Tim Whiten: Elemental Fire

Tim Whiten, True Lite II, 1987, graphite and traces of blue pigment with incising on paper, 127 x 97.8 cm.

Art Gallery of York University presents:

Tim Whiten: Elemental Fire

September 15 – December 2, 2023
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 14, 6–9pm
Guest curated by Liz Ikiriko

AGYU is honored to announce our upcoming fall exhibition Elemental Fire by Tim Whiten guest-curated Liz Ikiriko. Please join us for the opening reception on Thursday, September 14, 2023.

Elemental Fire brings together over 14 cultural objects from the past four decades of Tim Whiten’s prolific career, including works in glass, works on paper, and a new site-specific installation created specifically for this exhibition. Whiten’s enduring 50-plus year practice has been clearly and consistently focused on the known and unknowable; on practical and ephemeral aspects that fundamentally propel and challenge human existence and consciousness.

Elemental Fire, guest curated by Liz Ikiriko, considers how the material transformations of fire appear in Whiten’s work as forms of alchemy, risk, play, and energetic power. Often alluding to notions of time and faith through histories of storytelling and spirituality (ranging from prehistoric, Greek, and Roman mythology through to Kabbalist and Buddhist traditions), Whiten’s work returns us to consider primary questions of our bodies, our presence, and our value in this current moment.

As part of Elemental Fire, we present an active program of conversations, readings, and performances:

Saturday, September 16
Curatorial Walk-Through by Liz Ikiriko, 3-5pm, AGYU

Wednesday, October 18
Elemental Curatorial Panel with Pamela Edmonds, Liz Ikiriko, Chiedza Pasipanodya, Fynn Leitch, and Leila Timmins, 3-4:30pm, online (ET)

Tuesday, October 24 to Tuesday, November 28
Elemental Reading Group with Farhia Tato, 7–8pm, online (ET)

Thursday November 14
Respondent Talk and Spatial Audio Experience with Nehal El-Hadi and Zoma Tochi Maduekwe with Liz Ikiriko, 7-9pm, off-site at Arraymusic, 155 Walnut Ave, Toronto

Elemental Fire is part of an expanded, multi-venue retrospective and collaborative publication celebrating Whiten’s extensive career, developed as a partnership with the Art Gallery of Peterborough, Art Gallery of York University, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, and McMaster Museum of Art from 2022 to 2023. This series of exhibitions shares the nomenclature “Elemental” and is thematically united by the classical elements of air, water, earth, and fire — a reference to Whiten’s interest in alchemical practices. AGYU is pleased to present the final exhibition of this series.

To book a free group tour email: Allyson Adley, education and community engagement coordinator, aadley@yorku.ca

For press please contact: Michael Maranda, assistant curator, publications, mmarand@yorku.ca

Tim Whiten: Elemental Fire is produced with the support of Clara Halpern, assistant curator, exhibitions, AGYU. Exhibition installation led by Uroš Jelić and supported by Micah Adams, Christian Echeverri, and Matthew Koudys. We acknowledge additional support for Elemental Fire from Tim Whiten’s studio administrative assistant Ajeuro Abala and production assistant Nala Ren. Tim Whiten is represented by Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto.

Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) is a socially minded not-for-profit contemporary art gallery that is a space for the creation and appreciation of art and culture. It is a supported Unit of York University within the President’s Division. We are externally funded as a public art gallery through the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, local and international foundations, embassies, and our membership who support all of our programs.

We acknowledge our presence on the ancestral territory of the Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the Huron-Wendat. We offer this land acknowledgement as an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those on whose territory we reside. It is a small way of honouring the Indigenous people who have for generations cared for this land and its waterways. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the history of what has brought us to reside here and understand our place within this history. We are cognizant that we cannot separate the histories of York University from the history of settler colonialism and slavery in Canada, and in this regard, we also recognize thousands of African descendants have been enslaved, displaced, and judicialized on this same territory. Today, in Toronto, non-Indigenous people exist as settlers and as displaced peoples on traditional Indigenous lands which are currently held under treaty by the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Art Gallery of York University
Accolade East Building, 83 York Blvd.
York University, 4700 Keele Campus
Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3

Getting to the AGYU
We recommend arriving by TTC, as the AGYU is located 15 metres across from the South entrance of the York University Subway Station (28 minutes North on TTC Line 1 from St George Station or 8 minutes South from Vaughan Station.) It is wheel-chair accessible. Pay parking is available on the street and in the Student Services Parking Garage on Ian MacDonald Boulevard (84 James Gillies Street). Please download the HONK app to pay for parking.

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