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 Joanne Tod  (1953 - )

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Lived/Active: Ontario/Quebec / Canada      Known for: portrait, interior, allegory and genre painting, printmaking, teaching

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
LEITMOTIV (diptych)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Joanne Tod RCA (1953)

An important and influential Canadian painter, printmaker and educator, Joanne Tod was born in Montreal, Quebec and lives in Toronto, Ontario. She has been a member of numerous notable art committees, councils and boards; her work is discussed in most Canadian art history books (written since the mid 1980s); it has been included in many national and international exhibitions; and examples of her paintings are in the permanent collections of over a dozen major Canadian museums.

Her mediums include oils, acrylics, fluorescent paint, lithography* and mixed mediums. Her subjects are portraits, interiors, genre*, allegory*, history, social commentary, politics, women, gender identity, nudes, irony, humor, war, and ‘the exploration of pictorial space’. Her styles include Post Modernism*, Realism*, Photo Realism*, Surrealism* and Pop Art*. The AskART images are good illustrations of her work. (1)

Tod graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto in 1974, where she studied painting and drawing. She is a part-time professor of painting, at the University of Toronto. She is also a popular guest lecturer and critique of student’s works at other schools such as the Emily Carr College of Art & Design, Vancouver; University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon; Georgian College, Barry, Ontario; University of Guelph, Ontario; University of Western Ontario, London; University of Ottawa, Ontario; University of Toronto, Ontario; Toronto School of Art; Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto; and York University, Toronto.

She has served as a juror for the Canada Council*, the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario College of Art and Design Scholarship Committee, and the Toronto Arts Awards. She has also been a member of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Board of Trustees; Sotheby's Canada, Advisory Board; the City of Toronto Public Art Commission; The Power Plant, Board of Directors (Toronto); and the Ontario College of Art and Design, Governing Council.

Her works have been included in numerous important group exhibitions such as  “Attitude”, Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto (1983); “Images – New Representational Art”, Edmonton Art Gallery, Alberta (1984); “Toronto Painting”, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (1984); “Allegorical Procedures in Recent Canadian Painting”, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, Ontario (1985); “Vital Signs”, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (1986); “Songs of Experience”, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (1986); “Morality Tales: History Painting in the 1980s”, Quebec Museum of Fine Arts, Quebec City (1989); “Memory Works: Postmodern Impulses in Canadian Art”, Museum London, Ontario and Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta (1990); “Myth and Magic in the Americas: Painting in the Eighties”, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Monterrey, Mexico (1991); “Notions of Home”, Edmonton Art Gallery, Alberta (1992); “1492”, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Monterrey, Mexico (1992); “Contact/Proofs”, Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, N.J. (1993); “L'Effet Cinéma”, Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (1996); “Through An-Other's Eyes: White Canadian Artists/Black Female Subjects”, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario (1998); “Defining the Portrait”, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal (2001); “Feigned Memories”, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Alberta (2003); “Changing Values”, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Alberta (2004); “Prototype”, Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario (2004); “About Face – Identities: Canadian Portraits”, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario (2004); “Favourites”, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2006); “New Canadiana”, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, Ontario (2010); and “Builders: Canadian Biennial 2012”, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2012 – 2013). (2)Her works were also exhibited at Expo '86, Vancouver, B.C.; the Third International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (1992); Prospect 93, Frankfurt, Germany (1993); and the I.D. International show at the Miami Basel Art Fair (2004).

She has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Peterborough, Peterborough, Ontario (1985); Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge (1985); Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, B.C. (1986); the Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris, France (1991); the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (1991); Winnipeg Art Gallery, Manitoba (1991); and the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal (1993 and 2006).

Her works are also frequently included in solo and group exhibitions at prominent commercial galleries such as Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto; Wynick/Tuck Gallery, Toronto; Gallery 76, Toronto; YYZ Gallery, Toronto; Sable-Castelli Gallery, Toronto; Carmen Lamanna Gallery, Toronto; Gallery 101, Ottawa; Galerie René Blouin, Montreal; Equinox Gallery, Vancouver; Or Gallery, Vancouver; Stefan Stux Gallery, New York City; and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Austria.

According to the Canadian Heritage Information Network* and individual museum websites, Tod’s works are in the permanent collections of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Kingston, Ontario), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Art Gallery of Windsor (Ontario), Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa, Ontario), Doris McCarthy Gallery (University of Toronto, Ontario), Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery (Concordia University, Montreal), Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (Quebec), Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery (University of British Columbia, Vancouver), Owens Art Gallery (Sackville, N.B.), Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa, Ontario), University of Lethbridge Art Gallery (Lethbridge, Alberta), Vancouver Art Gallery (B.C.), Winnipeg Art Gallery (Manitoba) and the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa).

Her awards and honors include two Ontario Arts Council grants (1983 and 1993), three Canada Council grants (1983, 2000 and 2011), election to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (2002), and an Honorary Fellowship from the Ontario College of Art and Design (2005).

(1) “Between 2007 –  2011, Tod painted every Canadian soldier that fell in Afghanistan. The project, entitled "Oh, Canada – A Lament", consisted of 6" x 5" portraits that were interspersed with other painted panels arranged to resemble a fragmented Canadian flag. The installation travelled to prominent galleries and museums across Canada including the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Toronto's Harbourfront Centre and the Winnipeg Art Gallery (forthcoming).” Source: Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto.

(2) “Morality Tales: History Painting in the 1980s” toured the USA, in 1987 and 1988, before it showed at the Quebec Museum of Fine Arts. The USA tour included exhibitions at the Grey Art Gallery, New York, NY; Jacksonville Museum of Art, Jacksonville, FL; Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT; Mary & Leigh Block Gallery, Evanston, IL; Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Duke University Museum, Durham, NC; and Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, NE. Source: Canadian Heritage Information Network*.
The Visual Arts in Canada: The Twentieth Century (2010), by Brian Foss, Anne Whitelaw, Sandra Paikowsky (see AskART book references)

Canadian Cultural Poesis: Essays on Canadian Culture (2006), edited by Garry Sherbert, Annie Gérin, and Sheila Petty (see AskART book references)

Racism, Eh? A Critical Inter-Disciplinary Anthology of Race and Racism in Canada (2004), edited by Camille A. Nelson and Charmaine A. Nelson (see AskART book references)

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

Canadian Art: From its Beginnings to 2000 (2002), by Anne Newlands (see AskART book references)

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

The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar (see AskART book references)

Canadian Art in the Twentieth Century (1999), by Joan Murray (see AskART book references)

A to Z of Canadian Art: artists & art terms (1997), by Blake McKendry (see AskART book references)

Contemporary Canadian Artists (1997), edited by Robert Lang (see AskART book references)

International Postmodernism: Theory and Literary Practice (1997), edited by Hans Bertens and Douwe Fokkema (see AskART book references)

By A Lady (1992), by Maria Tippett (see AskART book references)

Masterpieces of Canadian Art from the National Gallery of Canada (1990), by David Burnett (see AskART book references)

Art Gallery of Ontario – Selected Works (1990), by William J. Withrow, et al. (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)

Canadian Heritage Information Network* (biography, museums)

Art Gallery of Ontario (catalogue summaries online)

Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art* (biography, illustrations)

Royal Canadian Academy of Arts* (induction date)

Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto (CV)

Simon Fraser University (library records)

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

Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

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