John Marriott

John Marriott’s “Art that says Hello,” on view throughout Toronto this past August, was a friendlier spin on the institutional critique that has characterized his burgeoning body of work. Marriott, a lawyer-turned-artist, ascended to notoriety after participating in a 1995 group show of young Toronto artists at The Power Plant, “Beauty #2.” He was immediately offered a solo show at the same gallery, in which he presented a critique of the self-legitimizing mechanisms that art and corporate cultures use to reproduce themselves (and exclude others). You tell me your history, I’ll tell you mine features a deep-fried Grecian urn, and Critical Tragedy has a stage with violent images from the covers of rock albums set up for a business presentation with easel and marker. He then found himself at an impasse in his short career; though he had gained local recognition, he was not yet a candidate

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