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Greg Curnoe Life & Work by Judith Rodger

The writings, films, and interviews by and about Greg Curnoe are numerous, varied, and growing. He was his own best archivist, saving and systematically filing his papers, which are now held in the E.P. Taylor Research Library and Archives at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. The following list of sources and resources is but a small sampling of what is available.


Key Exhibitions

Greg Curnoe’s works were exhibited across Canada; in Europe, Israel, Brazil, Mexico, and Cuba; and occasionally in the United States.


Greg Curnoe’s exhibition representing Canada at the Venice Biennale, 1976, photograph by Greg Curnoe.

1961

November 3–December 1, An Exhibition of Things, Richard E. Crouch Branch Library, London (first solo exhibition).

1963

September 12–October 2, Art Work by Greg Curnoe, Gallery Moos, Toronto.

1964

September 17–October 6, Greg Curnoe: Stuff, David Mirvish Gallery, Toronto.

October 8–31, John Chambers, Greg Curnoe, Norman MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina. Catalogue.

1966

February 8–27, Paintings by Greg Curnoe, Vancouver Art Gallery and Edmonton Art Gallery. Catalogue.

1968

January 12–February 18, Canada: Art d’aujourd’hui, Paris, France. Catalogue.

August 18–September 7, Canada 101, Edinburgh, Scotland. Catalogue.

September 19–October 13, Heart of London, London Public Library and Art Museum. Circulated by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, to Hamilton, Stratford, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria, Kingston, Ottawa, and Charlottetown. Catalogue.

November 29–December 29, Canadian Artists 68, Toronto. Catalogue. Curnoe wins a $2,000 award for View of Victoria Hospital, First Series: #1–6.

1969
–70

September–January, Greg Curnoe Canada X Bienal São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. Catalogue.

1975

September 5–29, Greg Curnoe: Some Lettered Works, 1961–1969, London Public Library and Art Museum. Catalogue.

1976

July 14–October 10, Canada: Greg Curnoe XXXVII Biennale di Venezia. Catalogue.

1981

April 16–May 31, Greg Curnoe: Rétrospective/Retrospective, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Circulated to National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Glenbow Museum, Calgary; London Regional Art Gallery; Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton; closed May 2, 1982, at Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.

1987

November 25–December 19, I Tell Stories, YYZ, Toronto.

1989
–90

November 4–January 4, Greg Curnoe: Rubber Stamped Books and Works 19611989, Art Metropole, Toronto.

1992

March 6–28, Deeds Abstracts, Forest City Gallery, London, Ontario. Catalogue, limited edition of 150.

May 23–September 3, Research & Development: Greg Curnoe, Jake Moore & Canadian Culture, London Regional Art & Historical Museums, London, Ontario. Pamphlet.

1995
–96

December 7–January 14, Evident Truths: Greg Curnoe 1936–1992, Laurentian University Museum and Arts Centre, Sudbury. Organized and circulated by the National Gallery of Canada to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Catalogue.

2001

March 9–June 17, Greg Curnoe: Life & Stuff, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, circulated to London, Ontario, 2003.

2003

April 11–June 22, Homage to the R34 [the Dorval mural], in conjunction with Greg Curnoe: Life & Stuff, Museum London.

2011

January 22–April 17, Cutout: Greg Curnoe, Shaped Collages 1965–1968, Museum London. Catalogue.


Selected Writings

Greg Curnoe wrote prolifically throughout his career—poems, articles, book reviews, and letters to the editor in a variety of publications. He also curated exhibitions and wrote curatorial essays. See the bibliography in Greg Curnoe: Life & Stuff for an extensive list, as well as a list of unpublished material in the Greg Curnoe Fonds in the E.P. Taylor Research Library and Archives at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. The Canadian Art Database Project is an excellent resource.


Cover image of the catalogue for Canada: Art d’aujourd’hui, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris, 1968.

“Statement.” In Statements, 18 Canadian Artists. Regina: Norman MacKenzie Art Gallery, 1967, 38–42.


3rd Dalhousie Drawing Exhibition. With Bruce Ferguson. Halifax: Dalhousie Art Gallery, Dalhousie University, 1978. [Catalogue]


Blue Book #8. Toronto: Art Metropole, 1989.


Curnoe, Greg, and Frank Davey. Deeds Abstracts Greg Curnoe. Limited edition of 150 published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Forest City Gallery, London, ON, 1992.


Deeds/Abstracts: The History of a London Lot. Frank Davey, ed. London, ON: Brick Books, 1995.


Deeds/Nations. Frank Davey and Neal Ferris, eds. London, ON: London Chapter, Ontario Archaeological Society, 1996.



Audio, Film, and Video


A still from Greg Curnoe’s No Movie, 1965, 16mm colour film, original soundtrack has been lost, Michael Gibson Gallery, London.

By the artist

No Movie, 1965. 16mm film, 8 min. 30 sec.


Souwesto, 1969. 16mm silent colour film, 30 min.


Connexions, 1970. 16mm colour film, 15 min.


War Museum, 1970. (With Pierre Théberge), 16mm film.


1936 CCM Prolite Flyer, half-inch video, 1973.


Recordings by Curnoe of interviews, lectures, and conversations from 1968 to 1991. The Greg Curnoe Fonds in the E.P. Taylor Research Library and Archives at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto [CA OTAG SC066]. Series 23: 84 audiocassettes.


About the artist

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “London Group,” The Umbrella, 1966. Television interview with William Ronald. National Archives of Canada, ISN#104446.


Chambers, Jack. R 34, 1967, transferred to VHS by London Public Library, 2000. 16mm colour film, 30 min.


Western Front Archive. Greg Curnoe reading at Western Front, Vancouver, May 20, 1974. Video 46:26 min.


Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “Painter Greg Curnoe champions Canadian artists,” The Great Canadian Culture Hunt, March 10, 1975, narrated by Gordon Pinsent, 6:09 min.


Greg Curnoe, 1981. London, ON: Lockwood Films. Reissued in half-inch video, 1993, by London Regional Art and Historical Museums. 16mm colour film, 23:30 min.


“Improvisations from Blue Book 8,” 1995. Wendy Ewert, soprano; Greg Curnoe, kazoo; Jack Behrens, piano. Musicworks 63 CD, track 6, 15:34 min.


Asher, Zev. Highlights from What about Me: The Rise of the Nihilist Spasm Band, 2000.


Greg Curnoe Adjusted April 2003, 2003. 3-CD set of panel discussions, Symposium, April 11–12, 2003, Museum London.


Quin, Sara (Tegan and Sara). JUNO Tour of Canadian Art, Tall Girl When I Am Sad on Dundas Street, 2013.


Greg Curnoe: ’61–’65 Mini Documentary, 2014. Michael Gibson Gallery, London, ON.



Selected Publications Illustrated by Curnoe

The cover of The Great Canadian Sonnet: Complete in One Volume, drawn by Greg Curnoe.

Lumsden, Ian, ed. Close the 49th Parallel, Etc.: The Americanization of Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970.


McFadden, David. The Great Canadian Sonnet 1 and 2. Illustrated by Greg Curnoe. Toronto: Coach House Press, 1970. [Reprinted in one volume, 1974.]


Acorn, Milton. More Poems for People. Toronto: New Canada Publications, 1972.


Journal of Canadian Fiction 2, no. 1 (Winter 1973).


Journal of Canadian Fiction 2, no. 2 (Spring 1973).


Journal of Canadian Fiction 2, no. 4 (Fall 1973).


–––. Animal Spirits: Stories to Live By. Toronto: Coach House Press, 1983.



Selected Critical Writings

Bodolai, Joe. “Borderlines in Art and Experience.” artscanada 31, no. 1, issue 188/89 (Spring 1974): 65–81.


Chandler, John. “More Words on Curnoe’s Wordly World.” artscanada 26, no. 2, issue 130/131 (April 1969): 16–41.


Cholette, Katie. Memory and Mythmaking: The Role of Autobiography in the Works of Jack Chambers and Greg Curnoe. Ottawa: Carleton University, 2007.


Crawford, Lenore. “Odd Objects Exhibit Startles Art Lovers.” London Free Press (London, ON), November 4, 1961.


Dewdney, Chris. “Oregionalism: Geocentrism and the Notion of Originality.” Provincial Essays 1, no. 1 (1984): 3–13.


Faflak, Joel, and Sky Glabush, eds. (Re)imagining Regionalism. London, ON: McIntosh Gallery Curatorial Study Centre, 2013.


Fones, Robert, and Andy Patton, eds. “We Are Not Greg Curnoe: Materials from a Symposium on the Work and Life of Greg Curnoe,” Open Letter: A Canadian Journal of Writing and Theory, 11th Series, no. 5 (Summer 2002).


–––. Cutout: Greg Curnoe, Shaped Collages, 1965–1968. London, ON: Museum London, 2011.


Hale, Barrie. “Stick Around and Work with What’s Around You: An Article about What Greg Curnoe Is About.” Saturday Night 85, no. 1 (January 1970), 25–29.


James, Geoffrey. “The Heart of London.” Vie des Arts 53, 1968–1969: 44–48.


Lord, Barry. “What London, Ontario Has That Everywhere Else Needs.” Art in America 57 (September–October 1969): 103–5.


Cover image of the catalogue for XXXVII International Biennale Exhibition of Art, Venice, 1976, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. The texts appear in French, Italian, and English. The catalogue includes black and white images and one fold-out colour plate, notes on the eight paintings exhibited, a list of exhibitions by the artist, a bibliography of writings in chronological order, and a selected bibliography.

Mahon, Patrick. “Greg Curnoe.” Border Crossings 33, no. 2 (June 2014): 101–2.


Nemiroff, Diana. “This Is Great Art Because It Was Not Made by an American.” Vanguard 10, no. 8 (October 1981): 24–31.


Régimbal, Christopher. “Institutions of Regionalism: Artist Collectivism in London, Ontario, 1960–1990.” Vancouver: Fillip 19 (Spring 2014).


Reid, Dennis, and Matthew Teitelbaum, eds. Greg Curnoe: Life & Stuff. With contributions by Sarah Milroy, Dennis Reid, and Judith Rodger. Toronto and Vancouver: Art Gallery of Ontario and Douglas & McIntyre, 2001.


–––. A Concise History of Canadian Painting. 3rd edition. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2012: 315–16; 321–27; 436–39.


Théberge, Pierre. Greg Curnoe: Rétrospective/Retrospective. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1982.


Woodman, Ross. “London (Ont.): A New Regionalism.” artscanada 24, nos. 8/9, issue 111/112 (August–September 1967). Pamphlet.



Key Interviews

Anonymous. “Greg Curnoe: A File Interview.” File 2 (1973): 46–47, 61.


Kidd, Bruce. “Interviews with Canadian Artists: Bruce Kidd Interviews Greg Curnoe.” Canadian Forum 53 (1973): 22–30.


McDonald, Robert. “Pictures at an Exhibition: Or, A Peripatation about Two Roomsful of Paintings by Greg Curnoe Being Shown in London, England, En Route Home from Display at the XXXVII Venice Biennale . . .” Descant 9 (1978): 203–36.


Reid, Dennis, and Greg Curnoe. “A Conversation Following the Reading of Christopher Dewdney’s ‘Oregionalism: Geocentrism and the Notion of Originality.’” Provincial Essays 1, no. 1 (1984): 15–31.


Stevenson, Barbara K. “The Political and Social Subject Matter in the Art of Joyce Wieland and Greg Curnoe.” MA thesis, Institute of Canadian Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, 1987.



Further Reading

Bowering, George. The Moustache: Memories of Greg Curnoe. Toronto: Coach House Press, 1993.


Curnoe, Lynda. My Brother Greg: A Memoir. London, ON: Ergo Productions, 2001.


Davey, Frank. “Dead in Canada,” in Cultural Mischief: A Practical Guide to Multiculturalism. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1996, 51–74.


Getty, Cassandra. L.O. Today: Featuring Marc Bell, James Kirkpatrick, Amy Lockhart, Jason McLean, Jamie Q, Peter Thompson, Billy Bert Young. With Ben Portis. London, ON: Museum London, 2013.


Granatstein, J.L. Yankee Go Home? Canadians and Anti-Americanism. Toronto: HarperCollins, 1996, 232–36.


Gurney, Janice. “Evidence of Activism in the Greg Curnoe Archives,” TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies 20 (Fall 2008).


Johnston, Wayne A. At The York. London, ON: Ergo Productions, 1990.


McFadden, David W. “The Death of Greg Curnoe,” in There’ll Be Another. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1995, 11–17.


O’Brian, John, and Peter White, eds. Beyond Wilderness: The Group of Seven, Canadian Identity and Contemporary Art. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007.