The Gershon Iskowitz Foundation and the Art Gallery of Ontario have named Tim Whiten the winner of the 2022 Gershon Iskowitz Prize at the AGO. Whiten will receive $75,000 cash and a solo exhibition at the AGO in 2025. The award is presented annually to an artist who has made an outstanding contribution to visual arts in Canada.
Born in Michigan in 1941, Whiten moved to Toronto in 1968, after completing his military service as a commissioned officer in the US Army. He is known for deploying mundane objects found in everyday life, such as tools or toys, to create personal and evocative works that unite the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and material realms. His multivalent practice includes gestural drawings, sculptures, performances, and installations. Whiten considers himself an “image maker who also creates cultural objects,” noting, “The process is what guides the work.” He is a founding member of York University’s Department of Visual Arts, from which he retired as professor emeritus in 2007.
Whiten has enjoyed solo exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Hamilton (2010), the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Waterloo (2006), and the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, Montreal (1998). In 2021, the Colorado University Art Museum in Boulder staged “Tim Whiten: Tools of conveyance,” an exhibition centering on themes and processes that emerged in the artist’s work from the late 1960s to the present. Last year, his work was featured in four exhibitions, staged as part of a multi-venue collaborative project titled “Elemental: Ethereal” at the McMaster Museum of Art, the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, the Art Gallery of Peterborough, and the Art Gallery at York University. Whiten’s work is held in institutions including the AGO, the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto; and the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco.