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Robert Fones: Signs | Forms | Narratives

geometric yellow and red images for Robert Fones Signs exhibition
Multicolour geometric pattern
photograph of aluminum pattern shaped into an Eszett
Painting of enlarged cursive text that reads " Shackleton died"

Robert Fones: Signs | Forms | Narratives

May 16 – July 21, 2018

Organized and circulated by Museum London

University of Toronto Art Centre

Governor General Award-winning artist and writer Robert Fones is widely celebrated for his exquisitely rendered paintings and hybrid photographic sculptures that make us puzzle over the forms that surround us in our everyday, zeroing in on the most engaging paradoxes of visual perception. This major retrospective, the most extensive survey to date of the artist’s production, highlights his most influential artworks ranging from monumental letter forms, to lightboxes, to two-dimensional works that create the illusion of three dimensions.

Having been initiated into art in the late 1960s in London Ontario— a scene that privileged the artistic pursuit of what Greg Curnoe named “the roots of your own experience,” Fones has carved out his own highly particularized approach to witnessing the world around him. Recording his observations through highly compelling pictorial illusionism and finely crafted sculptural forms, he engages themes as wide ranging as agricultural production, geologic time, commercial sign systems, the anthropomorphic, and the sculptural form of the alphabet. His iconoclastic approach to this dynamic range of familiar forms invites the common and familiar to be made strange, all the better to observe how we make meaning of things.

Opening Reception

Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 6-8pm
University of Toronto Art Centre

Letterforms Workshop with Robert Fones

Saturday, June 2, 2018, 1pm
University of Toronto Art Centre

Curatorial Talk + Tour

Saturday, June 9, 2018, 2pm
Led by Cassandra Getty, Curator, Museum London
University of Toronto Art Centre

In Conversation: Robert Fones with Sarah Robayo Sheridan

Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 6pm
University of Toronto Art Centre

Exhibition Tour

Saturday, June 23, 2018, 2pm
With Yan Zhou, Independent Curator
University of Toronto Art Centre

Wallpaper as Evidence at the City of Toronto’s Historic Sites

Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 6pm
With Neil Brochu
University of Toronto Art Centre

Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge the operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council with additional project support from the Jackman Humanities Institute.

Signs │Forms │Narratives was originated by Museum London with the support of the Museums Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Title Image: Robert Fones, Axe|Exa|Axi, 1997, casein on wood, plywood. 96.8 × 78.7 × 30.5 cm. Agnes Etherington Art
Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston. Gift of Robert Fones, 2006.

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