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a boy standing near a brick wall with graffiti

Jeff Thomas, Bear Portrait, No.1, Culture Revolution, 1984. © Jeff Thomas

Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989

September 29, 2016 – May 22, 2017


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 fills the entire fourth floor of the AGO’s Contemporary Tower. The exhibition runs until May 22, 2017, will be accompanied by 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 Conde and Carl 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 were rotated and refreshed in January 2017, so visitors could rediscover even more artists including Vera Frenkel, Jayce Salloum and Fastwurms.

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
  • 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

Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario

This exhibition is included with general admission.

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