Max Dean: Portrait of the Artist as Artist

Presented by the Portrait Gallery of Canada

Gross Clinic, Case Study, 2016, chromogenic print Artist collaboration with Andrew Savery-Whiteway Credit: Max Dean / courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery

Explore the Online Exhibition Today

September 14, 2022 – March 13, 2023
Visit the Max Dean online exhibition

As a multimedia artist and teacher, Max Dean’s performances, installations, and photographs explore the relationship between the personal and collective identity of portraits. In keeping with the Portrait Gallery of Canada’s mission to examine the many ways in which we choose to give form to our human identity, the Portrait Gallery of Canada is honoured to host Max Dean’s first retrospective exhibition Portrait of the Artist as Artist, curated by Ann Thomas.

Here We Go, 2010, Chromogenic print, 62.5 x 41.9cm from series Objects Waiting, Chromogenic Print

The exhibition showcases Max Dean’s extensive autobiographical body of work and explores his life as an artist and the unique experiences that have come to shape his practice. In addition to having autobiographical roots, many of his works engage the viewer in ways that the identities of Dean and the audience touch and even on occasion merge with one another.

Through installations, performances, and videos, Max Dean’s work reminds us of “the challenges and risks to which the universal body is subject: its extensions, its limitations, and its morality” (Ann Thomas, 2022).

Explore Max Dean: Portrait of the Artist as Artist today – on now until March 8, 2023!

Max Dean, Raffaello D’Andrea, Matt Donovan, Robotic Chair, 2006, fibreglass and carbon fibre chair with wood veneer, custom mechanical chassis, motors, battery pack, wireless radio, custom electronic components, laptop computer with custom software, video camera, plywood base with custom Kevlar sprung floor and fluorescent lights, 84 x 49 x 44 cm; Film footage excerpted from Robotic Chair by Peter Lynch 2006. Dialogue excerpted from STILL MAX, a film by Katherine Knight 2021.

About the Artist
Max Dean is a multimedia artist and teacher based in Toronto. Dean’s performances, installations, videos, and photographs have contributed greatly to Canadian contemporary art of the latter half of the 20th century up until today. A recipient of the Ontario Arts Council Jean Chalmers National Visual Arts Award (1997), the Gershon Iskowitz Prize (2005) and the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2014), Dean’s work is included in the collections of the Ottawa Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ontario, as well as several private collections.

About the Portrait Gallery of Canada
The Portrait Gallery of Canada is about identities, about who we are. Recognizing the challenges of history, we tackle present and future concerns by sharing our stories.

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