The Ryerson Image Centre Reopens with a Career-Spanning Retrospective of Artist Sunil Gupta

Sunil Gupta, Untitled #46, from Christopher Street, 1976 (printed 2014), pigment print. Courtesy the artist and Hales Gallery, London and New York; Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto; and Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi. © Sunil Gupta. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2022

The RIC reopens for an extended spring/summer season with a series of collaborative exhibitions, outdoor installations, and online events

The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) is excited to reopen our galleries on Wednesday April 6, 2022, inviting visitors to get lost in this spring’s vibrant shows and stimulating events, online and in-person. Intimate, provocative, and luxe, this season of exhibitions address the social, cultural, historical, and personal from a variety of contemporary perspectives.

Running from April 6 to August 6, in our Main Gallery, is a focused retrospective by acclaimed photographer Sunil Gupta, whose autobiographical narratives capture his experiences as a gay man of colour living with HIV in Canada, the U.S., England, and his birthplace, India. Sharing images from the 1970s to 2010s, From Here to Eternity: Sunil Gupta, A Retrospective invites viewers to think critically about the relationship between identity, representation, bodies, and freedoms.

Also opening this season are 5 new exhibitions, including Mauvais Genre/Under Cover: A Secret History of Cross-Dressers; Dominique Blain: Dérive/Drift; Red All Over: World War II Press Photographs From the Sovfoto Agency; Chris Donovan: The Cloud Factory; and Heather Rattray: Things that I Know, Things that You Know. In addition, the RIC will host Floe / Flow, a Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival Core Outdoor Installation by Inuk artist and photographer Jimmy Manning, to be displayed on the rocks in Devonian Pond, running May 1 – September 30.

All shows on view are part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

The RIC on-site book shop will also reopen, giving visitors an opportunity to purchase our past publications, as well as the most recently published title in the RIC Book series, Since 1839… Eleven Essays on Photography by renowned photography historian Clément Chéroux, the Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art. Visitors will also be able to purchase a copy of Sunil Gupta: From Here to Eternity, a joint-winner of the Kraszna-Krausz Photography Book Award 2021.

Our collective health and safety is the foremost priority and the RIC will adhere to all public health regulations. Please visit our website for the most current information on our COVID-19 guidelines.

Admission is always free.


Artist Talk: Chris Donovan
Wednesday, May 18, 12pm ET
Online via Zoom

RIC Book Launch: Clément Chéroux
Tuesday, May 31, 7pm ET
Online via Zoom

Visit for a full schedule of this season’s events. All events will take place online via Zoom unless otherwise noted with closed captioning available. Please advise of any accessibility needs using the registration form.

Unidentified photographer, [Male cross-dresser in the backstage of a cabaret, United States], ca. 1960, cibachrome print © 2016 Éditions Textuel – Collection Sébastien Lifshitz


From Here to Eternity: Sunil Gupta, A Retrospective
April 6–August 6, 2022

This exhibition offers a complex and layered view of artist Sunil Gupta’s unique transcontinental photographic vision. From Here to Eternity brings together a comprehensive selection of works from the innovative career of this pioneering community artist. From his participation in New York’s radical Gay Liberation Movement in the 1970s to his more recent campaigning in India, Gupta has inspired generations of photographers, artist/activists, and advocates for LGBTQ+ rights.

Mauvais Genre/Under Cover: A Secret History of Cross-Dressers
April 6–August 6, 2022

Comprising over 160 amateur photographs, this exhibition explores a range of practices relating to cross-dressing from the 1880s to the 1980s. It is drawn from the extensive personal archives of French filmmaker and photography collector Sébastien Lifshitz. The selection includes images of spectacular cross-dressers and glamorous drag queens, but also individuals whose transgressive actions are much more discreet and domestic. Taken by mostly unknown photographers, the prints are of unnamed and unknown figures posing for the camera, using the apparel and gestures traditionally assigned to the “opposite sex.” Mauvais Genre/Under Cover: A Secret History of Cross-Dressers celebrates the collective inventiveness and freedom that the seemingly simple act of dressing differently provides, celebrating self-expression and the diversity of queer and trans spectrum.

Dominique Blain: Dérive/Drift
April 6–August 6, 2022

Sensitive, powerful, and supremely delicate, Dominique Blain’s Drift is comprised of hundreds of press and amateur images of the sea. Found on the internet and compiled in careful layers, these images gently lift like sails in the breeze to reveal scenes of fragile, makeshift boats floating on perilous waters. This multi-channel video commemorates the countless migrants who flee situations of war, poverty, and violence, sailing in search of freedom.

Red All Over: World War II Press Photographs From the Sovfoto Agency
April 6–May 7, 2022

Between 1939 to 1945, New York City-based photography agency Sovfoto provided press outlets with an alternative perspective from “the other side” of the Second World War. As the only supplier of Soviet photojournalistic images in North America at the time, Sovfoto gave audiences a glimpse of people and places impacted by battle on the Eastern Front.

Presenting over sixty press photographs made in the USSR and Eastern Europe, Red All Over will interrogate traditional practices of photojournalism, including captioning, retouching, and circulation, prompting audiences to consider how these factors helped to shape our comprehension of World War II.

Chris Donovan: The Cloud Factory
May 18–June 18, 2022

Against a backdrop of billowing clouds of smoke, the environmental class system of Saint John, New Brunswick comes into hazy focus in Chris Donovan’s The Cloud Factory. A long-term photographic project, The Cloud Factory stems from Donovan’s frustrations over the lack of critical reporting around the fossil fuel industry in a city that is home to Canada’s largest oil refinery. With his poignant images, the artist calls attention to the issues generated by the industrialization of his hometown, revealing the families affected by industrial contamination and the socio-economic structures of a monopolized economy.

Heather Rattray: Things That I Know, Things That You Know
June 29–August 6, 2022

Things That I Know, Things That You Know documents a mother-daughter duo’s desire to connect with familial roots through the learning and re-learning of the Dutch language. Rattray chronicles intimate visual representations of their learning process, one that is simultaneously shared and independent of each other due to the distance that separates them, both geographically and in learning styles. In returning to their mother tongue, their familial relationship is transformed, their culture and traditions reclaimed.

Ryerson Image Centre
33 Gould Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Free exhibition tours on Tuesdays by appointment – Email to schedule.
Follow us @RICgallery


Media Contact
Feven Tesfamariam, Ryerson Image Centre, / T+416 560 5306