Artist: Maryon Kantaroff
In The Garden, Kantaroff conveys her life-long
thematic interest in the relationship between woman and man. "It has
always been there for me," says the artist. "In the beginning I
wasn't even really aware of it, but others could see that my shapes were
changing, the harder lines were softening, becoming more fluid." In this
piece, it is the interdependency of the two figures that is being placed at the
foreground. Rather than marking a clear separation between the male and female
halves of this meeting, Kantaroff draws the viewer's attention to their
blurring similarity. Both figures balance their hard and soft elements, making
it impossible to mark the defining characteristics of gender. The two halves
encounter each other as equals, and in their coming together they illustrate a
simple but profound desire for free interaction and clear communication.
About Maryon Kantaroff
One of Canada's most recognized sculptors, Maryon
Kantaroff, was born in Toronto in 1933. She studied Piano at the Royal
Conservatory of Music and majored in Art and Archaeology at the University of
Toronto, receiving her honours degree in 1957. She was assistant Curator at the
Art Gallery of Ontario from 1957-1958 and then went on to pursue postgraduate
studies in American Ethnology at the British Museum in London. While in England
she also studied at Reading University, the Sir John Cass College of Art and
the renowned Chelsea College of Art. In addition she has been an Art Critic for
the British Broadcasting Corporation and Eastern Europe Broadcasting.
At home, Kantaroff has been a major political and
philosophical presence in Canadian Sculpture for more than thirty years. She is
a founding member of the Toronto New Feminists, and continues to be committed
to the human rights projects of Amnesty International and Artists for Peace. In
1974 she established the Toronto Art Foundry, which she operated until 1988,
casting bronze sculptures for herself as well as other artists across Canada
and the United States.
She has exhibited extensively in England, Europe,
Canada and the United States, including several solo exhibitions in London,
Milan, Munich, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Los Angeles and Sophia, Bulgaria.
Her private commissions include monumental works for the Canadian Embassies in
Tokyo and Mexico City as well as several sculptures for courthouses, hospitals,
synagogues and estates in the Toronto area. Kantaroff has received the
YMCA's "Women of Distinction Award" for courage and outstanding
achievement in the arts, and in 1992 she was recognized with the Sculpture
Society of Canada's prestigious President's Award.