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Form Follows Fiction: Art and Artists in Toronto

Published by

Art Museum at the University of Toronto in partnership with Black Dog Press

Assembled by

Luis Jacob



Publication Year


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In Form Follows Fiction: Art and Artists in Toronto internationally renowned Toronto-based artist, writer, and curator Luis Jacob considers the ways in which artists visualize Toronto throughout a period of fifty years.

How do artists in Toronto visualise their sense of place? Are there particular ‘made-in-Toronto’ ways of thinking about the city?

Presenting a thematic clustering of works by 86 artists, the richly illustrated book is premised on the tendency of artists in the city to favour performative and allegorical procedures to articulate their sense of place.

Four gestures—mapping, modelling, performing and congregating—serve as guideposts to a diverse array of artistic practices. The book is a constellation of symbolic forms, or memes, that repeatedly appear in the work of artists of different generations; it presents a panorama of the blueprints that artists have drafted over many decades to give form to life in one of North America’s largest cities.

The book features work by artists such as Deanna Bowen, General Idea, Suzy Lake, Kent Monkman, Ed Pien, Roula Partheniou and Michael Snow, among many others. It includes historical documents gathered from local archives, as well as contemporary ephemera.