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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Closed for installation
until June 7, 2024

Admission always free
13 Sep 91until12 Oct 91

Joanne Tod

New Paintings

555 Hamilton St

Joanne Tod, Disobeying Order (detail), 1991. Photo: Jim Jardine.

Toronto-based artist Joanne Tod played a significant role in the reassessment of figurative painting in Canada during the early 1980s. She has since continued to receive critical attention for her provocative approach to imagery and subject matter.

While remaining a painter in an era currently dominated by photo-based work, many of Tod's cool, seemingly straightforward and illustrative images are ironically modelled on photographs found in a variety of glossy magazines. But the straightforward and illustrative aspects of her work are undermined by the inclusion of incongruous elements that challenge a linear or complacent reading of the paintings.

Depicting social stereotypes, both human and architectural, Tod encourages a questioning of assumptions based upon the representation of gender, race and class. The two paintings in this exhibition, for example, portray rooms that initially convey a sense of femininity, traditional values and luxury. However, she has skewed the composition through perspectival devices and incorporated alien markings and figures that upset such "perfect" settings. The norms that are implied in these two paintings are turned back on themselves and made strange. In addition, a tension is created through an arrangement of furniture and objects that suggests an impending drama.

Joanne Tod is represented by the Carmen Lamanna Gallery in Toronto. A survey of her paintings is currently on a tour of Toronto's Power Plant, Saskatoon's Mendel Art Gallery and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

The Contemporary Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the BC Government through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Recreation and Culture, the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, and the Contemporary Arts Society.