Nicholas Metivier Gallery

Joanne Tod
Once Removed
April 4–27, 2019


Opening Reception: Thursday, April 4, 6-8pm
Artist talk with Marc Mayer: Saturday, April 13th at 2 pm

Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Joanne Tod. The exhibition will open on April 4th and run until April 27th with an opening reception on Thursday, April 4th.  The gallery will host a talk with Joanne Tod and Marc Mayer on Saturday April 13th at 2 pm.

Joanne Tod is regarded as one of Canada’s most important contemporary realist painters having exhibited nationally and internationally for the past thirty-five years. She is widely known for her extraordinary ability to convey light and depth and for transforming everyday interiors and objects into exquisite visual metaphors that unravel over time.  

Tod’s latest body of work was partly inspired by an act of self-reflection. After taking an ancestry test, Tod discovered new information about her heritage and connected for the first time with distant relatives. The title, 47% Europe East, 24% Great Britain, 19% Ireland/ Scotland/ Wales, of a painting featuring a European-style interior and a samovar, is based on the specific findings of her genealogy report. While highlighting Tod’s uncanny rendering of a reflective surface, the work is also a playful spin on the traditional self-portrait. Tod presents another variation of this genre in her painting, Once Removed. Her image, partially obscured with an iPhone, is reflected and distorted in her partner’s copper sculpture.

The notion of duality – in composition, human nature and meaning – is not a new theme for Tod however it is investigated more intimately and diversely than ever before. Central to the exhibition are five luminous paintings of ceiling tiles. On first encounter, the paintings appear as precious, jewel-like objects. With closer inspection, their descriptive surfaces seem to magically dissolve into an abstract arrangement of loose brushstrokes. The shifted vantage point of the tiles, traditionally observed from below, further removes them from their original context and highlights their simultaneous beauty and artifice.

For decades, painter Joanne Tod has rendered reflective surfaces as apt metaphors for dual realities and double entendres. Her latest body of work magnifies such common interior elements as molded tin ceilings, giving the most innocuous surface effects star status, while also bringing attention to their thin construction and sheer fakery. In the context of contemporary culture, Once Removed reads as an analogy for our current populist times, where values and reality have been enlarged, distorted and ultimately skewed. – Catherine Osborne

Joanne Tod is a Professor in the Visual Studies Department, Daniels Faculty, University of Toronto. Her work is held in many collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Vancouver Art Gallery and Musée d’art contemporain. In 2012, Tod was the first contemporary artist invited by the Gardiner Museum to produce works responding to their collection. Between 2007-2011, Tod painted, Oh, Canada, portraits of every Canadian soldier that fell in Afghanistan. The installation travelled to prominent galleries and museums across Canada. Tod’s work currently hangs in the permanent collection of the new J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous and Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

For more information on the artist, click here
To read the complete essay by Catherine Osborne, click here.