The 17 oil-on-linen paintings in Organizing Principle feature portraits of the NBA Championship-winning Toronto Raptors. The exhibition premiered this spring at Toronto’s Nicholas Metivier Gallery, and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery presentation is its first public art gallery presentation.
“What surprised me,” Tod remarked after seeing her first professional basketball game last year, “was that the game itself was so beautiful to watch.” That first match made such an impression upon her that she set herself the task of painting the portrait of every member of the Raptors’ November 2018 lineup – seventeen athletes in all.Joanne Tod is one of the finest creative artists working in Canada today, and her paintings have been described as capturing something important about national and personal identity. As a technical painter she pushes the medium of oil paint in such mystifying ways that we are left with radiantly beautiful, compelling images.
Her Raptors series continues her long-standing interest in portraiture as a means to open discussions that range beyond art, encompassing issues of identity and diversity, fashion and fame, economic advantage and disadvantage, and the ways in which society pushes down collective desires only to project them onto social phenomena, such as sports competitions. She is fascinated by the magic that makes a human athlete a superhuman hero, or someone a fashion icon, or a museum object a priceless treasure.
Exhibition supported by The Details Design.