Toronto Biennial of Art Presents: A Tribute to Toronto by Judy Chicago

Upcoming Programming: May 5–18, 2022

Judy Chicago in collaboration with Pyro Spectaculars by Souza, Purple Poem for Miami, 2019. Fireworks performance. Commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami in conjunction with the exhibition, “Judy Chicago: A Reckoning”, Miami, FL. © Judy Chicago/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo ©Donald Woodman/ARS, NY

A Tribute to Toronto, 2022, Judy Chicago’s latest site-specific pyrotechnic display, will take place on June 4, 2022 at Sugar Beach on Toronto’s waterfront as the grand finale celebrating the conclusion of the second edition of the Toronto Biennial of Art (TBA). The renowned American artist will create her first Smoke Sculpture™ on Lake Ontario, releasing white, yellow, green, blue, and purple pigments from a structure on a barge. In the air, the pigments mix with the wind and sunset light to create a myriad of changing colourful effects until dissipating. In line with the artist’s long history of being a passionate advocate for the environment, Chicago and her collaborators — husband and photographer Donald Woodman, Chris Souza of Pyro Spectaculars and Maude Furtado of GFA PYRO — only use non-toxic materials that meet environmental safety standards to create temporary forms that, for several minutes, transform sites into an immersive experience for viewers. The electronic ignition that sets off the smoke emits little or no sound during the presentation.

Chicago’s experiments with pyrotechnics emerged in parallel with the rise of Land Art in the 1960s and 1970s, a movement that the artist’s work implicitly critiqued as being hyper-masculine and founded on large-scale interventions into the earth. Her fireworks archive is now housed at the Nevada Museum of Art which has resulted in exhibitions and presentations on her unique form of Land Art.

A Tribute to Toronto is commissioned by TBA and made possible with the generous support of Menkes Developments, ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022, the Delaney Family Foundation, Waterfront Toronto, the Waterfront BIA, and the Women Leading Initiative.

A Tribute to Toronto
Participant: Judy Chicago
Sat, June 4 | 8pm to 8:45pm
Rain Date: Sunday, June 5 | 8pm to 8:45pm
Location: Sugar Beach
The Water’s Edge Promenade
11 Dockside Drive, Toronto

Time subject to change. Please visit our website for the most up to date information.

TBA launches its first Exhibition Publication!

This week, TBA launched the publication Water, Kinship, Belief, co-published by the Toronto Biennial of Art and Art Metropole. Spanning the 2019 Biennial, entitled The Shoreline Dilemma, as well as our 2022 edition, What Water Knows, The Land Remembers, this book is a “third” site, a place where the continuities, resonances, and dissonances between editions are made evident. Water, Kinship, Belief is a means to bring together the artists, artworks, collaborators, and ideas that have informed the exhibitions and programs.

Water, Kinship, Belief will be available to purchase at select TBA sites soon, but you can purchase your copy anytime when you click here.

Image of the Toronto Biennial of Art Publication “Water, Kinship, Belief”. Photo: Art Metropole.

Upcoming Programming

Artist Talk: Lawrence Abu Hamdan with Tina Sherwell
Participant: Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Tina Sherwell
Thurs, May 5 | 11am–12pm
Virtual | Talk
Registration is required.

This program is presented in partnership with Mercer Union as part of fORUM, Mercer Union’s ongoing series of free talks, lectures, interviews, screenings and performances.

The Cafe at the End of the Future: a crip performance extravaganza
Participants: Syrus Marcus Ware with performers Aeshna Ware-Huff, Janice Lee, Jaz Fairy J, Troy Jackson, and LAL
Sat, May 7 | 1–3pm
Small Arms Inspection Building
In Person | Performances
ASL-English Interpretation provided.

Following the Afronautic Trail
Participant: Camille Turner
Fri, May 13 – Sat, May 14 | 12–2pm
Virtual | Talks
Registration is required

This program is co-presented with the Art Museum at the University of Toronto

A Conversation About Being in Place
Participants: Toronto Landscape Observatory
Sun, May 15 | 1–4pm
72 Perth Ave
In Person | Talk

Part of a weekly programming series in partnership between Toronto Landscape Observatory and the Toronto Biennial of Art.

Yaliyat Cocahq
Participant: Ivanie Aubin-Malo
Sun, May 15 | 2–3:30pm
Small Arms Inspection Building
In Person | Workshop
Registration is required.

Yaliyat cocahq is co-presented by the Toronto Biennial of Art and Oakville Galleries.

The sky held me (rainfall on hands hair lips)
Participants: Tanya Lukin Linklater with dancers Ivanie Aubin-Malo, Ceinwen Gobert, and Emily Law, and composer/musician Laura Ortman
Wed, May 18 – Sun, May 22 | 10am–4pm
Colborne Lodge
In Person | Performances

For a complete list of programs occurring throughout the 10-week Biennial, visit our Events Calendar.

TBA Pass and Perks
Explore over 65+ local and international artists across 9+ exhibition sites, using our single-download, multi-use pass. With your download, you will not only gain access to view 100+ contemporary artworks, you will also be able to enjoy special perks and discounts from our partners. Learn more about the TBA Pass HERE.

About TBA
The Toronto Biennial of Art is Canada’s leading visual arts event focused exclusively on contemporary art from around the world. For 10 weeks every two years, local, national, and international Biennial artists transform Toronto and its partner regions with free exhibitions, performances, and learning opportunities. Grounded in diverse local contexts, the Biennial’s city-wide programming aims to inspire individuals, engage communities, and contribute to global conversations.

This event has been financially assisted by the City of Toronto, the Government of Ontario, and the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.

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