Magazine caption: "Between Specular and Speculative, writer PHILIP MONK (right and below) removes his specs as he averts his gaze, the better to remain a Spectator of his own absence." FILE, Spring 1982, photos: Jorge Zontal


Philip Monk is Director of the Art Gallery of York University in Toronto. Previously he was curator at The Power Plant (1994 – 2003) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (1985 – 1994). From 1977 – 1984 he was a writer and in the early 1980s a free-lance curator. He has written twelve books, including Glamour is Theft: A User’s Guide to General Idea (2012) and Is Toronto Burning?: Three Years in the Making (and Unmaking) of the Toronto Art Scene (2016). As well as scores of articles, reviews, and essays, he has written dozens of catalogues on international and Canadian artists. In 2009, he was the inaugural recipient of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2011 he received the Hnatyshyn Award for Curatorial Excellence. In 2017, he won the Outstanding Contribution Award in the Governor General's Awards for Visual and Media Arts.



Books and Catalogues 1982 - 2009; photo: Barbara Gilbert, courtesy, OAAG

Books and Catalogues 1982 - 2009; photo: Barbara Gilbert, courtesy, OAAG

Publications

Books:

Struggles with the Image: Essays in Art Criticism, Toronto: YYZ Books, 1988.

Robin Collyer: Idioms of Resistance, Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1993.

Around Wavelength: The Sculpture, Film and Photo-Work of Michael Snow from 1967 to 1969 (The Michael Snow Project: Visual Art), Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, The Power Plant and Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 1994.

American Playhouse: The Theatre of Self-Presentation, Toronto: The Power Plant: 1998.

Double-Cross: The Hollywood Films of Douglas Gordon, Toronto: The Power Plant and Art Gallery of York University, 2003.

Spirit Hunter: The Haunting of American Culture by Myths of Violence/Speculations on Jeremy Blake’s Winchester Trilogy, Toronto: Art Gallery of York University, 2005.

Stan Douglas: Discordant Absences, Cologne: DuMont Literatur und Kunst Verlag, 2006.

Disassembling the Archive: Fiona Tan, Toronto: Art Gallery of York University, 2007.

And while I have been lying here perfectly still: The Saskia Olde Wolbers Files, Toronto: Art Gallery of York University, 2009.

Daniel Borins and Jennifer Marman: Project for a New American Century, Toronto: Art Gallery of York University, 2009.

Glamour is Theft: A User’s Guide to General Idea, Toronto: Art Gallery of York University, 2012.

Is Toronto Burning?: Three Years in the Making (and Unmaking) of the Toronto Art Scene, London: Black Dog Publishing, 2016.

Books and catalogues 2009 - 2016

Books and catalogues 2009 - 2016

Pamphlets:

Peripheral Drift: a Vocabulary of Theoretical Criticism, Toronto: Rumour Publications, 1979.

Catalogues:

Language and Representation, Toronto: A Space, 1982.
Subjects in Pictures, Toronto: YYZ Artists’ Outlet, 1984.
Bernie Miller, Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1986.
Liz Magor, Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1986.
Shirley Wiitasalo, Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1987.
Paterson Ewen: Phenomena, Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1987.
Ian Carr-Harris: 1971–1977, Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1988.
4 hours and 38 minutes: the videotapes of Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak, Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1989.
Photographic Inscription: Kunst aus Toronto, Stuttgart: Forum für Kulturaustausch, 1990.
Carambolage; Vol. 4: Robin Collyer and Robert Fones, Baden-Baden: Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, 1992.
Robin Collyer: Canada XLVth Biennale di Venezia, Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1993.
Beauty #2, Toronto: The Power Plant, 1995.
Heavy Mental, Toronto: The Power Plant, 1996.
The American Trip:  Larry Clark, Nan Goldin, Cady Noland, Richard Prince, Toronto: The Power Plant, 1996.
John Marriott, Toronto: The Power Plant, 1996.
Hypermnesiac Fabulations, Toronto: The Power Plant, 1997.
Steve Reinke: The Hundred Videos, Toronto: The Power Plant, 1997.
Rococo Tattoo: The Ornamental Impulse in Toronto Art, Toronto: The Power Plant, 1998.
Georganne Deen, Toronto: The Power Plant, 1998.
Picturing the Toronto Art Community: The Queen Street Years, insert in C international contemporary art 59 (September - November 1998).
Arnaud Maggs: Works 1976-1999, Toronto: The Power Plant, 1999.
Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy: Collaborative Works, Toronto: The Power Plant, 2000.
Tim Hawkinson, Toronto: The Power Plant; North Adams, MA: MASS MoCA, 2000.
Aernout Mik: Reversal Room, Toronto: The Power Plant, 2002.
Bounce / in through the out door, Toronto: The Power Plant, 2002.
Ian Carr-Harris, Works: 1992-2002, Toronto: The Power Plant, 2002.
Liz Magor, Toronto and Vancouver: The Power Plant and Vancouver Art Gallery, 2002.
Cowards Bend the Knee, Toronto: The Power Plant, 2003.
what it feels like for a girl / Sinbad in the Rented World, Toronto: Art Gallery of York University, 2005
Matthew Brannon: To Say the Very Least, Toronto: Art Gallery of York University, 2008.
 “Introduction: Thank You, Come Again,” Fastwürms: Donky@Ninja@Witch, Toronto: Art Gallery of York University, 2011.
Alex Wolfson and Bojana Stancic: And so, the animal looked back, Toronto: Art Gallery of York University, 2011.
“Introduction: The Knowing of Diane Borsato,” Diane Borsato, Toronto: Art Gallery of York University, 2012.
Will Munro: History, Glamour, Magic, Toronto: Art Gallery of York University, 2013.
Raqs Media Collective: A Casebook, Toronto: Art Gallery of York University, 2014.

Book Essays:

“Terminal Gallery/Peripheral Drift,” Spaces by Artists/Places des artistes, Toronto: ANNPAC, 1979, pp. 32-35.
“Coming to Speech,” Performance, Montreal: Parachute, 1981, pp. 145-148.
“Véhicule commun: artistes en performance,” Théatralité, écriture et mise en scène, Montreal: Hurtubise HMH, 1985, pp. 113-123.   (Translation of “Common Carrier.”)
“Colony, Commodity and Copyright,” Sight Lines: Reading Contemporary Canadian Art, Montreal: Artexte Editions, 1994, pp. 274-283.
“Colonie, consommation et copyright,” Réfractions: Trajets de l’art contemporain au Canada, Montréal: Éditions Artexte, 1998, pp. 296-307.
“Bunny Slayers and Copycat Killers,” in Georgina Starr, The Bunny Lakes, London, Eng.: Emily Tsingou Gallery, 2002, n.p.
“Reinhard Mucha: Le silence de la presentation,” Parachute: Essais Chosis 1985 – 2000, Montréal: Éditions Parachute, 2004, pp. 79-92.
“Violence and Representation,” Impulse Archaeology, ed. Eldon Garnet, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005, pp. 53-54.
“Staging Language, Presenting Events, Representing History: Ian Carr-Harris, September, l973,” Pro Forma: language/text/visual art, vol. 1, ed. Jessica Wyman, Toronto; YYZ Books, 2005, pp. 42-54.
“Repetition, he said, she said,” Not So Subtle Subtitle, New York: Casey Kaplan, 2008.
“Paint it Black: Curating the Temporal Image,” Projecting Questions? Mike Hoolboom’s Invisible Man: between the art gallery and the movie theatre, Toronto: Art Gallery of York University, 2009.
 “The Split of the Unconscious: 24-Hour Psycho, 2003,” Time: Documents of Contemporary Art, ed. Amelia Groom (London: Whitechapel Gallery; Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 2013), pp. 131-132.
“Reinhard Mucha: The Silence of Presentation,” Parachute: The Anthology Volume 4, Zurich: JRP/Ringier, 2014, pp. 122-133.
“Marshall McLuhan, General Idea, and Me!,” Counterblasting Canada: Into the Social and Intellectual Vortex of Marshall McLuhan, Sheila Watson and Wilfred Watson, ed. Gregory Betts, Paul Hjartarson, and Kristine Smitka (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2016), pp. 148-165.

Catalogue Essays (other institutions):

Colette Whiten, London: London Regional Art Gallery, 1978.
Richard Evans, John Howlin, Robert McNealy, Sam Perepelkin, Toronto: Artists Cooperative Toronto, 1978.  (Catalogue essay for exhibition at Optica Gallery, Montreal.)
Ed Zelenak, Saskatoon: Mendel Art Gallery, 1981.
“George Legrady,” George Legrady, New York: P.S. 1, 1981.
“A Space in Toronto: a History,” Künstler aus Kanada, Stuttgart:  Württembergischer Kunstverein, 1983, pp. 119-20; German translation, pp. 116-117.
Tony Brown, New York: 49th Parallel, 1984. (Reprint of “Tony Brown,” Parachute, no. 34 [March – May 1984], p. 51.)
“The Somnambulist,” Artistes canadiennes/Canadian Women Artists, Paris: Centre Culturel Canadien, 1985.
“Robin Collyer” and “Liz Magor,” documenta 8, Kassel: Weber and Weidemeyer, 1987, vol. 2, pp. 50, 156.  (German only)
“Robin Collyer: Integration and Difference,” The Zulu (European Version), London: Canada House, 1989.
“Shelagh Alexander: Photomontages,” Shelagh Alexander: Photomontages, London: Institute of Contemporary Arts, 1989.
“Robin Collyer,” Future Traditions in Canadian Art, North York: Art Gallery North York Performing Arts Centre, 1994, p. 13.
“Show’s Over Folks, Move Along,” Future, Present, Past: La Biennale di Venezia, XLVII Esposizione Internationale d’Arte, Venice: Electa, La Biennale di Venezia, 1997, pp. 452-54.
“Generic City: Robin Collyer’s Retouched Photographs, 1992-1998,” Robin Collyer, Toronto: Art Gallery of York University, 2000.
“Aernout Mik: Reversal Room,” Aernout Mik, Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum Bureau, 2002.
“Substitute City,” Contact 02, Toronto: Contact Toronto Photograph Association, 2002, pp. 71-74.
“Money Was the First Multiple,” General Idea Editions, Mississauga: Blackwood Gallery, 2003.
“Fugue Encryptions,” Stan Douglas: Inconsolable Memories, Omaha and Vancouver: Joslyn Art Museum and Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, 2005, pp. 137-47.
“Brendan Fernandes,” Prix Artistique Sobey 2010 Sobey Art Award, Halifax: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, pp. 36-45, 2010.
“Premonitory Machines: The Raqs Media Collective,” Experimenter Yearbook (Kolkata: Experimenter, 2011).

Articles:

“David Rabinowitch: Recent Sculpture,” Parachute, no. 8 (Autumn 1977), pp. 22-24.  
Reprinted in part in Raoul de Keyser, David Rabinowitch, Richard Tuttle, Philippe van Snick, Ghent: Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, 1978.
“Structures for Behaviour, “ Parachute, no. 12 (Autumn 1978), pp. 20-27.
“The Death of Structure,” Parachute, no. 16 (Autumn 1979), pp. 32-35.
“Theoretical Dance: This Body is in Creation,” Only Paper Today, 6:8 (October 1979), p. 18.
“Stanley Brouwn and the Zero Machine,” Parachute, no. 18 (Spring 1980), pp. 18-20.
“Exits,” Impulse, 8:3 (Summer 1980), pp. 29-31.
“Violence and Representation,” Impulse, 8:4 (Autumn 1980), pp. 34-35.  
“Violence and Representation,” ZG (London, Eng.), no. 2 (1981), p. 3.  Reprint of Impulse article.
“Television by Artists,” Canadian Forum, 61:709 (May 1981), pp. 37-38, 40.
“Common Carrier,” (1980), Modern Drama, 25:1 (March 1982), pp. 162-169.
“Arresting Figures: Vincent Tangredi,” (1980), Vanguard, 11:2 (March 1982), pp. 18-21.
“Breach of Promise,” File, 5:3 (Spring 1982), pp. 36-37.
“Notes on the Sumptuary Destruction of Leaders,” ZG (London, Eng.), no. 8 (1982), n.p.
“Robin Collyer: Naming and Comparing,” Vanguard, 12:1 (February 1983), pp. 13-16.
“Tom Sherman Presenting Texts,” Parachute, no. 30 (March – May 1983), pp. 26-32.
“Arguments within the Toronto ‘Avant-Garde’,” Parallelogramme, 8:4 (April – May 1983), pp. 30-36; French translation, pp. 61-67.
“Colony, Commodity, Copyright: Reference and Self-reference in Canadian Art,” Vanguard, 12: 5/6 (June 1983), pp. 14-17.
“Staging Language, Presenting Events, Representing History: Ian Carr-Harris, September 1973,” Vanguard, 12:9 (November 1983), pp. 18-21.
“Editorials: General Idea and the Myth of Inhabitation,” Parachute, no. 33 (December 1983 – February 1984), pp. 12-23.
“Image of the Leader, Function of the Widow,” C Magazine, no. 1(Winter 1983 – 1984), pp. 40-45; extensive erratum, no. 2 (Summer 1984), p. 59.
“Archives, Editors and Activists: What’s Wrong with this Photograph(er)?” Fuse, 7:6 (Spring 1984), pp. 292-96.
“Axes of Difference,” Vanguard, 13:4 (May 1984), pp. 10-14.
“Queen Street,” Canadian Forum, 64:74l (August – September 1984), pp. 33-35.
“Subjects in Pictures,” Parachute, no. 37 (December 1984 – February 1985), pp. 14-23.
“In Retrospect: Presenting Events,” Parachute, no. 46 (March – May 1987), pp. 11-13.
“Presentations,” Artviews, 13:4 (Fall 1987), pp. 20-26.
“Reinhard Mucha: The Silence of Presentation,” Parachute, no. 51 (June – August 1988), pp. 22-28; French translation, pp. 45-46.
“Decapitation, Criticism and Terror,” Public, no. 3 (1990), pp. 15-29.
“Thinking through Curating,” M5V, no. 3 (1992), pp. 42-47.
“Robert Fones: Models, Maps and Signs,” C Magazine, no. 39 (Fall 1993), pp. 43-55.
“Show’s Over Folks, Move Along: The Institutionalization of Art and the Secret Life of the Underground,” Lola, no. 1 (1997), pp. 16-18. [reprint]
“Trash as a Cultural System: Rauschenberg, Warhol, Smith and Shifting Museum Practices,” C Magazine, no. 58 (May – August 1998), pp. 17-25.
“Navigator: Roland Brener,” C Magazine, no. 64 (November 1999 – February 2000), pp. 30-33.
“Urban Gothic: Stan Douglas’s Le Détroit,” C Magazine, no. 65 (Spring 2000), pp. 35-38.
“Psycho Lingo,” Rampike, 12: 1 (2001), pp. 48-49.
“Five Questions of Regionalism,” Open Letter, Eleventh Series, No. 5 (Summer 2002), pp. 94-97.
“Ian Carr-Harris: Lessons in the Pleasure of Pedagogy,” Sketch (Fall 2002), pp. 6-7.
“Show’s Over Folks, Move Along: The Institutionalization of Art and the Secret Life of the Underground,” C Magazine, no. 81 (Spring 2004), pp. 20-23. [reprint]
“Paint it Black: Curating the Temporal Image,” Prefix Photo, no. 9 (May 2004), pp. 10-21.
“Douglas Gordon,” Contemporary, 71 (2005), pp. 54-57.
“Warhola: A Horror Film,” Canadian Art, 23:4 (Winter 2006), pp. 62-65.
“A Proposal for a Tax in Support of Toronto Artists,” AGYU Newsletter (Winter 2007), n.p.
“Fun with Mythmaking: What General Idea Taught Us about Canadian Art History,” Canadian Art, 26:4 (Winter 2009), pp. 94-97.
“Critic Recants on General Idea,” & “Lavish Pavillion to be Rebuilt with Public Funds: Critics Cry Fraud at this Art Folly,” ELF! Magazine, an insert within Hello, out there (20:3), published as the AGYU Fall Newsletter, 2009, n.p.
“Why I write Such Good Books ... and How You Can Too,” Canadian Art, 27:3 (Fall 2010), 150-52.
“Some Like it Haute: Haute Culture: General Idea, A Retrospective, 1969-1994,” C Magazine, 112 (Dec 2011), 10-15.
“Crises (and Coping) in the Work of General Idea,” Fillip, 16 (Spring 2012), 106-112. Also published on-line: “Crises (and Coping) in the Work of General Idea,” http://arcpost.ca/articles/crises-and-coping.
“Elegiac Pantomime: Arnaud Maggs After Nadar,” Canadian Art 31:1, (Spring 2014), 84-89.
“Battle Stances: General Idea, CEAC, and the Struggle for Ideological Dominance in Toronto, 1976–78,” Fillip, 20 (Fall 2015), 14-27, 151-154.

"Was Toronto Burning?," Canadian Art 33:2 (Summer 2016), 68-70.

Reviews:

“Lawren Harris at Toronto,” RACAR, 5:1, 1978, pp. 49-51.
“William Tucker at the Sable-Castelli Gallery,” Artists Review (Toronto), 1:13 (April 3, 1978), pp. 2-3.
“Editorial: Sculpture in Toronto,” Artists Review, 1:16 (May 30, 1978), pp. 2-4.
“Notes on Richard Serra’s 3 = elevations, in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s ‘Structures for Behaviour’,” Artists Review, 1:16 (May 30, 1978), pp. 4-5.
“Mia Westerlund at Sable-Castelli,” Artists Review, 1:16 (May 30, 1978), p. 9.
“Don Snell at A.C.T.,” Artists Review, 1:17 (June 28, 1978), p. 5.
“10th International Sculpture Conference at York University,” Artists Review, 1:17 (June 28, 1978), pp. 5-6.
“A.C.T. at Optica,” Artists Review, 2:1 (September 29, 1978), pp. 3-5.
“Fabio Mauri at A Space,” Artists Review, 2:3 (October 27, 1978), pp. 2-3.
“Mark Rothko at the Guggenheim, New York,” Artists Review, 2:4 (November 10, 1978), p. 3.
“Yves Gaucher,” Artists Review, 2:16 (May 9, 1979), p. 10.
“Yves Gaucher,” Artists Review, 2:17 (May 23, 1979), p. 4 [corrected reprint of 2:16].
“Yves Gaucher: Eyesight and Temporality,” Parachute, no. 16 (Autumn 1979), pp. 47-48.
“Reading and Representation in Political Art,” Parachute, no. 16 (Autumn 1979), pp. 49-50.
Maclean’s (Toronto), “Here’s to the rebirth of past glory,” 93:14 (April 7, 1980), p. 62.
                                   “Pursuing the pleasure principle,” 93:16 (April 21, 1980), pp. 52-53.
                                   “Getting a grip on time,” 93:22 (June 2, 1980), pp. 50-52.
                                   “Picasso—old master of modern,” 93:23 (June 9, 1980), pp. 62-63.
                                   “A clearing house of trends,” 93:30 (July 28, 1980), pp. 50-51.
                                   “A ’70s selection for export only,” 93:39 (Sept 29, 1980), pp. 61-62.
                                   “Defining the abstract,” 94:17 (April 27, 1981), pp. 56-57.
                                  “Giving a decade its due,” 94:19 (May 11, 1981), pp. 56-57.
                                   “Preserving the past in a social vacuum,” 94:48 (Nov 30, 1981), pp. 54-55.
                                   “The lost art of Russia’s avant garde,” 95:29 (July 19, 1982), pp. 50-51.
“Pluralities: Experiment or Excuse,” Parachute, no. 20 (Autumn 1980), pp. 48-49.
“Gerry Schum Tapes,” Parachute, no. 22 (Spring 1981), pp. 46-47.
“German Video and Performance,” Parachute, no. 22 (Spring 1981),pp. 49-50.
“John Scott,” Art Express (New York), 1:1 (May 1981), p. 81.
“Janice Gurney,” Art Express, 1:1 (May 1981), p. 81.
“Eldon Garnet,” Art Express, 1:2 (September – October 1981), p. 65.
“Michael Snow: Presents,” Art Express, 1:2 (September – October 1981), p. 65.
 “Hurlbut/Martin/Massey/Singleton,” Parachute, no. 24 (Autumn 1981), pp. 52-53.
“Violent Lens: Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography,” Canadian Forum, 61:714 (December 1981), pp. 36-37.
“Robin Collyer,” Artforum, 20:7 (March 1982), p. 77.
“Fiction,” Parachute, no. 28 (September – November 1982), pp. 41-42.
“Shelagh Alexander: Hero,” Parachute, no. 28 (September – November 1982), p. 42.
“Agit-Prop,” Parachute, no. 28 (September – November 1982), pp. 42-44.
“Kunstler aus Kanada,” Parachute, no. 31 (June – August 1983), pp. 46-47.
“Krzysztof Wodiczko,” Parachute, no. 32 (September – November 1983), pp. 45-46.
“Museums by Artists,” Parachute, no. 32 (September – November 1983), pp. 44-45.
“David Clarkson,” Vanguard, 12:10 (December 1983 – January 1984), pp. 34-35.
“Symposium on Photographic Theory,” Vanguard, 12:10 (December 1983 – January 1984), p. 49.
“Locations (Toronto),” Vanguard, 13:1 (February 1984), pp. 22-23.
“Production/ReProduction,” Vanguard, 13:1 (February 1984), pp. 53-54.
“Ben Smit,” Vanguard, 13:1 (February 1984), p. 46.
“Marc de Guerre,” Vanguard, 13:2 (March 1984), pp. 40-41.
“Tony Brown,” Parachute, no. 34 (March – May 1984), p. 51.
“Liz Magor: Four Notable Bakers,” Vanguard, 13:3 (May 1984), p. 30.
“The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Laughter,” Parachute, no. 35(June – August 1984), pp. 37-38.
“Oliver Girling,” Vanguard, 13:5/6 (Summer 1984), pp. 41-42.
“Ian Carr-Harris,” Parachute, no. 39 (June – August 1985), pp. 68-69.
“Lothar Baumgarten,” Parachute, no. 49 (December 1987 – February 1988), pp. 30-31.
“Material Fictions/Ideological Facts,” Parachute, no. 49 (December 1987 – February 1988), p. 55.
“Euan Macdonald,” Parachute, no. 95 (July – September 1999), pp. 47-48.
“Liz Magor,” C Magazine, no. 63 (September – November 1999), p.33.
“Nestor Krüger,” C Magazine, no. 63 (September – November 1999), p.42.
“2nd Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art,” Parachute, no. 104 (October – December 2001), para-para 004, p. 6.
“29th Bienal de São Paulo,” C Magazine, no. 109 (Spring 2011), 38-39. (With Emelie Chhangur)

Published Responses:

“Reply to John O’Brian,” Artists Review, 2:3 (October 27, 1978), pp. 6-7.
“Philip Monk Responds,” Vanguard, 13:7 (September 1984), pp. 51-52.
“Condemned to History (But Not Invited to Lunch),” Parachute, no. 56 (October – December 1989), pp. 78-79.

Photo: Jorge Zontal

Photo: Jorge Zontal

Photo: Jorge Zontal

Photo: Jorge Zontal