PLATFORM Speaker Series

PLATFORM is Art Toronto’s original series of lectures and panel discussions from prominent art world figures. Included within PLATFORM are POWER TALKS, a series of lectures organized in partnership with the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.

Find out what's trending and happening in the international scene from artists, writers and curators and immerse yourself in all things art in this comprehensive line up of talks on the PLATFORM stage.

See the 2017 schedule of talks below!


The Evolution of Painting: How Artists Today are pushing the Medium’s Boundaries

Presenting Sponsor, RBC

Corrie Jackson (Associate Art Curator, RBC)
Beth Stuart (Artist)
Jonathan Shaughnessy (Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Canada)

Nicholas Brown (Manager of Programming, Canadian Art)

This panel explores the shifting role of paint in an artist’s practice. Paint is no longer just applied to canvas; it is molded, stretched, knitted and sculpted to create works that defy traditional notions of what a painting can be. Nicholas Brown, Manager of Programming at Canadian Art, leads a discussion on how this shift not only impacts an artist’s practice, but also strongly influences the legacy of art in Canada.


Meet the 2017 Sobey Art Award Winner

Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada

2017 Sobey Art Award Winner (to be announced October 25)
Mary Lynk (Journalist and producer, CBC Radio)

The winner of the 2017 Sobey Art Award, Canada’s prestigious contemporary art prize for professional artists 40 and under, will be at Art Toronto’s center-stage with Mary Lynk- award winning journalist and producer for CBC radio’s IDEAS program- to talk about his/her work and career. Initially a nominee among 25 longlisted artists from across Canada, the winner was selected by an international jury from a shortlist of five. In collaboration with the Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Museum at the University of Toronto is presenting the work of the five finalists from 24 October to 9 December 2017. Since its inception in 2002, the annual award has had an undeniable impact on the careers of young Canadian artists.


POWER TALK: Charles Gaines, Systems, Structures and the Politics of Subjectivity

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery

Charles Gaines

In this talk, Charles Gaines will discuss his early work in systems and numerals to his most recent work with language and representation. This will include a discussion of ways the work rethinks notions of subjectivity and how they are manifested in works of art. Additionally, there will be a discussion about the fine difference between chance and arbitrary judgments on the one hand and expressive and intuitional judgments on the other, both sharing the characteristic of being indeterminate, and how works of art can uniquely interrogate this difference.


Tania Willard: Site/ation

C Magazine

Tania Willard

Using concepts of Indigenous epistemology, land rights and creative acts, curator and artist Tania Willard will discuss her approach to recent curatorial and artist led-projects. Willard will frame Site/ation with BUSH Gallery, a land based conceptual gallery space in the artist’s home territory of Secwepémculecw (BC). Bush Gallery allows dialogue, experimental practice and community engaged work to contribute to an understanding of how gallery systems and art mediums might be transfigured, translated and transformed by indigenous customs, aesthetics, performance and land use systems. Willard will also discuss curatorial projects for LandMarks2017/Repéres2017 in Tuktoyaktuk (NWT), Old Crow (YT) and Thousand Islands National Park (ON). Centering methods of acknowledging territory and developing relationship with site, and contrasting notions of in situ, Site/ation acknowledges the deep artfulness and Indigenous land rights holders of all sites in “Canada.”

Tania Willard, Secwepemc Nation, works within shifting ideas of the contemporary and the traditional as they relate to art and cultural production. Working with bodies of knowledge and skills that intersect between Aboriginal and other cultures, Willard’s art/curatorial/life projects include BUSH gallery, a conceptual space for land based art and action led by Indigenous artists.