MOCA Toronto’s Trio

Phyllida Barlow: Eleven Columns (installation view). Source: MOCA Toronto

Toronto emerges as a must-visit art destination this fall & winter thanks to Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)’s trio of captivating exhibitions featuring Phyllida Barlow, Liz Magor, and The Wedge Collection.

On the ground floor, Eleven Columns showcases the remarkable sculptures and drawings of renowned British artist Phyllida Barlow. The artist transformed humble materials like cardboard, fabric, plywood, and cement into imposing sculptures, often painted in vibrant colors.

Barlow’s unfortunate passing in early 2023 marked her collaboration with MOCA, resulting in a site-specific installation that pays homage to the museum’s industrial architecture and impressive ground floor columns. The seams and construction methods were intentionally left visible, providing insights into her creative process.

On the second floor, Canadian artist Liz Magor presents The Separation, a substantial commission that delves into the contrasts in her work: rough versus refined, flimsy versus sturdy, and custom-made versus mass-produced.

Canadian artist Liz Magor is renowned for her exploration of sculpture as a narrative form. She meticulously arranges found materials to evoke narratives of dependency and desire, challenging our emotional connections to the material world. The exhibition invites visitors to reevaluate their surroundings as objects seem to intersect, slip, and tumble.

On the third floor, Dancing in the Light is a celebration of contemporary Black life through portraiture, featuring artwork from The Wedge Collection. The collection, established by Kenneth Montague in 1997, focuses on Black identity and African diasporic culture.

Curated and designed by Farida Abu-Bakare and Kate Wong, this exhibition invites viewers to reexamine their perceptions of Blackness. Featuring works by over 40 artists, including Oreka James, Carrie Mae Weems, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, the exhibition redefines moments of stillness and vulnerability as displays of strength.

The exhibitions are on view through February 4, 2024.

Featured Image: Phyllida Barlow, Eleven Columns (installation view). Source: MOCA Toronto


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