Faculty of Art faculty represented in Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989

Black and White image showing a woman inside a chest of drawers
Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 4:00am to Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 4:00am

PUBLIC OPENING: Wednesday, September 28  6 – 9 pm  Walker Court/AGO

Exploring the experimental energy of an era, Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 brings together more than 100 works by 65 artists and collectives to highlight an innovative period in Toronto art history. Amidst the social and political upheavals of their time, the generation of artists that emerged in Toronto during the 1970s and 1980s pushed the boundaries of conventional painting, sculpture and photography, exploring new ways of art making including video, installation and performance. Drawing heavily from the AGO collection Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 opens on September 29, 2016, filling the entire fourth floor of the AGO’s Contemporary Tower. The exhibition, which runs until May, 2017, will be accompanied by a live performance series, a film and video festival, as well as satellite installations throughout the Gallery.

Organized thematically and punctuated by references to Toronto and its cityscape, the exhibition highlights the era’s preoccupation with ideas of performance, the body, the image, self portraiture, storytelling, and representation. Featured artists include Michael Snow, Joanne Tod, the Clichettes, Duke Redbird, Barbara Astman, Robin Collyer, Robert Houle, Carol Condé and Karl Beveridge, as well as highly influential artists like photographer June Clarke, illustrator Ato Seitu, and dub poet Lillian Allen. This is the first time since the AGO’s reopening in 2008 that many of these seminal works have been on display.

Curated by Wanda Nanibush, assistant curator of Canadian and Indigenous art, the title of the exhibition—a reference to the city’s many buried waterways—serves as a visual metaphor for the diversity of the cities art scene and its similarly buried histories. Intended as an evolving display, many of the works in the exhibition are scheduled to be rotated in January 2017.

Toronto:Tributes + Tributaries List of Artists

Rhonda Abrams, Shelagh Alexander, Lillian Allen, Stephen Andrews, Barbara Astman, Rebecca Belmore, Raphael Bendahan,Ron Benner, Karl Beveridge + Carol Condé, David Bolduc, Susan Britton, Brian Burnett, Colin Campbell, Ian Carr-Harris, Elizabeth Chitty, June Clark, The Clichettes, Robin Collyer, Keith Cole, Stephen Cruise, Greg Curnoe, Dennis Day, Martha Davis, Tom Dean, Lily Eng, Bruce Elder, Andy Fabo, FASTWÜRMS, Murray Favro, Robert Flack, Robert Fones, Vera Frenkel, Richard Fung, General Idea, Ron Giii, Oliver Girling, Will Gorlitz, K.M. Graham, John Greyson, Janice Gurney, Noel Harding, Jamelie Hassan, Ame Henderson & Evan Webber, Phil Hoffman, Robert Houle, Johanna Householder, Hummer Sisters, Tim Jocelyn, Nancy Johnson, Brian Kipping, Nobuo Kubota, Suzy Lake, Glace W. Lawrence, Rita Letendre, Louise Liliefeldt, Jorge Lozano, Catharine MacTavish, Arnaud Maggs, Annette Mangaard, Robert Nelson Markle, Tanya Mars, John Massey, Derek May, John McEwen, Deepa Mehta, Kim Moodie, Norval Morrisseau, Kazuo Nakamura, Shelley Niro, Louise Noguchi, Midi Onodera, Susan Oxtoby, Andy Patton, Randy & Berenicci, David Rasmus, Gordon Rayner, Duke Redbird, Clive Robertson, Patricia Rozema, Su Rynard, Jayce Salloum, Ato Seitu, Arthur Shilling, Tom Sherman, Walter Scott, John Scott, Michael Snow, Lisa Steele & Kim Tomczak, Joanne Tod, Jeff Thomas, Tony Urquhart, Carol Wainio, Douglas Walker, Rodney Werden, Shirley Wiitasalo, Winsom Winsom, Colette Whiten, Tim Whiten, Joyce Wieland, David Zapparolli

EXHIBITION DATES:  September 29, 2016 – May 2017 

Venue & Address: 
Art Gallery of Ontario 317 Dundas Street West Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Website: 
http://www.ago.net/toronto-tributes-tributaries-1971-1989

Barbara Astman, in "Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989"

photo of a woman with text overlay
Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 4:00am to Monday, May 29, 2017 - 4:00am

New AGO exhibition explores the experimental energy of the Toronto art scene in the 70s and 80s

Groundbreaking exhibition comes to life with film festival and experimental performance series featuring Rebecca Belmore, Jérôme Havre, Lillian Allen, Walter Scott, Louise Liliefeldt and many more

TORONTO — Toronto in the 1970s and 1980s was a city growing into its international status. Along with the city’s boom came the social and political upheavals of the era; the Spadina Expressway protests, bath house raids and fights over pay equity, multiculturalism and social housing dominated the headlines. In the midst of this, a new generation of Toronto artists emerged, pushing the boundaries of sculpture, painting and photography and exploring new ways of art making including video, installation and performance. This fall, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), revisits that complicated era with a wide-ranging display of artists and artwork. Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 opens on Sept. 29, 2016 and runs until May 2017, filling the entire fourth floor of the AGO’s Contemporary Tower.

Initiated by Andrew Hunter, the AGO’s Frederik S. Eaton Curator of Canadian Art, Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 is curated by Wanda Nanibush, Assistant Curator of Canadian and Indigenous Art. The title of the exhibition—a reference to the city’s many buried waterways—serves as a visual metaphor for the diversity of the art scene and its similarly buried histories.

Drawing heavily from the AGO collection and featuring more than 100 works by 65 artists and collectives, the exhibition will be accompanied by a live performance series, a film and video festival, as well as satellite installations throughout the Gallery. Organized thematically, the exhibition is bookended by two significant works from the AGO’s collection, General Idea’s The Miss General Idea Pageant (1971) and Rebecca Belmore’s sculpture Rising to the Occasion (1987-1991).

“In the tension between these two works—one a critique of the art world’s star system, and the other a deeply personal, politicized performance—we see how substantially things changed in only two decades,” says Wanda Nanibush. “Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, issues of democracy, race, gender, sexuality, and colonialism made real headway in exploding the traditional art historical categories. In this period we see not only a plurality of voices emerging but the very definition of artistic practice expanding, encompassing publishing, theatre, performance and identity politics.”

Punctuated by references to Toronto and its cityscape, the exhibition highlights the era’s preoccupation with ideas of performance, the body, the image, self portraiture, storytelling, and representation. The artists featured came from a range of backgrounds and generations, drawing on personal anecdote, humour, critique as well as familiar images of people and places to inform their work. 

Artists and collectives featured in the exhibition include Michael Snow, Joanne Tod, the Clichettes, Duke Redbird, Barbara Astman, Robin Collyer, Robert Houle, Carol Conde and Carl Beveridge, June Clarke, Ato Seitu, and Lillian Allen. This is the first time since the AGO’s reopening in 2008 that many of these seminal works have been on display. Exhibition panels will include texts in both English and Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway), acknowledging Toronto as the traditional territory of the Mississauga people.

Intended as an evolving display, many of the works in the exhibition are scheduled to be rotated in January 2017, inviting visitors to rediscover even more artists including Vera Frenkel, Jayce Salloum and FASTWÜRMS. Satellite exhibitions will be installed in the J.S. McLean Centre for Canadian Art and the Marvin Gelber Prints & Drawings Treasury. These evolving installations will draw connections between the exhibition on the fourth floor and other collections within the Gallery.

PROGRAMMING
To mark the opening of the exhibition, the AGO hosts a free public opening on Sept. 28, 2016 in Walker Court from 6 to 9 p.m. Partygoers will have a special sneak peek of the exhibition that evening following remarks at 7 p.m.

In tandem with the exhibition, the AGO presents a dynamic six week-long series of free live performances, entitled Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries in Performance. A mix of new commissions and revivals, the series features artists Rebecca Belmore, Jérôme Havre, Walter Scott, Lillian Allen, Louise Liliefeldt, Keith Cole, Johanna Householder, Ame Henderson and Evan Webber. Rebecca Belmore and Jérôme Havre will create installations for Nuit Blanche on Oct. 1, 2016 and Lillian Allen will guest-program AGO Friday Nights in October, culminating in a performance in Walker Court by Allen and her collaborators on October 28. All other performances will take place inside Signy Eaton Gallery. More details, including a schedule of performances, will be posted on www.ago.net in the weeks to come. 

A film and video festival dedicated to Toronto’s pioneering video artists from 1970s and 1980s, coordinated in partnership with V-Tape and CFMDC, will run in Jackman Hall from March 9 to 12, 2017. More details, including a full schedule, will be announced in the coming months.

The exhibition is accompanied by the 128 page soft cover publication, Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries. Written by Nanibush, this richly illustrated essay is the second in the new AGO Toronto series, published by the AGO and dedicated to telling the story of Toronto and its artists. The book will be available exclusively in shopAGO as of Sept. 26, 2016 and is priced at $9.95.

ADMISSION
Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 is included with the price of general admission and is free to AGO members. More information on the benefits of AGO membership can be found at www.ago.net/general-membership.

Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario.

 

 

Venue & Address: 
Art Gallery of Ontario 317 Dundas Street West Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Website: 
http://www.ago.net/new-ago-exhibition-explores-the-experimental-energy-of-the-toronto-art-scene-in-the-70s-and-80s
Phone: 
1-877-225-4246 or 416-979-6648