Find, Learn, Price Art
Enjoy the comprehensive art database we've compiled since 1987
Membership Details
Images, sales charts, bios, signatures, 30 artist Alerts and more ...
Art auction records:  Millions of references for pricing research
Or, register for Free Alerts
To track 10 artists.

Already a member?  Sign in here

Carol Wainio

 (born 1955)
Carol Wainio is active/lives in Ontario, Nova Scotia / Canada.  Carol Wainio is known for Abstract figure, fantasy and allegory painting, hand-made books.

Carol Wainio

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Carol Wainio
Carol Wainio MFA, RCA (1955)

A prominent Canadian painter and educator, Carol Wainio was born in Sarnia, Ontario and has lived in Ottawa, Ontario since 2003. Her paintings have been included in numerous exhibitions at important venues such as the Venice Biennale, Stedelijk Museum, and the National Gallery of Canada; her biography has been published in the Canadian Who's Who since 1996; and she was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2004. (1)

Her well-known mediums are acrylic on canvas and handmade books. Her subjects include figures, fables, fairy tales, children's fictional characters, anthropomorphized animals, art history, printed text, culture, social commentary, allegory*, literature, and abstract space. Her styles include Abstract Figurative*, Expressionism* and Surrealism*. The AskART images are good illustrations of her work. (2) (3) (4)

Wainio is self taught as a painter; however she has studied art and art history at several schools including the New School of Art [see Three Schools of Art*], Toronto (1973); Elliot Lake School of the Arts, Elliot Lake, Ontario (1975); the Banff School of Fine Art*, Alberta (1975); the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax (1976); the University of Toronto (1978 to 1979); and Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, where she completed her Master of Fine Arts degree in 1985.

She has taught at the University of Ottawa, Ontario (1987 - 1989); Concordia University, Montreal (1989 - 1998); the University of Western Ontario, London (2000 -  2001); and, since 2003, at the University of Ottawa, Ontario, where she is currently Adjunct Professor  in the Department of Visual Arts.

Her works were exhibited in "Young Contemporaries '75", Museum London, Ontario (1975); "The Fourth Biennale of Painting'', Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montreal (1983); "Perspective '85"; [two person show with Robert Wiens (b. 1953)], Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario (1985); "Anxiety, Alienation, Aphasia", University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Alberta (1985); "Political Screens", Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (1985); "Songs of Experience", National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (1986); "The Forgotten Gesture", Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (1987); "Les Temps Chauds", Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (1988); "Aperto", Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (1990); "Working Truth - Powerful Fictions", Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan (1991); "Anni Novanta", Galleria Comunale d'Arte Moderna, Bologna (1991); "Re-structured Narratives in Contemporary Canadian Art", University of Lethbridge Art Gallery,  Alberta (1992); "Reflecting Paradise", Expo '93, Taejon, South Korea (1993); "The Lavalin Collection: Sharing a Vision", Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (1994); "A Notion of Conflict -  A Selection of Contemporary Canadian Art", Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1995); "After the Book ", University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Alberta (2001); "Painters 15", Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2002) and Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto (2003); "Build-Up", Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa (2008); "Carte Blanche", Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto (2008); "Through the Looking Glass", Glenbow Museum, Calgary (2008); and "Women Artists", Quebec Museum of Fine Arts, Quebec City (2010).

The public venues for her solo exhibitions include the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener, Ontario (1973); Concordia University Art Gallery, Montreal (1983); Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. (1991); Art Gallery of York University, Toronto (1998); Joliette Art Museum, Quebec (2000); and Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario (2003 and 2010).

Her works have also been included in solo and group exhibitions at prominent commercial galleries such as Wynick/Tuck Gallery, Toronto; S.L. Simpson Gallery, Toronto; Pollock Gallery, Toronto; Grunwald Gallery, Toronto; Yarlow/Salzman Gallery, Toronto; Galerie René Blouin, Montreal; Galerie Chantal Boulanger, Montreal; Galerie Rochefort, Montreal; Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Trepanier Baer Gallery, Calgary, Alberta; Willard Gallery, New York, NY; and Thomas Barry Fine Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Wainio's  works are in several important corporate collections and in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Halifax), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Glenbow Museum (Calgary, Alberta), Joliette Art Museum (Quebec), Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery (Concordia University, Montreal), McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Kleinburg, Ontario), Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (Quebec), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec), Museum London (Ontario), Ottawa Art Gallery (Ontario), Quebec Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec City), University of Lethbridge Art Gallery (Lethbridge, Alberta), and the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa). (5)

(1) Wainio has also lived in Toronto, Ontario; Kitchener, Ontario; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Montreal, Quebec; and London, Ontario. Source: Judith Parker, Canadian Heritage Information Network*.

(2) Charles Perrault's 17th century fairy tale Puss in Boots is a frequently used metaphor in Wainio's paintings. Source: The Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art*.

(3) Most of her works in Canadian museums are listed as an acrylic painting; two exceptions are a pencil drawing in the Quebec Museum of Fine Arts and an oil on canvas in the National Gallery of Canada. Source: Canadian Heritage Information Network*.

(4) To view an illustrated timeline of her paintings see the Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art* website -

(5) Sources: Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art*, Canadian Heritage Information Network* and individual museum websites.
Canadian Who's Who 2012 - 2013 (2012), edited by Anderson Charters and Susan Charters (see AskART book references)

Carol Wainio: The Book (2010), by Diana Nemiroff, Donald Beecher and Randy Innes (see AskART book references)

Biographical Index of Artists in Canada (2003), by Evelyn de Rostaing McMann (see AskART book references)

Sights of Resistance: Approaches to Canadian Visual Culture (2001), by Robert James Belton (see AskART book references)

Canadian Who's Who - 1996 (1996), edited by Elizabeth Lumley (see AskART book references)

Art and Architecture in Canada (1991), by Loren R. Lerner and Mary F. Williamson (see AskART book references)

The Best Contemporary Canadian Art (1987), by Joan Murray (see AskART book references)

Contemporary Canadian Art (1983), by David Burnett and Marilyn Schiff (see AskART book references)

Visions - Contemporary Art in Canada (1983), edited by Robert Bringhurst, et al. (see AskART book references)

The Index of Ontario Artists (1978), edited by Hennie Wolff (see AskART book references)
Canadian Heritage Information Network* (biography and museums)

Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art* (CV and illustrations)

Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (exhibition summaries online)

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

Written and submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

Share an image of the Artist

  Full access to biographies is
  free each Friday
Biography photo for Carol Wainio
Courtesy of the University of Ottawa.

About  Carol Wainio

Born:  1955 - Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Known for:  Abstract figure, fantasy and allegory painting, hand-made books