Lois Schklar: Rules We Are Taught


Image courtesy of the artist.

Rules We Are Taught
Lois Schklar

May 24 – June 17, 2023
Opening Reception: Friday June 9, 2023 from 5-8 pm
Rock and Roll Dancing 7-8 pm

The Red Head Gallery is pleased to showcase Rules We Are Taught by Lois Schklar.

Although my work has shifted and changed over time, each body of work is connected by a shared sensibility and history that I strive to integrate into my artmaking. – Lois Schklar

In Rules We Are Taught, Lois Schklar’s intention is to challenge the “truths” we learn as children by playfully disrupting conventional ways of thinking. She has chosen to focus the exhibition on the educational and societal doctrines from the 1940’s and 1950’s, her formative years. The rules we were taught to trust and follow “absolutely” proved limiting to Schklar and many others. It took a long time to break free from their dictates (right, wrong, good, bad) and rediscover the childlike rapture of “play”.

Schklar’s research has informed the work developed for this exhibition and is not limited to a specific medium. A personal challenge was to combine ideas with a variety of techniques and materials while maintaining her minimal approach to making art.

Schklar turns the rules of the gallery upside down through audience interaction. The inclusion of the viewer has become a driving force in her exhibitions since 2014. In Rules We Are Taught, the Do Not Touch project encourages the viewer to push, spin and pull.

Schklar acknowledges that some of the educational rules had/have merit and cannot be completely dismissed. She asks the audience to think about what, if anything, has changed in all this time?

Do Not Touch: Push #1, Mixed Media 8 x 8″. Courtesy of the artist.

Lois Schklar has shown in exhibitions throughout Canada and the US. Her work has been recognized in both craft and fine art venues. In the craft community, she is best known for her burlap sculptures (1997 – 2008) and non-traditional dolls, (Thirty Years of Dolls, 2011, a retrospective made possible by an award juried by Craft Ontario). In 2017, Schklar was the honoured recipient of the Lily Yung Award.

Schklar has received grants from the Toronto Arts Council, Canada Council, and Ontario Arts Council for her mixed media installations (2014 – 2022). She was awarded an OAC Integrated Arts Project Grant (2013) for Collected Memories, a wire installation with a professional dancer, musician and lighting designer. Prototypes (2019), an exploration of sound, narrative, light and audience participation, was generously supported by Canada Council’s Explore and Create Grant (2018) and the OAC’s Exhibition Assistance Grant (2019). In 2021, Schklar received two OAC Exhibition Assistance Grants for I Am Here, a solo exhibition at Red Head Gallery.

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