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Urban Art Histories (in Canada) by Dr. Johanne Sloan

Book chapter

Johanne Sloan, “Urban Art Histories (in Canada),” in Narratives Unfolding: National Art Histories in an Unfinished World, ed. Martha Langford (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017.)

Photo: Ken LUM. Felicity Maguire Moves Again, 1991

If art has often been used as an instrument to forge a sense of national identity, what does it mean to instead consider cities as cultural containers and frameworks for art. This chapter thinks about contemporary art in Canada in urban terms, while looking at the distinctive urban identities of Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver. These case studies allow me to explore how the concept of “urban art histories” might offer a methodological challenge to the paradigm of a national art history.

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