Above: Portrait of Philip Monk by Jorge Zontal, 1982, originally published in FILE magazine
Philip Monk (above and below, left) has a picture in his mind for the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU), where he has just been appointed director and curator.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to reinvent myself as the director of the AGYU, an impressive gallery with enormous potential,” says Monk. “I want to bring the AGYU downtown and downtown to AGYU by revitalizing the association with the Toronto art community and to create partnerships within the York University community.”
Welcoming the appointment, Vice-President Academic Sheila Embleton said, “Philip Monk will be a tremendous asset to York University’s art gallery and to the University. His renowned leadership in contemporary art and widespread influence within the art community in Toronto and internationally will help make the gallery a prime venue for artistic expression and dialogue in the region.”
A respected curator, prolific writer and member of Toronto’s art community, Winnipeg-born Monk has served as curator of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto for the past nine years. There, he was responsible for forging close links with the Toronto art community through innovative exhibitions of alternative histories of the arts in Toronto. Notable exhibitions have included Beauty #2, Picturing the Toronto Art Community: the Queen Street Years and Substitute City.
Prior to his tenure at the Power Plant, Monk served as curator of contemporary Canadian art at the Art Gallery of Ontario from 1985 to 1993.
Monk will assume his new role at the AGYU in August.
The Art Gallery of York University, located in N145 Ross Building, features some of the best contemporary art produced in Canada and internationally. An indispensable academic resource for students at the University, the AGYU is an important cultural centre in Toronto. Since 1989 the Art Gallery of York University has worked with a number of artists whose first exhibitions in Canada took place at the gallery, and has played a crucial role in promoting Canadian art abroad.