• Jack, Richard (Canadian, 1866–1952)

    Well known for his portrait and landscape paintings, Jack is considered the first official Canadian war artist, following his acceptance of a 1916 commission from the Canadian War Records Office. Lord Beaverbrook commissioned from Jack two large-scale history paintings, The Second Battle of Ypres, 22 April to 25 May 1915, 1917, and The Taking of Vimy Ridge, Easter Monday 1917, 1919, which are in the collection of the Canadian War Museum. In 1931, Jack left England and settled in Montreal where he remained until his death in 1952.

  • Jackson, A.Y. (Canadian, 1882–1974)

    A founding member of the Group of Seven and an important voice in the formation of a distinctively Canadian artistic tradition. A Montreal native, Jackson studied painting in Paris before moving to Toronto in 1913; his northern landscapes are characterized by the bold brush strokes and vivid colours of his Impressionist and Post-Impressionist influences.

  • Jackson, Frederick W. (British, 1859–1918)

    An artist from Manchester, Jackson studied in Paris with Jules-Joseph Lefebvre and Gustave Boulanger in the early 1880s. After travelling extensively in Europe he returned to the United Kingdom, where he became known as a painter of landscapes, seascapes, and genre scenes. He was a member of the Staithes Group and the Royal Society of British Artists.

  • Jacobi, Otto (German/Canadian, 1812–1901)

    Primarily a landscape painter, Jacobi immigrated to Canada from Germany in 1860. He was associated with the Düsseldorf school of landscape painting, with its emphasis on visually detailed scenes, often with narrative content. Upon settling in Montreal he dedicated himself to the portrayal of Canada’s topography, his early Canadian work occasionally using photographs by William Notman as source material. He served as president of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts from 1890 to 1893.

  • Jacobs, Flo (American, b. 1941)

    An actor and the long-time artistic collaborator of her husband of fifty years, the filmmaker Ken Jacobs. She appears in many of his films, as well as in movies by their son, Azazel Jacobs, and those of Jonas Mekas.

  • Jacobs, Ken (American, b. 1933)

    A filmmaker and professor of cinema, and a key figure in New York experimental cinema of the 1960s. Jacobs studied painting with Hans Hofmann before taking up film in 1955. In 1966 he founded New York’s Millennium Film Workshop, a co-operative that supported and encouraged underground filmmakers.

  • Janco, Marcel (Romanian/Israeli, 1895–1984)

    A co-founder of the Dada movement, Marcel Janco was an artist, architect, and art theorist. Following several years in Zurich, Switzerland, as a student, he returned to Romania and shifted from the radical anti-art position of the Dadaists to supporting a more moderate Constructivism, producing art and contributing to various publications while working as an architect. In 1941, he and his family fled war-torn Europe for British Mandate Palestine, which became the modern state of Israel in 1948. In 1953 he founded the cooperative artists’ village Ein Hod.

  • Janvier, Alex (Dene Suline/Saulteaux, b. 1935)

    Influenced by Expressionism and strongly by his First Nations heritage, Janvier was a founding member of the Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. and is a pioneering figure in Indigenous art in Canada. Often composed with bright, symbolic colours and curvilinear lines, his nonrepresentational paintings address themes of land, spirit, and the struggles and triumphs of Indigenous culture.

  • japonisme

    After Japan was forced to open its ports to trade with the West in 1853, a flood of goods including ukiyo-e school woodblock prints and decorative objects introduced European artists to Japanese aesthetic sensibilities. Japonisme describes the influence the colour, flattened perspective, composition, and subject matter of Japanese artists had on their Western counterparts. The work of the Impressionists, Neo-Impressionists, and painters of the Aesthetic movement shows elements of the new style, from Mary Cassatt’s colour etchings of women and children to Paul Gauguin’s woodcuts.

  • Jarvis Collegiate Institute

    Founded in 1807, Jarvis Collegiate Institute is the second oldest high school in Ontario and the oldest in Toronto.

  • Jarvis, Alan (Canadian, 1915–1972)

    The director of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, from 1955 to 1959, Jarvis was also a sculptor, writer, and editor. A charismatic figure, he was the host of the 1957 CBC television series The Things We See and used his position at the National Gallery to bring ideas about art to a wider audience. He oversaw the completion and opening of the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale from 1957 to 1958.

  • Jarvis, Donald (Canadian, 1923–2001)

    An abstract painter, Jarvis was part of a cohort of West Coast artists who studied under B.C. Binning and Jack Shadbolt at the Vancouver School of Art in the 1940s. Time spent as a student of Hans Hofmann in the late 1940s influenced his abstract expressionist style. Jarvis was a professor at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design from 1950 to 1986 and later taught at the University of Victoria.

  • Jarvis, Lucy (Canadian, 1896–1985)

    Born in Toronto, Jarvis was a painter whose portraits of children, landscapes, and figure studies drew on Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. With Pegi Nicol MacLeod she established the Observatory Art Centre at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton in 1941, the city’s first art gallery, and from 1946 to 1960 she served as the director of the university’s art department. In 1961 Jarvis moved to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, with fellow artist Helen Weld and established a studio where she painted and taught until her death in 1985.

  • Jauran (Canadian, 1928–1959)

    A painter, photographer, and art critic, Rodolphe de Repentigny, know as Jauran, was a founding member of the Plasticiens. He wrote the group’s 1955 manifesto and promoted a rigorous geometric abstraction over the Automatistes’ subjective expressionism.

  • Jefferys, Charles William (British/Canadian, 1869–1951)

    An artist and illustrator and early member of the Toronto Art Students’ League, Charles William (C.W.) Jefferys worked primarily as a newspaper illustrator in New York City, as well as in Toronto. His illustrations, published in The Picture Gallery of Canadian History in three volumes in 1942, 1945, and 1950, were used regularly in textbooks, shaping an image of Canadian history for a generation of students.

  • Jérôme, Jean-Paul (Canadian, 1928–2004)

    A founding member of the Plasticiens and, in the 1950s, the most idiosyncratic artist of the group. He left Montreal for Paris in 1957 and worked more lyrically, until, toward the end of his career, he returned to a complex, highly colourful use of geometry.

  • Jesuits

    The Society of Jesus, whose members are known as Jesuits, is a Roman-Catholic order that was founded five hundred years ago by Ignatius Loyola. They played a major role in the Counter-Reformation of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and as missionaries throughout the world.

  • John, Augustus (Welsh, 1878–1961)

    Regarded as the first British Post-Impressionist artist, John was a painter and draftsman recognized for his skilled figure drawings and portraits. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London from 1894 to 1899 and subsequently lived an itinerant artist’s life during which he depicted Romany encampments in Wales, Dorset, and Ireland. During the First World War, John worked for the Canadian government as a war artist. He is the younger brother of painter Gwen John.

  • John, Gwen (Welsh, 1876–1939)

    A painter recognized for her sensitive depictions of often-solitary women, Gwen John studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London from 1895 to 1898, then travelled to Paris to study under James McNeill Whistler. In 1904, John became a model and lover of Auguste Rodin. She was the older sister of painter Augustus John, though her reputation grew to match her brother’s only after her death.

  • Johns, Jasper (American, b.1930)

    One of the most significant figures in twentieth-century American art, Johns—a painter, printmaker, and sculptor—is credited, with Robert Rauschenberg, with renewing interest in figurative painting following Abstract Expressionism’s dominance of the New York scene. Among his best-known works are those incorporating the motif of the American flag.

  • Johnson, Ray (American, 1927–1995)

    A collage and performance artist, early practitioner of mail art, and leading light among New York Pop and Conceptual artists. Studied at Black Mountain College under Josef Albers and Lyonel Feininger, formerly of the Bauhaus, as well as Robert Motherwell. Johnson was a feverishly creative artist, for whom the boundary between art and life was all but non-existent.

  • Johnston, Frances-Anne (Canadian, 1910–1987)

    Educated at the Ontario College of Art in the 1920s, Johnston painted primarily interior scenes including a large number of still lifes and florals. Her husband was the painter, illustrator, and commercial artist Franklin Arbuckle.

  • Johnston, Frank H. (Canadian, 1888–1949)

    A founding member of the Group of Seven. In 1921, he became principal of the Winnipeg School of Art and later taught at the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University), Toronto. He formally severed his ties with the group in 1924, preferring to paint in a realistic style less controversial at the time than his earlier decorative work.

  • Johnston, Jill (American, 1929–2010)

    The author of Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution (1973) and Jasper Johns: Privileged Information (1996), among others, Jill Johnston was a feminist writer and cultural critic. Known for the free associative style of her prose, Johnston was a vocal proponent of lesbian feminism and an advocate for the rejection of female heterosexuality as the only way of fully overturning patriarchal oppression.

  • Johnstone, John Young (Canadian, 1887–1930)

    A member of the Beaver Hall Group, Johnstone studied at the Art Association of Montreal and later became known for his landscapes depicting scenes in France, Belgium, and Quebec. He exhibited regularly in Montreal and also worked as an art teacher. In 1929 he travelled to Cuba, where he died the following year.

  • Jonas, Joan (American, b.1936)

    A pioneer of video, performance, and body art. Jonas was one of the earliest artists to create a video performance, which was entitled Organic Honey’s Visual Telepathy, 1972. In this pivotal feminist piece, Jonas plays herself as well as her alter ego Organic Honey, exploring questions around female identity, subjectivity, and narcissism. Her subsequent work explores the self and the body using symbolic gestures and objects, notably mirrors and masks.

  • Jones, Lowell (American, 1935–2004)

    Trained at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, Jones taught drawing, lithography, and sculpture at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He took a leave of absence to teach lithography to Inuit artists in Cape Dorset. In 1978 he moved to Chico, California, and devoted himself to his art, focusing on kinetic sculpture.

  • Jorn, Asger (Danish, 1914–1973)

    Born Asger Oluf Jørgensen Vejrum, Asger Jorn was a painter, sculptor, graphic artist, ceramicist, lithographer, and theorist. He was one of the founders of the post–Second World War avant-garde group CoBrA, which sought to further free artistic expression through adopting an abstract, primitivist style. Later, he was a founding member of the groups Mouvement International pour un Bauhaus Imaginiste (International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus) and International Situationniste (Situationist International). Jorn’s art and philosophy were governed by a belief in the necessity of collective participation as a way of bringing society to art. 

  • Joyce, James (Irish, 1882–1941)

    A modernist writer born in Dublin, Ireland, James Joyce is best known for his 1922 novel Ulysses, a stream-of-consciousness retelling of Homer’s Odyssey that tracks its protagonist, Leopold Bloom, through a single day in the author’s Dublin. In novels, short stories, poetry, and essays, he experimented with language in ways that transformed the possibilities for literature in the twentieth century, combining foreign words with English to create neologisms in Finnegans Wake (1939) and fictionalizing his childhood in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916). Although he set his fiction in the city of his birth, Joyce lived primarily elsewhere in Europe from 1909 until his death.

  • Judd, Donald (American, 1928–1994)

    Sculptor, critic, and a leading Minimalist artist, though he renounced the term, Judd is known for creating “specific objects,” on which he wrote a manifesto in 1964, and for rejecting what he saw as the illusionism of two-dimensional media. Judd’s objects, many of which take the box form, embody rigorously repetitive structures enforced by industrial materials and processes. In these works, the artist’s emotion is completely removed to consider the object’s influence on its environment.

  • Juneau, Denis (Canadian, 1925–2014)

    A member of the second generation of Montreal Plasticiens, Denis Juneau was a painter and sculptor. As a geometric abstractionist, he is best known for his bold colours and for paintings that experiment with the geometry of the circle and the line. Influenced by the techniques of the hard-edge painters, his work minimizes evidence of the artist and often includes optical illusions.

  • Jungen, Brian (Dane-zaa, b.1970)

    An artist internationally recognized for his repurposing of commercially produced items such as sneakers, lawn chairs, and golf bags into intricate sculptures resembling Northwest Coast Indigenous carvings. Jungen’s work engages with debates around globalization, cultural appropriation, and museology. A graduate of the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Jungen was the inaugural recipient of the Sobey Art Award (2002).

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