In Memory of artist P. Mansaram

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SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre), the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Art Gallery of Burlington (AGB) are saddened to announce the passing on December 6, 2020 of our beloved friend and colleague, artist P. Mansaram.

Mansaram was born in 1934 in Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, in western India. He studied at the Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai and later at the Rijks Academie, Amsterdam. In 1966, he migrated to Canada with his artist wife Tarunika and three-month-old daughter Mila, but made annual trips to India, thus staying engaged with both Indian and Canadian art worlds. He formed friendships with leading 20th-century thinkers and artists, such as Marshall McLuhan and Francis Newton Souza, that would last throughout their lives. Interested in media, daily life, and cultural signs, Mansaram experimented with various techniques from printmaking and painting to photography, textiles, xerox art, and video. The technique of collage pervades much of Mansaram’s work, serving as an artistic approach that mirrored his experience as a diaspora artist.

With stops in Montreal and Toronto, he finally made Burlington home with his family. His teaching career took him from Dundas Valley School of Art to Central Secondary School in the Hamilton & Wentworth District School Board, where he would go on to dedicate 22 years of his life. He influenced generations of artists through his generous spirit as a teacher. From 2014 to 2017, the ROM acquired more than 700 artworks spanning Mansaram’s career and produced a short video “P: Mansaram: COLLAGE!” about the artist.

Mansaram, his wife Tarunika, and daughter Mila lived in a spacious lived in a spacious and welcoming home and studio on Gardenview Drive in Burlington for over 45 years. It was designed with a balance of function and beauty. The tall back windows filled the house with natural light, bringing their lush backyard inside. On the back veranda, they would host an eclectic variety of intimate musical concerts in the 70s and 80s and the soundtrack of their house spun through Hindustani classical, Ghazal, Qawwali, and Jazz.

He was a consummate storyteller and a prolific artist. The riches of his life’s work and legacy is currently on view at the AGB as part of the touring exhibition The Medium is the Medium is the Medium, curated by Indu Vashist and Toleen Touq and co-organized by SAVAC and the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. Celebrating the life and work of this media artist, educator, and maverick, the exhibition is on view at the AGB until January 2, 2021 and will travel on to the Art Gallery of Surrey in 2022.

Spanning more than five decades, the selection of works highlights both material and spiritual elements from the artists’ surroundings and everyday life–including characters, symbols and spaces–to convey the artist’s meditative and transcendent processes in both form and content. In that regard, the ways in which Mansaram assembled different media to create a sense of place presents a nuanced narrative of the diasporic experience.

This touring exhibition highlights the impact he has made to the arts in Canada and the current exhibition at the AGB acknowledges his invaluable contribution to his local community.

The Medium is the Medium is the Medium touring exhibition is presented with the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council.

The AGB’s presentation has been generously supported by our reopening partner and exhibition sponsor, DJB Chartered Professional Accountants, and the Government of Canada.

Visiting the AGB:
Tuesday to Friday: 12 PM–5 PM
Saturday: 10 AM–5 PM
Sunday and Monday: CLOSED

Holiday Hours: AGB will be closed December 25–28 and December 31–January 1, 2021.

The exhibition is distance-friendly and guided tours are available upon request.
www.agb.life

For information about the touring exhibition:
artmuseum.utoronto.ca/exhibition/p-mansaram-the-medium-is-the-medium-is-the-medium/

Media Contacts:
Laura Buisman, Marketing Coordinator, Art Gallery of Burlington
905-632-7796, ext. 304 or laura@agb.life

Sophie Sabet, Communications Coordinator, SAVAC, communications@savac.net

Marianne Rellin, Communications Assistant, Art Museum at the University of Toronto, marianne.rellin@utoronto.ca

ROM Communications, media@rom.on.ca

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