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Liz Magor



Liz Magor
23 May – 30 June 2000 / 5 – 24 September 2000


On Tuesday, May 23, the Art Gallery of York University unveiled a new sculpture on the campus of York University by Liz Magor, one of Canada's pre-eminent artists. The new bronze sculpture, Keep, was commissioned by the Art Gallery for the courtyard of York University's Central Square. The sculpture was produced with the assistance of technicians and students at York's L.L. Odette Centre for Sculpture. This project not only gave Magor the opportunity to work on a scale and in a medium she has never worked before, but also served as a teaching opportunity to demonstrate the techniques and tools of bronze sculpture production.

The new bronze sculpture is in the form of a hollow tree trunk, sealed at both ends with a sleeping bag protruding from one end. It was cast directly from an actual willow tree, and the sleeping bag is a cast rubber mold made to withstand extremes in climate/temperature. The subject is human shelter and refuge in nature, raising conflicting feelings about shelter and security. The return to nature is an idealistic impulse, invoking the benevolence of nature and the deep woods as a natural retreat. Yet as Liz Magor states, such retreats "also suggest the condition of last resort: for the fugitive, the misanthrope, and the disenfranchised."

Coinciding with the installation of Keep is the exhibition entitled Deep Woods at the Art Gallery of York University. This exhibition brings together Liz Magor's work for the past three years and contextualizes the artist's recent return to sculpture. A catalogue, Magor's first in fourteen years, has been produced by the Art Gallery of York University.

Support for the commission has been provided by York Faculty of Fine Arts, The Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program, the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation and the L.L. Odette Foundation.
Art Gallery of York University | Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street | Toronto ON M3J 1P3 | agyu [at] yorku.ca