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NEW PUBLIC ART INSTALLATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO SCARBOROUGH

The Doris McCarthy Gallery is proud to present Scarborough Lights, a public art installation by 2012 Gershon Iskowitz Prize recipient Kim Adams. Commissioned by the Department of Humanities and the DMG, in conjunction with the Snider Visiting Artist Program, Scarborough Lights was recently installed in the Social Sciences Building at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

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Kim Adams
Scarborough Lights
2011
Perforated Maytag dryer casings, auto carousel, lights
334 x 188 x 188 cm
Assisted by Victor Wong

Adams' sculptures convert everyday objects into absurd and fanciful works of art. In Scarborough Lights, three Maytag dryers have been transformed into a modular column, which in turn transforms its environment by radiating "light bubbles" that enliven an otherwise functional space. Although Adams has subtracted from the industrial forms by removing their interior machinery and by drilling holes into the remaining shells, the result is an abundant presence, at times immaterial as the column rotates, and light twinkles. The title plays on the arresting Northern Lights, and offers an electrified parallel to the natural phenomena that captures our imaginations. The artist's sense of humour shines through this improbable disco ball, encouraging the viewer to reconsider commonplace objects now made remarkable. Adams' work is often best appreciated outside of the gallery context, in an open environment where viewers can be surprised, made curious, and encouraged to determine for themselves what to make of the object.

Adams' artistic lineage can be traced to Marcel Duchamp, whose early twentieth century Readymades converted similarly banal items into objects for contemplation. Going beyond the Readymade, Adams makes fantastic modifications to the original forms, restructuring them into magical, playful objects — toys for grown-ups. Scarborough Lights humorously interrogates taste, craftsmanship and the appropriation of industrial materials.

ABOUT THE COMMISSION PROCESS

Scarborough Lights was created during Adams' tenure as the 2010-11 Snider Visiting Artist at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Established in memory of Fletcher C. Snider, the fellowship supports one-term residences by distinguished artists. Students from the Advanced Special Topics in Studio class assisted the artist with the fabrication of the work.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Over the past three decades, Toronto-based artist Kim Adams has exhibited extensively across Canada and in the United States, South America, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Eastern and Western Europe. His works have been shown in both art venues and in public spaces. Recent solo shows include Artist Colony (Bureau de change, 75th Anniversary of the Banff Centre) at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Roadside Attractions at Galerie Stadtpark, Krems, Austria, and Bugs and Dragons at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Recent group shows include Beyond/In Western New York 2010 in Buffalo, NY, Insiders at the Musée d'art contemporain in Bordeaux, France, and El Geni de Les Coses at the Office for Artistic Diffusion (ODA) in Barcelona. He is the subject of numerous books and catalogues, and his work is part of many major public collections such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Centraal Museum in Holland.

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Doris McCarthy Gallery
University of Toronto Scarborough
1265 Military Trail
Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4
416.287.7007
dmg@utsc.utoronto.ca
www.utsc.utoronto.ca/dmg