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Denyse Thomasos: just beyond

One of the finest painters to emerge in the 1990s, the late Trinidadian-Canadian artist Denyse Thomasos (1964-2012) left an indelible, yet frequently overlooked, mark on contemporary painting.

Event/Exhibition meta autogenerated block.

Where

Remai Modern

A career retrospective, Denyse Thomasos: just beyond, brings together more than 70 paintings and works on paper, many rarely seen, to show how she challenged the limits of abstraction, infusing personal and political content onto her canvases through the innovative use of formalist techniques. Through pattern, scale and repetition, Thomasos conveys the vastness of events such as the transatlantic slave trade without exploiting the images of those who were most affected.

Denyse Thomasos, Maiden Flight, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 152.4 x 182.9 cm. Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Gift of Gabrielle Israelievitch in memory of her beloved husband Jacques, 2018. © Denyse Thomasos Estate and Olga Korper Gallery.

The exhibition features sections devoted to the artist’s primary areas of research, illustrated with major works on loan from museums and private collections in Toronto, Montreal and New York City. Working closely with her family and gallerist, curators are supplementing the exhibition with sketches, photographs and newly uncovered documentary footage of Thomasos working in her studio.

Denyse Thomasos, Courtyards in Surveillance, 2007, acrylic on canvas, 106.7 x 152.4 cm. From the collection of Bob Harding. © Denyse Thomasos Estate and Olga Korper Gallery. Photo: Michael Cullen.

The exhibition will also be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, co-published by Remai Modern, the AGO and DelMonico Books • D.A.P., and co-edited by exhibition curators Michelle Jacques, Head of Exhibitions & Collections/Chief Curator, Remai Modern; Renée van der Avoird, Assistant Curator, Canadian Art, AGO; and Sally Frater, Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Guelph.

Denyse Thomasos, Dismantle #2, 1998, acrylic on canvas, 160 x 183 x 4.1 cm. Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Gift of Richard and Donna Ivey, 2019. © Denyse Thomasos Estate and Olga Korper Gallery.

Curatorial Team

This exhibition is organized by Remai Modern, Saskatoon and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.

Artist

Born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, the acclaimed painter Denyse Thomasos was raised in Toronto and spent most of her professional career in Philadelphia and New York City. Thomasos earned a BA in Painting and Art History from the University of Toronto in 1987. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in 1988 and the following year completed her MFA in Painting and Sculpture, Yale School of Art, Yale University. Throughout her career she attended various residencies, such as the Ucross Foundation Artist Residency, in Ucross, Wyoming in 2000 and the Bogliasco Foundation Artist Residency in Genoa, Italy in 2003. She won numerous prestigious awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship Prize in 1997; the Joan Mitchell Foundation award in 1998; and the New York Foundation for the Arts award in 2008; as well as grants from both the Canada Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work has been collected by private collectors, as well as major corporate and public institutions, including Rutgers University, New Jersey; Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa; Bank of Montreal, Toronto; Banque Nationale du Canada, Montreal; Art Gallery of Guelph; Oakville Galleries; the Hart House Collection at the University of Toronto, and private collections throughout Canada and the United States. When Thomasos died tragically in 2012, she was at the height of her career, with major museum shows, a full professorship, New York and Toronto gallery representation, and many prestigious awards and residencies.