative at the 1999 Venice Biennale. A catalogue accompanied Deanâ€™s Venice Biennale exhibition.
Tom Dean was born in Markdale, Ontario (1947) and settled in MontrÃ©al in the late 1960s, where he studied visual art at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) and became a well-known figure in the cityâ€™s alternative scene. He was a founding member of VÃ©hicule Art Inc (and VÃ©hicule Press), a renowned centre of avant-garde activity at the time. From 1972 to 1974 Dean published Beaux Arts magazine with fellow artist Stephen Lack. Over the next decade he produced works in several media, including texts, video, sculpture and prints, and gained a reputation for his elaborate multidisciplinary performances.
In 1976 Tom Dean moved to Toronto and shortly thereafter began his monumental sculpture project, The Floating Staircase (1978-81), whose remains were resurrected in an installation at Mercer Union, Toronto (1983). The various sections of Dean’s extended serial sculpture Excerpts from a Description of the Universe (1984-88) were widely exhibited through the latter half of the 1980s, including in Aurora Borealis at the Centre international d’art contemporain, MontrÃ©l (1985) and in a solo exhibition at the 49th Parallel Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art, New York (1985). In 1988 his work was included in the group exhibition All That Matters, which travelled across the country. From 1986 to 1989 Dean lived in New York, participating in exhibitions there as well as in Canada, including in 1990 an exhibition of his drawings and sculptures at the Agnes Etherington Arts Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston (with catalogue).
Throughout the 1990s his artworks have been presented in several important group and solo exhibitions in Canada and Europe. A selection of his works from the early 1980s to the present were exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (Tom Dean: Selected Works Past and Present, 1999).
He has been collected by such major institutions as the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the MusÃ©e dâ€™art contemporain de MontrÃ©al and the MusÃ©e des beaux arts de MontrÃ©al.
Born in London, Ontario in 1949, Robert Fones had his first solo exhibition in that city at 20/20 Gallery in 1969 and was also a founding member of Forest City Gallery in London. Since 1976 he has lived and worked in Toronto where he has exhibited regularly. He is represented by Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto. He has also shown work at other artists- run centers, commercial galleries and public institutions. A ten-year survey exhibition of his work was organized by The Power Plant in 1989. Fones has exhibited throughout Canada and internationally in the United States and Germany. His work is in The National Gallery of Canada, The Art Gallery of Ontario and other public and corporate collections.
Robert Fones has worked in a variety of media including sculpture, painting, woodblock printmaking and photography. In his work he has investigated the transition from manual to industrial production; disclosed hidden processes of geological and cultural change; and exploited the innate ambiguities of photographic and painted pictorial space. The latter theme is exemplified by Head Paintings, one of many artists books that Fones has published with Coach House Press and Art Metropole. The book is typeset in Fones-Caslon, a typeface he designed specifically for this publication. A number of his works use type in combination with photographs or pictorial representations.
Robert Fones is an active participant in the Toronto art community. He has served on the board of The Art Gallery of Ontario, C Magazine Foundation and the Acquisitions Committee of the Design Exchange. In 1990 he curated an exhibition for The Power Plant on the work of Toronto furniture designer, Russell Spanner. In 2011, he curated Cutout: Greg Curnoe, Shaped Collages 1965â€“1968 for Museum London.
Robert Fones has taught at the Ontario College of Art and Design, the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, and in the Art and Art History Program at Sheridan College. He has also published numerous reviews and articles in Vanguard, C Magazine, Parachute and other publications.
Born in London, Ontario, on September 1, 1948. Lives and works in London, Ontario.
Political conflict, social activism and cultural displacement are some of the themes woven through the work of Jamelie Hassan. Whether using watercolour, photography, ceramics or installation, Hassan heightens awareness of oneâ€™s sense of geographic, societal and political location, while also suggesting the fragility, tenuousness or relativity of any such sense. Early watercolours reproduce rejection letters relatives received from Canadian immigration officials. Later, during the first Gulf War, Hassan made a billboard of a photo of she had taken in Iraq in the late 1970s, adding the text â€œBecauseâ€¦ there was and there wasnâ€™t a city of Baghdad.â€ Born to Lebanese immigrant parents in London, Ontario, Hassan studied art in Rome, Beirut and Windsor. Though grounded in the regionally focused London art scene of the 1960sâ€”and having co-founded key area art centres Forest City Gallery and Embassy Cultural Centreâ€”Hassanâ€™s perspective has also been shaped by lifelong international travel. A recipient of Governor Generalâ€™s Award, Hassan has been collected by the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario, among other institutions.
Luis Jacob was born in Lima, Peru, in 1970. Lives and works in Toronto.
Luis Jacob is a Toronto-based multimedia artist and curator concerned with notions of collectivity, and, increasingly, with acts of looking and meaning-making. Jacob studied semiotics and philosophy at the University of Toronto in the early 1990s, and he soon became immersed in local politics and club culture, as well as the art world, all three coming into play in his first decade of output, which often included experimentation with relational aesthetics. In 2005, Jacob showed Habitat at the Art Gallery of Ontario; this, among other things, piqued the interest of then-visiting Documenta 12 curators Ruth Noack and Roger Buergel, who included him in the 2007 event. Since then, Jacob has shown internationally and with great variety, focusing on found objects (his Album series, for instance, part of which is now owned by the Guggenheim Museum in New York) and the nature of the image. A touring retrospective of his work was hosted by Montrealâ€™s Darling Foundry and Torontoâ€™s Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in 2010 and 2011.
Sol LeWitt was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1928. As a child, he attended art classes at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford. LeWitt completed a BFA at Syracuse University in 1949 and then served in the United States Army in Korea and Japan during the Korean War. In 1953 he moved to New York, where he took classes at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School and did production work for Seventeen magazine. LeWitt subsequently worked in graphic design in the office of architect I. M. Pei from 1955 to 1956. During the first half of the 1960s, LeWitt supported himself by working as a night receptionist at the Museum of Modern Art, where he met future critic Lucy Lippard and fellow artists Dan Flavin, Robert Mangold, and Robert Ryman.
In the early 1960s, LeWitt made paintings and reliefs before concentrating on three-dimensional works based on the cube in the mid-1960s. For these, he used precise, measured formats such as grids and modules, and systematically developed variations. His methods were mathematically based, defined by language, or created through random processes. He took up similar approaches in works on paper.
The artistâ€™s first solo show took place in 1965 at the John Daniels Gallery in New York. In the second half of the 1960s, LeWittâ€™s art was shown in group exhibitions of what would soon be known as Minimalism; among these were the 1966 exhibition Primary Structures at the Jewish Museum in New York. During this period, he taught at several New York schools, including New York University and the School of Visual Arts.
LeWitt is regarded as a founder of both Minimal and Conceptual art. Inspired by Eadweard Muybridgeâ€™s sequential photographs of animals and people in motion, LeWitt incorporated seriality in his work to imply the passage of time or narrative. Two important essays by LeWitt, in particular, defined the new movement: Paragraphs on Conceptual Art (1967) and Sentences on Conceptual Art (1969). The earlier text proclaimed: â€œThe idea becomes a machine that makes the art.â€
He began making wall drawings in 1968. The earliest consisted of pencil linesâ€”in systematized arrangements of verticals, horizontals, and diagonals on a 45-degree angleâ€”drawn directly on the walls. Later wall drawings included circles and arcs and colored pencil. LeWitt would eventually use teams of assistants to create such works. In sculpture, LeWitt mapped out all possible permutationsâ€”he found 122â€”of a cube with one or more sides missing in Variations of Incomplete Open Cubes (1974). From 1966, LeWittâ€™s interest in seriality led to his production of several artistâ€™s books. Among them is Autobiography (1980), which documents in photographs everything in his studio on Manhattanâ€™s Hester Street, his home for twenty years. In 1976, with Lippard and others, LeWitt founded Printed Matter, an organization established to publish and disseminate artistâ€™s books.
In 1980 LeWitt left New York for a quieter life in Spoleto, Italy. Since the mid-1980s, he has composed some of his sculptures from stacked cinder blocks, still generating variations within self-imposed restrictions. LeWittâ€™s wall drawings of the 1980s incorporated geometric forms and stars, as well as solid areas of ink-washed color. His wall drawing for the 1988 Venice Biennale engulfed the Italian Pavilionâ€™s interior. In 1996 he introduced acrylics into his wall paintings; he has described the colors of these paintings as â€œraucous and vulgar.â€
Collecting since the 1960s, LeWitt and his wife, Carol, have accumulated well over eight thousand artworks by his predecessors and contemporaries. They have been generous lenders to various institutions, especially the Wadsworth Atheneum. Comprehensive traveling LeWitt retrospectives have been organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1978) and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2000). Since returning to the United States in the late 1980s, LeWitt made Chester, Connecticut, his primary residence. LeWitt died on April 8, 2007 in New York.
Garry Neill Kennedy is a senior Canadian artist. In addition to an active career as an artist, Kennedy taught studio art at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University) for over forty years where he also served as president for 23 years (1967 – 1990). He was visiting professor at California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) and Ēcole des Beaux Arts, Paris (ENSB-A). His most recent solo museum exhibitions were held at The National Gallery of Canada, The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, The Owens Art Gallery and Portikus (#86, Frankfurt am Main). In 2003 he was a recipient of the Order of Canada and in 2004, the Governor General’s Award in the Visual and Media Arts. In 2011 he received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from NSCAD University.
Kennedy recently had solo shows in Toronto at Diaz Contemporary, 2012 and in Vancouver, BC at Or Gallery in 2013 and The Apartment in 2014. He has also recently completed two books — one for MIT Press, The Last Art College: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1968 -1978 and a second, a catalogue raisonne of his printed matter published by the Library and Archives of the National Gallery of Canada, both in 2012. Kennedy team teaches part-time with his wife, Cathy Busby at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC where they make their home.
Terence Koh (born 1977 in Beijing, China) is a Canadian artist. Koh creates handmade books and zines, prints, photographs, sculptures, performances, and installations. Much of his diverse work involves queer, punk, and pornographic sensibilities. Koh has also worked under the alias “asianpunkboy”, though it appears that name has been retired as of 2009. In 2008, he was listed in Out magazine’s “Out 100 People of the Year”.
Koh was raised in Mississauga, Ontario, and lives in New York City. He is a Chinese-Canadian artist who received his Bachelor degree from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver.
Terence Koh was shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award in 2008. He has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad. Koh’s work has been the subject of several major solo exhibitions including Love for Eternity, a mid-career retrospective at MUSAC (Leon, Spain); Captain Buddha, Schirn Kunsthalle (Frankfurt, Germany); Dirty Blind God, de Pury & Luxembourg, (Zurich, Switzerland); Terence Koh Whitney Museum of American Art, (New York).
In the tradition of Piero Manzoni, Koh has gold-plated and sold his own feces for a total of $500,000.00 to collectors. He is represented by Javier Peres of in Los Angeles and Berlin, and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Salzburg and Paris.
In 2008 he created the Terence Koh Show on YouTube, in which visitors to his home are either interviewed by Koh, or interview Koh themselves. Each show is usually not more than a few minutes in length. Some episodes are more abstract, such as when he plays the video forward but edits the sound to play backwards. Notable guests have included Marina AbramoviÄ‡, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and most recently, Lady Gaga. In the clip with Lady Gaga titled 88 pearls, Koh counts a bowl of pearls with Lady Gaga, who is wearing a costume inspired by Koh’s sculpture from his project Boy By The Sea. Koh’s affiliation with the pop star began at the 2010 Grammys, where Lady Gaga performed on a piano designed by Koh specifically for the occasion.
Koh’s work has been associated with New Gothic Art.
In nothingtoodoo, his first solo show at the Mary Boone Gallery, Koh, “dressed in white pajamalike clothes, slowly circl[es] a beautiful cone-shaped pile of rocky solar salt â€” 8 feet high and 24 feet across â€” on his knees.” So Roberta Smith described the work in an appreciative March, 2011, review. “This is performance art reduced to a bare and relentless rite in a space that has been stripped down to a kind of temple. (Its regal proportions help.) … Maybe the work is an extended apology for past bad-boy behavior.
Sally McKay is an independent curator, artist and art writer. Pursuing a long-term exploration into the connects and disconnects between art and science, she is currently researching neuroaesthetics for her PhD program in Art History and Visual Culture at York University in Toronto. Her art writing has been published in the Globe and Mail, Canadian Art, Flash Art, Fuse Magazine, C Magazine and various other publications including exhibition catalogues and curatorial essays.
From 1997-2003 she was co-owner/editor of the Toronto art magazine Lola with Catherine Osborne. Recent curatorial projects include the touring group show Quantal Strife (2006-2008), Woodlot: The Third Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery Biennial (2007) and Mods and Rockers, curated for digifest and Harbourfront Center in Toronto (2006). In 2008, McKay held a three-week curatorial residency at Open Space in Victoria, BC. She is currently curating Too Cool For School, an art and science fair and exhibition scheduled for 2010 as part of Fresh Ground New Works, Harbourfront Centerâ€™s national commissioning program.
William Grant “Will” Munro (February 11, 1975 â€“ May 21, 2010) was a Toronto artist, club promoter, and restaurateur known for his work as a community builder among disparate Toronto groups. As a visual artist, he was known for fashioning artistic works out of underwear; as a club promoter, he was best known for his long-running Toronto queer club night, Vazaleen.
Born in Australia, Munro grew up mostly in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and moved to nearby Toronto to study at the Ontario College of Art, graduating in 2000. Influenced by such artists as General Idea and the queercore movement, he received critical attention for his work with men’s underwear, a medium he used eventually to create collages of colourful performers he admired such as Klaus Nomi and Leigh Bowery. He created silkscreen posters to advertise Vazaleenâ€”his monthly nightclub party that was unusual for being a queer event where punk and other rock music was prominently played, and for being one of the first to exist beyond the confines of the gay ghetto. The party was known for attracting a diverse crowd, and at its peak brought in such performers as Nina Hagen; international “best-of” nightclub lists took notice.
Munro died of brain cancer in May 2010. Posthumous exhibits of his art work included a 2010 show at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and in 2011 he was the first male artist to be featured in the feminist Montreal art gallery La Centrale.
Will Munro was born in Sydney, Australia in 1975. Later that year his family moved to Canada, just outside of Montreal, and then lived in Mississauga, Ontario from 1980 onwards.
Despite his involvement in nightclub events, Munro did not consume alcohol or recreational drugs. He was a vegan from a young age. For many years, he volunteered as a peer counsellor at the Toronto Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line, where an annual award was established in his honour after his death.
Munro was diagnosed with brain cancer and underwent surgery to remove a tumour in 2008. A second surgery was performed in October 2009. He entered into palliative care in April 2010, and died on May 21, 2010.
Munro moved from Mississauga to Toronto after high school, to attend the Ontario College of Art (OCA). From early on in his career, his signature medium was pastiche work with men’s underwear.The origins of this work date back to his Intro to Sculpture class at OCA, where his professor asked the students to “bring a special object to class that isn’t really functional, but is special to you.” Munro had long had an affinity for special underwear, ever since his mother had refused to buy him Underoos superhero underwear when he was a child; regarding white briefs, he said, “They were clinical and sterile. They weren’t very sexy. It just felt very repressed. I wanted Underoos so bad.” For the sculpture class, Munro decided to bring in a pair of underwear that he had stolen from a high school friend on whom he had a crush. He put the grey underwear on display in a Plexiglass cage, complete with air holes. In his subsequent work he decided to use white briefs as a medium “because they were so accessible.” The summer after his sculpture class, to keep himself busy on a road trip, he made a quilt out of white underwear. In 1997, his first show involving underwear was held in a gallery supported by his college. The show received publicity after conservative columnist Michael Coren, in the Toronto Sun and on the radio, criticized Munro and his show, in particular for having said that it involved “boys’ underwear” (although Munro had simply meant guys’ underwear). Coren asked the public to bring dirty diapers to the exhibit, but no one did.10 Munro went on to have many showings of his underwear art, mostly “rescued” from second-hand Goodwill clothing outlets, including at Who’s Emma, HEADspace, and Paul Petro Contemporary Art. Actor Selma Blair bought one of Munro’s underwear works when she was in town for the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival.
Munro’s influences included the work of General Idea, and the queercore movement.Speaking about the confluence of his music events and his art, Munro said in 2004, “This is where the music scene and gay underground come together. We’re at a time when all kinds of shifts are happening. The structure of artists’ galleries are changing. Magazines are changing. There’s more different kinds of artist activity that’s happening. All this is having an impact on my visual work. And my visual work is more and more going into performance.” Galleries exhibiting his work have included Art in General, in New York City, Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown, and Toronto galleries Zsa Zsa, Mercer Union, YYZ Artists’ Outlet, Paul Petro Contemporary Art, and the Art Gallery of York University. Munro was named on the longlist of finalists for the Sobey Art Award in 2010.
A posthumous exhibit of his work, “Total Eclipse”, was presented at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2010.Works included collages, made from underwear, that depict Klaus Nomi and Leigh Bowery, both of whom Munro admired.Reviewing the show in Canadian Art, critic Sholem Krishtalka wrote that Munro’s work is “insistent on the necessity of self-made culture and buttressed by an encyclopedic knowledge of queer underground cultural history.”
Other posthumous exhibitions of his work include a 2011 show at the feminist La Centrale gallery in Montrealâ€”a first for a male artist in that spaceâ€”and in 2012 a major retrospective at the Art Gallery of York University.
Munro started the monthly party Vaseline (later renamed Vazaleen) in Toronto at a time when most gay clubs featured house music or other types of dance music. His hope was to draw a more diverse crowd: he said at the time, “I’d like to do something that’ll encompass all the freaks out there, myself included.” In addition to its stereotype-countering incorporation of punk and other rock music, his club night was also noted to be unusual for being located outside of the Church and Wellesley gay neighbourhood. It was atypical as well for having about 50 percent women attending the event. Munro said, “I was determined to get women to attend and I did it in a really simple way. I put lots of images of women and dyke icons on the posters and flyersâ€”groups like The Runaways or singers like Nina Hagen and Carole Pope. I wanted women to know instantly that this was their space as much as anybody else’s.” It began in the downstairs space at El Mocambo in late 1999, moved to the upstairs space in January 2000, and in late 2001, when El Mocambo was threatening to close, to Lee’s Palace, where it continued as a monthly event until 2006.
In a lengthy article about Vazaleen in Toronto Life, critic R. M. Vaughan wrote, “In its lewd, spontaneous, hysterical and glamorous way, Vazaleen defined a new Toronto aesthetic, a playful and endlessly inventive mode of presentation that encompassed everything from lesbian prog- rock to tranny camp to vintage punk revival to good old-fashioned loud-mouthed drag.” In an editorial in C magazine, Amish Morrell wrote, “At [Vazaleen] it was not only okay to be gay, but it was okay to be other than gay. One could be just about anything. The effect was that it completely destabilized all preconceptions of gender and sexual identity, in a hyperlibidinous environment where everyone became a performer.” Benjamin Boles of Now wrote, “These days itâ€™s normal in Toronto for hip gay scenes to flourish outside of the queer ghetto and to attract a wide spectrum of genders and orientations, but that didnâ€™t really happen until Vazaleen took off and became a veritable community for everyone who didnâ€™t fit into the mainstream homo world. For too long, it was too rare to see dykes, fags, trans people, and breeders hanging out together, and Munro changed that.” Vazaleen became a launching pad for such musical acts as Peaches and Lesbians on Ecstasy. Other bands performing at Vazaleen early in their careers were The Hidden Cameras, Crystal Castles, and The Gossip. At the height of the event’s popularity, Munro appeared on the cover of Now magazine (made up to look similar to David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane album cover), musical guests included Carole Pope, Tracy + the Plastics, Vaginal Davis, and Nina Hagen, and Vazaleen appeared on “best-of” nightclub lists internationally.
Munro produced other Toronto club nights such as Peroxide, which featured electro music, No T. O., which showcased No Wave, Seventh Heaven Dream Disco, and the amateur stripper party Moustache. In 2006, Munro and his friend Lynn MacNeil bought The Beaver CafÃ©, in the West Queen West neighbourhood. Arts columnist Murray Whyte of the Toronto Star wrote, “Willâ€™s virtual status as hub took bricks-and-mortar form: The Beaver quickly became that cozy, everyone-in-the-pool house party, a sort of community hall/mini dance club, and an alt-culture oasis”. “Love Saves the Day” became Munro’s dance music night at The Beaver, which he continued to organize even as his illness began to prevent him from leaving home. His final night of DJing in person was at a special Halloween Vazaleen party at Lee’s Palace in 2009.
Bruce LaBruce wrote of Munro’s impact on Toronto, just prior to his death: “As we all know, Toronto can be a cruel and unforgiving city. What makes Will Munro so extraordinary as an artist and as a person is that he has not only remained true to such a harsh mistress, but that he has also contributed so substantially to the fabric and heft of this often maleficent metropolis. His dedication to community work (including volunteering for a decade at an LGBT youth crisis hotline) and to creating social and sexual stimulation for the queer community outside the decaying gay ghetto (namely, his wonderfully raunchy club night, Vazaleen, and his participation as a founding partner in revitalizing the Beaver CafÃ©) is unmatched.
Maurizio Nannucci was born in Florence on April 20, 1939. He studied at Florenceâ€™s Fine Art Academy and in Berlin before working for many years with experimental theater groups as a set designer. During the first half of the 1960s, he consolidated the basic elements of what would become his visual language by exploring the rapport between art, language, and image, and by creating the first Dattilogrammi, in which words reclaim their strength as symbols. At the same time he was in contact with Fluxus artists, developed an interest for visual poetry, and collaborated with the studio â€œS 2F Mâ€ (Studio di Fonologia Musicale, Florence) to produce electronic music. Nannucci focused on using the voice and words to produce sound installations.
In 1967, during his first solo exhibition at the Centro Arte Viva, Trieste, he presented his first neon light texts, thus emphasizing the temporary quality of writing and not the material quality of objects. In 1968 he founded the publishing house Exempla in Florence and Zona Archives Edizioni, both of which published books and catalogues on artists like Sol Le Witt, John Armleder, James Lee Byars, Robert Filliou, and Ian Hamilton Finlay. Nannucci believes that publications and multiples are themselves manifestations of a type of artistic practice that considers art a mental process, one that can be applied to the mass production of everyday objects in order to unify divergent threads in art. The art object may lose its uniqueness, but it gains presence and new freedom.
During the 1990s the artist renewed his interest in the relationship between work, architecture, and urban landscape by collaborating with the architects Auer & Weber, Mario Botta, Massimiliano Fuksas, and Renzo Piano. Some of his permanent installations can be seen at the Auditiorium of the Parco Della Musica and Fiumicino airport, both in Rome, and at the Bibliothek des Deutschen Bundestages, Berlin. Nannucci has been a featured artist at the Venice Biennale several times and has participated in Documenta, Kassel, and the SÃ£o Paulo, Sydney, Istanbul, and Valencia biennials. His work belongs to museum collections all over the world, including those of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and the Paul Getty Art Center, Los Angeles.
Born in California to Canadian parents in 1955, Daniel Olson completed degrees in mathematics and architecture before obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1986 from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Halifax) and a Master of Fine Arts in 1995 from York University (Toronto). Olsonâ€™s work â€“ which includes sculpture, multiples, installation, photography,performance, audio, video and artistâ€™s books â€“ has been exhibited widely, including shows at the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), the MusÃ©e national des beaux-arts du QuÃ©bec (QuÃ©bec), Galerie Optica (MontrÃ©al), and the Canadian Cultural Centre (Paris). Olson has published numerous artistâ€™s books and multiples, most of which have been available at Art Metropole in Toronto, where he is also represented by Birch Libralato. Since 2001 Olson has been living and working in Montreal. Solo exhibitions include Twenty Minutesâ€™ Sleep, Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver, 2005); Other Conditions, Modern Fuel (Kingston, 2005); Unknown Seventies Artists, Galerie TPW (Toronto, 2005); and Iâ€™m Not There (1955), Goethe Institute (Dublin, 2004). Olson has exhibited in group exhibitions such as Aural Cultures, Walter Philips Gallery (Banff, Alberta, 2005); Frottements: Objets et surfaces sonores, Musee national des beaux arts de Quebec, (Quebec, 2004); In Light (video projections by eight artists), Art Gallery of Ontario, (Toronto, 2004); and Promise, Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver,2001).
Sandy Plotnikoff is a Toronto based artist. His practice is diverse and includes mixed media works, sculpture, and performance. Plotnikoff employs a variety of working methods, sometime collaborative, sometimes centered on found objects.
In 2001, Plotnikoff acquired an antique foil stamping press, found while surfing the online swapshop Craigslist. Using metal type and dies, the press was used commercially to emboss metallic foil lettering onto product packaging.
Plotnikoff began using the press to embellish a small series of paper products, â€˜zines and collages, then moved onto stamping directly onto items such as cd jackets, books, stickers, food, napkins, coins, wallets, shoes, and furniture.
As the artist became more adept with the press, this ongoing series evolved into increasingly abstract foil treatments, Foil On Paper
Plotnikoff received his BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, in 1997. Three years late he co-founded the Laundry Line project space. In 2006 he was a Workshop facilitator at Decoding the Undertow in Halifax, NS. and the following year he was a session instructor at the University of Guelph.
Michael Snow was born in Toronto not so long ago, and lives there now â€“ but has also lived in Montreal, Chicoutimi and New York.
He is a musician (piano and other instruments) who has performed solo as well as with various ensembles (most often with the CCMC of Toronto) in Canada, USA, Europe and Japan. Numerous recordings of his music have been released.
His films have been presented at festivals in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Korea, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Turkey, United Kingdom and USA, and are in the collections of several film archives, including Anthology Film Archives in New York City, the Royal Belgian Film Archives (Brussels), and the Ã–sterreichische Film Museum (Vienna).
He has been a painter and sculptor, though since 1962, much of his gallery work has been photo-based or holographic. Work in all these media is represented in private and public collections world-wide, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig (Vienna), Centre Georges-Pompidou (Paris), and both the MusÃ©e des beaux-arts and MusÃ©e d’art contemporain in Montreal.
Since 1970 he has done video, film, slide and sound installations, and made such bookworks as Michael Snow/A Survey (1970), Cover to Cover (1975), 56 Tree Poems (1999), and BIOGRAPHIE of the Walking Woman 1961-1967 (2004), as well as magazine works for Impulse (1975), Photo-Communique (1986), and C magazine (1993).
Retrospectives of his painting, sculpture, photoworks and holography have been presented at the Hara Museum (Tokyo), of his films at the CinÃ©mathÃ¨que FranÃ§aise and Centre Georges-Pompidou (Paris), Anthology Film Archives and Museum of Modern Art (New York) and L’Institut LumiÃ¨re (Lyon) and of his work in all media simultaneously in 1994 at the Power Plant and the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto). A retrospective of his photoworks 1962-99 called Panoramique was presented in 1999 at the Palais des Beaux Arts (Brussels), touring the following year to Centre national de la photographie (Paris), MAMCO (Geneva), and Centre pour l’image contemporaine Saint-Gervais (Geneva). Additional retrospective exhibitions have been mounted at the Vancouver Art Gallery and the MusÃ©e d’art contemporain de MontrÃ©al.
Solo and group shows of his visual art works have been presented at museums and galleries in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Berlin, Bonn, Boston, Brussels, Kassel, Lima, Los Angeles, Lucerne, Lyons, Minneapolis, Montreux, Munich, New York, Ottawa, Paris, Pittsburgh, Quebec City, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Toronto and elsewhere.
Michael Snow has executed several public sculpture commissions, the best known being Flight Stop at Eaton Centre (1979) and The Audience (1988-1989)at Skydome (now Rogers Centre), both in Toronto. His installation The Windows Suite was opened in September 2006 at the Pantages Hotel and Condominium complex on Victoria Street, Toronto.
He has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship (1972) the Order of Canada (Officer, 1982; Companion, 2007), and the first Governor Generalâ€™s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2000) for cinema. Snow was made a Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres, France (1995) and in 2004 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the UniversitÃ© de Paris I, PanthÃ©on-Sorbonne.
(from Fondation Langlois website)
Chrysanne Stathacos is a multi-media artist and educator whose work has been exhibited extensively in museums, galleries, sculpture gardens, train stations, and public spaces internationally for twenty-five years. She was born in Buffalo, New York in 1951 and studied fine arts at the Cleveland Institute of Art (1969-1970); at York University, Toronto (1970-1973); and at the Open Studio, Toronto (1975-1976). Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s Stathacos was active in the Toronto artist-run community, curating projects for A-Space, and co-directing The Gap, a performance art space she co-founded in 1980 with Martin Heath, Colin Lochhead, Elke Town, and David Buchan (1950-1994). In the late 1970s Stathacos became associated with the art collective General Idea, eventually becoming close friends with the group’s founders, AA Bronson (b. 1946), Felix Partz (1945-1994), and Jorge Zontal (1944-1994). Stathacos moved to Brooklyn, New York in 1981 and after two years there relocated to Manhattan, where she co-curated The Abortion Project with Kathe Burkhart (b. 1958) at Artists’ Space and the Simon Watson Gallery, New York in 1991 and the following year collaborated with Hunter Reynolds, aka Patina du Prey (b. 1959), on a performance piece entitled The Banquet at the Thread Waxing Space. Other major works by Stathacos include 1-900, Mirror Mirror (1994), a performance piece; The Wish Machine (1995), her first interactive public art work; The Aura Project (1999-2006); Refuge, a Wish Garden (2002); and The Roses (2006). Noteworthy collaborations in which Stathacos participated include Green Machine (1994), with composer Ben Neill (b. 1957); and One Night, One Garden One Wish (2006), with sound artist Andrew Zealley (b. 1956). Stathacos has received awards from Art Matters (1995), the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation (1998), the Japan Foundation (2001), and the Puffin Foundation (2005). She is represented in numerous public collections, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria; the Art Gallery of Hamilton; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; and the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester.
Lawrence Weiner has exhibited at the Museu dâ€™Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain (2013), the Jewish Museum, New York (2012), the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2000), the Museum Ludwig, Cologne (1995), the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1994), the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (1990), and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (1990). An important traveling retrospective of his work was shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the K21 Kunstsammlung Nordhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2007-2008). He has participated in Documenta V (1972), VI (1977), VII (1982), and XIII (2012) the Venice Biennale (2013, 2003, 1984, and 1972) as well as the Biennale Sao Paolo in 2006. Among his many honors are the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships (1976 and 1983), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1994), Wolfgang Hahn Prize (1995), and a Skowhegan Medal for Painting/Conceptual Art (1999). In 2013 he was awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Graduate Center, City University of New York.
Andrew Zealley is a Toronto-based artist whose work expands beyond audio and music methods to inform mixed disciplines and media. His practice has been situated at the shifting nexus of HIV/AIDS, queer identity, and the body since 1990. Zealley s audio installation, Nature: This Is A Recording, is in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada. He has recordings published by labels Art Metropole, Fine & Dandy, How To Explain Silence To A Dead Hare, Old Europa Cafe, Public Record/Ultra-red, Tourette Records, and Vague Terrain. Zealley holds an MFA in interdisciplinary studies from OCAD University. He is currently pursuing doctoral research through the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University; Program of Study: Safe and Sound: Art, Queer Listening, and Biopolitics of HIV/AIDS.
1: Timeline designed by Nestor Kruger, with text by Fern Bayer.
2: Over-sized underwear by Will Munro.
3: Installation shot of the 30 year retrospective.
4: L: The view from the entrance. R: Art Metropole Director Ann Dean in front of the Art Metropole Timeline.
5: L: The timeline incorporates many of Art Metropole's 300 published items. R: Chrysanne Stathacos' Wish Machine on the rear wall dispenses free wishes.
6: Fern Bayer and Ann Dean celebrating the launch of the exhibition.