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Tracings: Writing Art, 1975–2020

Ian Carr-Harris

The essays of artist Ian Carr-Harris, which span decades of critical thought and engagement

An artist, curator, critic, and teacher, Ian Carr-Harris has been a central figure in Toronto’s art scene since the 1970s. By collecting his impressive output of essays, critical experiments, and reviews into a single volume, Tracings documents the growth of conceptual art and postmodernism in Canadian art, as well as the expansion of mediums and spaces, while providing insights into methods of representation and the role of criticism in contemporary art. 

In clear and intelligent prose, Carr-Harris offers detailed studies of individual artists and exhibitions as well as theoretically informed reflections on broader cultural concerns. Whether writing about the complexities involved in the construction and transmission of knowledge, meaning, and historical narrative, or discussing the material matters of government cultural funding, patronage, and artist-run centres, or describing his own process and artworks, these pieces reveal a literary love of language and a nuanced and investigative mind at work. Throughout his writing, he considers themes of identity, cultural nationalism, postcolonialism, institutionalism, the act of viewing, and relations of power.

An introduction by Dan Adler situates Carr-Harris’s work within the context of his contemporaries, collaborators, and cultural environment, pointing out the mutually reinforcing qualities and relationships between his art and his writing. Covering decades of critical thought and engagement, Tracings confirms why Ian Carr-Harris has indelibly written himself into Canadian art. 

Spring 2024
$69.95 CAD | $59.95 USD
Series: Text/Context: Writings by Canadian Artists
424 pages | 40 halftones | 7 x 9 in.
9781988111513 | Paper
9781988111520 | e-book

Coming Spring 2024

Ian Carr-Harris has exhibited in Canada and internationally, including in the Paris Biennale (1975), the Venice Biennale (with Liz Magor, 1984), Documenta (1987), Art Gallery of Ontario (1988–89), the Canadian Biennial at the National Gallery (1989), the Sydney Biennale (1990), and the Montreal Biennale (1998). In 2007 Carr-Harris received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. He is professor emeritus at OCAD University.

Dan Adler is an associate professor in the Department of Visual Art and Art History at York University. 

Concordia University Press
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