Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto (MOCA) Announces $1 Million Donation and Highlights of 2021 Exhibition Programme

TORONTO – The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto (MOCA) announced that it has received a significant donation of $1million. The gift from a donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, will be applied to the Museum’s annual exhibition programme. “This very generous support for MOCA’s programming will ensure that the Museum can continue to build on its reputation for developing critically acclaimed exhibitions and commissioning new work from Canadian and international contemporary artists,” said Executive Director Kathleen Bartels. “This significant contribution to the Museum will provide much welcome support for an exciting and ambitious series of new projects and partnerships on the horizon.”

The Museum is currently closed in compliance with Covid-19 health regulations in Toronto. When restrictions are lifted, MOCA plans to exhibit a selection of works from Flowers for Africa (2012 – ongoing) by Kapwani Kiwanga. To be presented in MOCA’s new North End gallery on the main floor, the installation celebrates Kiwanga’s receipt of the 2020 Marcel Duchamp Prize, one of the most prestigious annual awards given in France to a visual artist. The exhibit also caps a full roster of exhibitions at the Museum that currently includes Acts of Erasure with artists Fatma Bucak and Krista Belle Stewart, Archipelago by Michael Lin, and Spaghetti Blockchain by Mika Rottenberg. Please check MOCA’s website for updates on the Museum’s re-opening plans.

Next spring, MOCA will open Greater Toronto Art 2021, a major survey of contemporary art in Toronto. This multidimensional exhibition spanning the entire Museum consists of 21 relationships with artists who currently work in Toronto or are intensely connected to the city. The title adopted by MOCA, which plays on the name of the city’s broad metropolitan area, addresses the ever-expanding notion of what Toronto might be, where it extends, and what practices and attitudes exist here.

Opening in May and on view through August, the 21 participants whose works will be featured are Ghazaleh Avarzamani, Nour Bishouty, Jesse Chun, Tom Chung, Common Accounts (Miles Gertler and Igor Bragado), Julia Dault, Kareem-Anthony Ferreira, Alexa Hatanaka, Aaron Jones, Pamila Matharu, Native Art Department International (Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan), Oluseye, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, Jagdeep Raina, Tony Romano, Jennifer Rose Sciarrino, Walter Scott, Azza El Siddique, Kara Springer, Sahar Te, and the collective of Parastoo Anoushahpour, Faraz Anoushahpour, and Ryan Ferko.

“In keeping with the interdisciplinary ethos of MOCA, this project will highlight a broad spectrum of cultural practitioners working in visual art, design, performance, digital technologies, and more. MOCA has approached the curatorial process for this project with a dedication to working collaboratively and horizontally with independent curators, participating artists, and cultural partners across the city and country,” said Artistic Director November Paynter.

In the summer of 2020, the curatorial team, comprising Daisy Desrosiers, Rui Mateus Amaral, and Paynter, conducted numerous studio visits with artists who work across varying disciplines and lines of inquiry. Consequently, this exhibition marks an important turn towards the city, highlighting some of the most energizing and dynamic artistic projects being developed locally today.

Through a number of partnerships, new commissions, and never-before-seen artworks, Greater Toronto Art 2021 is intended to support the Toronto community as we move through profound shifts in our society. Significantly
two major commissions are being realized with key partners: artist Ghazaleh Avarzamani will create several large-scale sculptural works with support in part from ArtworxTO’s The Year of Public Art 2021, while the collective of Parastoo Anoushahpour, Faraz Anoushahpour, and Ryan Ferko have been selected to produce a site-specific immersive project with the National Film Board of Canada Digital Studio. In addition, the visual identity and a comprehensive publication created by Toronto studio BLOK Design will accompany the exhibition. This publication will also mark MOCA’s first foray into publishing with more projects planned over the coming years.

Later in 2021, MOCA will unveil an exhibition by Iranian artist Shirin Neshat, her first major monograph in Canada in over 20 years. The exhibition will focus on Neshat’s most recent project Land of Dreams (2019), featuring over 60 large-scale photographic portraits and a video installation that marks a pivot in the artist’s gaze towards the “Western World.” Independent curator Farnoosh Talaee has been invited by MOCA to guest curate the public programmes that will accompany Neshat’s exhibition.

About MOCA Toronto

MOCA Toronto is motivated by the principle that museums and their programmes are culturally and socially beneficial to the diversity of the communities they serve. MOCA supports and promotes forward-thinking artistic experimentation and provides a community space for enrichment, discourse, collaboration, and creativity. Working across all contemporary art forms, MOCA’s programmes empower local artists and engage the Toronto art scene while contributing to the international art community and scholarship.

MOCA is a not-for-profit charitable organization. The evolution of the Museum is made possible through a unique alliance with Castlepoint Auto Building Inc, public sector funders, private donors, members, sponsors, and a network of cross-sectoral partners.

Website: https://moca.ca/

Kareem-Anthony Ferreira, Caribbean Desire, 2019
Acrylic, mixed media on canvas
Courtesy the artist

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