Joanne Tod

The Power Plant

With the diversity of art media continually stretching boundaries, how is it that we continue to laud painting as the vehicle that will transcend the mundane? Why do we allow it to be the arbiter of the collective psyche and reap the benefits of a sanctioned art form? Over the past decade, Joanne Tod’s paintings have been taken as the barometer of Toronto art practice, so often characterized by ironic detachment and moral didacticism. Yet, while many artists have worked to escape the hierarchy that privileges painting, Tod’s survey exhibition intentionally feeds the mill.

Adopting the tradition of social realism, these works are inhabited by a multiracial mixture of people, placed in situations that highlight their positions of class, their inequality and privilege, mixing together women and men, society debutantes and corporate leaders. Tod’s subjects rouse an immediate identification from

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