VISUAL ARTS AWARDS
2011 Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art
Philip Monk is Director of the Art Gallery of York University in Toronto . Previously he was curator at The Power Plant (1994 – 2003) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (1985 – 1993). Between 1977 – 1984, he was a writer and free-lance curator.
As well as many catalogues, articles, essays, and reviews, he has published six books: Struggles with the Image: Essays in Art Criticism (1988); Double-Cross: The Hollywood Films of Douglas Gordon (2003), Spirit Hunter: The Haunting of American Culture by Myths of Violence (2005); Stan Douglas: Discordant Absences (2006); Disassembling the Archive: Fiona Tan (2007); while I have lying here perfectly still: The Saskia Olde Wolbers Files (2009). A book on General Idea is forthcoming. In 2009, he was the inaugural recipient of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries Lifetime Achievement Award.
In making the curatorial award recommendation, the jury praised his enormous, ongoing
contribution to contemporary art in Canada and internationally, which he has addressed
with outstanding rigour and intellectual acuity in numerous exhibitions, lectures and
substantial publications. “The history of the Toronto arts community, in particular, is
indelibly marked by his critical candour and dedicated curatorial work from the late
1970s on, having been the focus of many important group and solo exhibitions of artists
such as Michael Snow, Ian Carr-Harris, Robin Collyer, Liz Magor, Shirley Wiitasalo,
General Idea, Fastwurms, Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins and many others. Widely
recognized as one of the most prolific and articulate writers on contemporary art in
Canada, Monk is also internationally respected for his vigorous and innovative curatorial
transformation of the Art Gallery of York University, one of Canada's pre-eminent
University-based galleries, into a particularly vibrant, acutely current and challenging