Imago Mundi — Great and North
October 24 to December 16, 2018
Public opening reception
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
7 to 9 p.m.
This comprehensive exhibition features works by 760 artists from across Canada, including Inuit and Indigenous artists from Turtle Island. The exhibition brochure is available online here.
Installation designed by architect Tobia Scarpa
Documentary video by Laurie Kwasnik
Francesca Valente, Lead Curator of the exhibition, has selected artists from Central and Eastern Canada working in several disciplines: painting, sculpture, architecture, design, cinema, music and literature. Among the featured artists are: Rebecca Belmore, Edward Burtynsky, Douglas Cardinal, Jack Diamond, Robert Houle, Moshe Safdie, Andrew Jones, Mary Pratt, Michael Snow, Margaret Atwood.
Jennifer Karch Verzè curated contemporary Western Canadian, Inuit, and Indigenous artists from Canada and the United States.
It is a simple and powerful idea: to concentrate an enormous scope of vision – the work of almost 800 artists of various disciplines from across the vast territory of North America, including Canada’s far north – into a space one can hold in the palm of a hand. Painters, sculptors, photographers, architects and writers, each with their own vision and intent, working in mediums as varied and intimate as rose petals and sealskin, each creating a work on a canvas of 10 x 12 cm: that is the exhibition Imago Mundi Great and North, illuminating how such a diversity of landscape and practitioner can create an intriguing and inventive whole. It is affecting to witness the scope of the exhibit – the sheer number of works – and the intimacy of each canvas. Here almost 800 people have left their mark, a statement in their own hand, the size of a hand. It is a reminder of how various and vulnerable we are, a reminder in this agitated world of what it means to concentrate one’s full attention on the smallest detail. Great and North is part of an ongoing project that has been collecting these small works – all identical in size – from across the globe. It is a remarkable venture, and it is the grandeur of its ambition coupled with the humbleness of the size of each work that so slyly demonstrates the dual truth of human scale – both our reach and our mortality. Art imagines beyond the self, to something undeniably universal. It also says, poignantly, like these small canvases, “here I am”.
- Anne Michaels
Imago Mundi is about Art and the World without borders — a democratic, collective and global map-in-the-making of human culutres at the start of the third millenium — as envisioned by Luciano Benetton, art patron and creator of United Colors of Benetton. With a single format, 10 x 12 cm, the entire international Imago Mundi collection brings together artists from every continent: to date, more than 25,000 from over 150 countries.
Onsite Gallery is the flagship professional gallery of OCAD U and an experimental curatorial platform for art, design and new media. Visit our website for upcoming public events. The gallery is located at 199 Richmond St. W, Toronto, ON, M5V 0H4. Telephone: 416-977-6000, ext. 265. Opening hours are: Wednesdays from noon to 8 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 7 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Free admission.
Onsite Gallery gratefully acknowledges that the new gallery construction project is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Canada Cultural Spaces Fund at Canadian Heritage, the City of Toronto through a Section 37 agreement and Aspen Ridge Homes; with gallery furniture by Nienkämper. Onsite Gallery logo by Dean Martin Design.
Image: Meryl McMaster, Wayfinding, 2015, mixed media, 10 x 12 cm. Courtesy of the Luciano Benetton Collection.