Visual Art & Art History

What's Happening



Career Conversation Webinar with Ingrid Chu, Writer & Curator, New York City

Wednesday, April 15, 2014
4:00 - 5:00pm
Online (you will receive the web address in an email when you register)

Sponsored by York University Alumni Relations.

About the Event

Interested in a career in visual arts? Wondering what it's like to live and work in New York? Get the inside scoop from a York alumna currently enjoying a career in the field.

During this online interview, Ingrid Chu will share her personal story and how her career path took her from graduation to starting up a non-profit commissioning organization in New York. Ingrid will answer questions about what skills, knowledge and experience have helped her enjoy a successful career in visual arts, and share tips for living and working in the United States. Ingrid will also answer questions about her job and provide insight into the types of opportunities available within her field. The webinar will be moderated by a Career Centre team member and students will be encouraged to type in their career questions on the chat forum.


Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty

Curated for the AGO by Dan Adler, associate professor of art history at York University, Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty is the first Canadian exhibition of Bacon’s work and includes rarely seen Moore pieces, from both the AGO collection and elsewhere. Moore’s works are a cornerstone of the AGO collection, and pairing them with those by Francis Bacon sets them in a new light. The exhibition also presents more than 30 archival photographs by acclaimed German-born British photographer Bill Brandt.

Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty draws on the artists’ experiences during times of conflict and violence, including the London Blitz of the Second World War, to examine how confinement and angst fostered their extraordinary creativity and unique visions. It also demonstrates how the two artists reflected differently upon torment.

For more information, visit the AGO.

Fovea propeller akimbo tn

Fovea: Juried BFA Show at the Propeller Centre for the Arts

March 19-30, 2014

Opening reception: Saturday March 22,  2 - 5 pm

For the seventh consecutive year, Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts hosts a juried group show featuring works by 12 graduating students from the BFA program in York University's Department of Visual Art & Art History.

The exhibition showcases works selected from Fovea, the Visual Arts Open House taking place on campus March 12.

The works in the show are chosen by jurors including studio faculty members and an art historian for each studio area.

Propeller Centre for the Arts Gallery hours:

Wednesday to Saturday, 12 to 6pm and Sunday, 12 to 5pm.

984 Queen St. West

Toronto, ON M6J 1H1

Tel: (416) 504-7142

Admission is free and all are welcome.

March3 york2

Goldfarb Lecture in Visual Arts

Canadian artist Shary Boyle was the featured speaker for the 2014 Goldfarb Lecture in Visual Arts at York University.

Boyle spoke about her cross-disciplinary experiments with music, sculpture, theatre and performance over the past 15 years. Balancing the social worlds of travel and collaboration with an intensely private studio practice, Boyle reflected on the necessity and power of each. The value of intensity, empathy, emotional intelligence and identification with the marginal was considered, and the social functions of art and music examined.
The Goldfarb Lecture in Visual Arts is made possible through the generous support of Joan and Martin Goldfarb, longstanding benefactors of the Department of Visual Art & Art History and Faculty of Fine Arts at York University.

For a summary of Boyle's presentation, please read Heather Saunders' blog.

When: Tuesday, March 11 – 4:00 to 5:30pm
Where: Room 312 Joan & Martin Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts, York University, 4700 Keele St. Toronto


Fovea2.0 tn

Fovea: Visual Arts Open House

Wednesday March 26, 2014 - New Date!!

The Department of Visual Art & Art History presents a gala evening with Fovea, a spectacular open house featuring hundreds of works in print media, drawing, painting, photography, sculpture and time-based art created by the rising young talent in the department.

The open house exhibition transforms the entire Joan & Martin Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts into one giant art party, with works on view in studios on all four floors throughout the building, as well as the Gales Gallery in the Accolade West Building.

More than $7000 in prizes will be awarded to student artists in a presentation event taking place in the lobby at 6:00pm.

Admission is free and all are welcome.

Joan & Martin Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts
York University


Michel Daigneault Some Reflections on the Naked Mountain

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present the most recent paintings of Michel Daigneault in Some Reflections on the Naked Mountain, an exhibition which brings together a dozen of the artist’s most recent large format canvases.

In Some Reflections on the Naked Mountain, Daigneault intensifies his orchestration of a transitory space to further undermine the border between the two great categories of painting – figuration and abstraction. In these new works, the painter incites the viewer to rethink what is being seen by creating a pictorial space where the vocabulary of abstraction depicts a recognizable reality. His painterly strategies allow him to play with and juggle certain visual analogies. The mountain, as the title of the exhibition indicates, functions here as an allusion. Latent, imprecise, it appears in the painting in different forms – be it a contour line, an accumulation of shapes, or yet again, the architecture of landscape in its own right. 

Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Friday 12 pm to 6 pm; Saturday 11 am to 5 pm





Moderated by Jennifer Fisher
ACE 004
Christof Migone's first curatorial project was Touch that Dial in 1990 at the SAW Gallery in Ottawa. His most recent, Volume: Hear Here, was presented at the Justina M Barnicke Gallery and Blackwood Gallery in 2013 and garnered a Best Exhibition Award from the Ontario Association of Art Galleries. Migone is also a practicing artist who has presented his work worldwide. His writings have been published in Aural Cultures, S:ON, Experimental Sound & Radio, Musicworks, Radio Rethink, Semiotext(e), Angelaki, Esse, Inter, Performance Research, etc. A book compiling his writings on sound art, Sonic Somatic: Performances of the Unsound Body, was published in 2012 by Errant Bodies Press. He currently lives in Toronto and is Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at Western University in London, Ontario.
Jim Drobnick is the curator of several sound art exhibitions, including Aural Cultures (Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, 2005), Listening Awry (McMaster Museum, Hamilton, 2007) and MetroSonics (National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 2009). He has published on sound, the visual arts, performance, and post-media practices in anthologies such as Artist-Curators (2013), Senses and the City (2011) and Art, History and the Senses (2010), and in journals such as Angelaki, Canadian Theatre Review, High Performance, Parachute, and Performance Research. He edited the anthologies Aural Cultures (2004) and The Smell Culture Reader (2006). He currently co-edits the Journal of Curatorial Studies and is a co-founder of DisplayCult, a curatorial collaborative. Drobnick lives in Toronto and is Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory at OCAD University.



Artist of the Year

York MFA graduate, painter Kim Dorland is the Globe and Mail's pick for visual artist of the year!

Read about his landmark McMichael show curated by York art history PhD candidate Katerina Atanassova.

Globe Arts’ Artists of the Year: Kim Dorland, champion of the wild
by James Adams
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Dec. 28 2013




Nina Levitt at Artscape Youngplace

Professor Nina Levitt was commissioned to do new work for the launch of Artscape Youngplace, an exciting new arts building at 180 Shaw Street,  just north of Queen.

The former elementary school has been renovated as a new arts destination with artist's studios, galleries and arts organizations. Nina's work can be seen in the hallway gallery on the 2nd floor, part of a 5-person show called UNARCHIVE. You can see it any time from 8:00am to 9:00pm, until March 31.




Toronto-based artist and YorkU MFA graduate (2003) Kim Dorland will be showing his latest work as a culmination of his artist-in-residence project at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

Visit the McMichael Art Gallery website for more information.

"Kim Dorland: ‘Tom Thomson on acid’ An unprecedented show puts Dorland’s work alongside the  Group of Seven paintings that inspire him"

Read the full review in MacLean's Magazine as well as a review in the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail.




Spring arnaud


After successful screenings at Hot Docs, Aspen Film Festival, St. John’s International Film Festival and Le Festival du Nouveau Cinema, the documentary Spring & Arnaud comes to Toronto’s Bloor Hot Doc Cinema for 8 screenings of Spring & Arnaud between Nov 1-5, 2013

“Spring & Arnaud is that rarity, a film gem about artists and their work that at the same time tells a compelling love story” - The Toronto Star

See the trailer

Co directed, co produced, edited and creatively facilitated by a host of York U talent.

Associate Professor Katherine Knight, from the Department of Visual Art and York Alumnus Marcia Connolly, screen their feature documentary, “Spring & Arnaud,” at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema in the first week of November 2013.

Cinematically gorgeous and beautifully crafted, Spring & Arnaud is a breathtakingly tender and  intelligent love story about acclaimed Canadian artists Spring Hurlbut and Arnaud Maggs. Spring’s art focuses on mortality and the traces we leave behind: ashes, bones, preserved animals, old metal cribs that invoke the spirits of the deceased in her photography, video, sculpture and installations. Arnaud Maggs, winner of the Scotiabank Photography and Governor General’s awards, remains fascinated by systems of identification, of repetition and the miniscule differences and similarities in collections of people, objects and ephemera while recognizing the authority of photography to express these ideas in massive installations. Whether singing “It’s only a paper moon” together as dusk falls on the French countryside or talking about the process of making art in their Toronto studios, their undying love for each other as they face the reality of Arnaud’s illness literally lights up the screen. Lynne Fernie, Hot Docs

Nov.1, Friday, 2pm and 6:15pm

Nov. 2, Saturday, 12pm, 4:15pm, 8:45pm

Nov. 3, Sunday, 2:15pm and 6:45pm 

Nov. 5,Tuesday, 6:30pm

Featuring York talent

Co Director, cinematographer, and producer: Katherine Knight Associate Professor Visual Arts

Co Director, cinematographer, and producer: Marcia Connolly MFA 2010

Editor: Jared Raab BFA Film Production 2007

Post Supervisor: Chris Wiseman BFA Film Production 2007

Colour Correction: Conor Fisher BFA Film Production 2007

Motion Design: Mathieu Martel BFA Film Production 2007


Emerging artists are being recognized this summer with a couple of award announcements.

Eleven regional winners, who each receive $5,000, were also selected for the BMO prize: Tiffany Wollman of Alberta College of Art and Design; Sam Knopp of Emily Carr University of Art and Design; Hillary Smith of the University of Manitoba; Carson Isenor of Mount Allison University; Whitney French of the Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland; Alexis Bulman of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design; Silas Qulaut of Nunavut Arctic College; Eshan Rafi of York University; Valerie LeClair of Holland College; Laura Rokas-Bérubé of Concordia University; Charles Brendan Schick of the University of Regina; and Derian Blake of the Yukon School of Visual Arts.

Read more



Elle Flanders wins prestigious art award

Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts announced its 2013 awards presented at its Tribute Night, May 9,  2013. 
ARTIST PRIZE $10,000 PUBLIC STUDIO (Elle Flanders & Tamira Sawatsy )
PUBLIC STUDIO is a collective art practice founded in 2007. Flanders,with a rich background in documentary filmmaking, and Sawatsky, a practicing architect, focus on landscapes as an area of cultural struggles.  Elle Flanders is a filmmaker and artist based in Toronto. She was raised in Montreal and Jerusalem and holds both an MA in Critical Theory and an MFA from Rutgers University. She is an alumnus of the Whitney Independent Study Program where she mentored with Mary Kelly and Martha Rosler. Flanders’ work has been screened and exhibited internationally including: the Museum of Modern Art; Berlin International Film Festival; The Toronto International Film Festival, the MOCCA and the Incheon Biennial. She is a founding member of Public Studio with her collaborator, Tamira Sawatzky. Her most recent work includes: Road Shots, a series of large-format laser-cut photographs exhibited at O’Born Contemporary in Toronto; Road Movie, a six screen installation on the segregated roads of Palestine that premiered at TIFF (2011) and the Berlinale (2012); Kino Pravda 3G, a series of video installations addressing current public dissent and protests across the globe; What Isn’t There, a 15-year ongoing photo installation project that documents Palestinian villages that no longer exist; and the award-winning feature documentary Zero Degrees of Separation. Flanders is a PhD candidate in the Visual Arts Studio Program at York University where she also teaches.

To learn more, see Akimbo, TFVA and Public Studio.


Spotlight disjunct

Disjunct: Juried Visual Art Graduation Exhibit

April 18 to 28
Opening Reception:
April 20, 2:30 to 4:30pm
Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts
984 Queen St. West (at Ossington), Toronto

For the sixth consecutive year, Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts hosts a juried group exhibition featuring works by 12 graduating students from York University's Department of Visual Art & Art History. The show, titled "Disjunct", showcases works selected from Kunst-o-rama, the Visual Arts Open House exhibition. Details on the Propeller website.


Odette Residency

LL Odette Artist in Residence /Intensive Sculpture Workshop 2013

The Intensive Sculpture Workshop is an advanced course for senior students focused on sculptural practices. Students propose and create an independent project / body of work under the guidance of a sculpture faculty member and an artist-in-residence.  The workshop structure provides a unique mentorship opportunity where students have reciprocal exchanges with professional Canadian and/or international artist(s). Both the faculty and artist-in-residence provide feedback and in-progress critiques of student work. This year’s visiting artist is Peter von Tiesenhausen.