JOANNE TOD "TATTOOED EMBRACE" WATERCOLOR, 2020
Joanne Tod (b.1953) is a renowned Canadian artist acclaimed for her masterful figurative paintings.
Tod has depicted a wide-range of subjects throughout her illustrious career. The human figure, pattern and interiors have been reoccurring and essential elements of Tod's oeuvre.
However over the last ten years, portraiture has become an increasingly significant part of her output, both high-profile commissions as well as more idiosyncratic self-initiated portraits, such as her recent installation of "head-shots" paintings of the entire Toronto Raptors team.
This untitled work (aka. "Tattooed Embrace") is somewhat of an anomaly in her practice, yet simultaneously shares many characteristics with her best known creations. While the human faces are absent, and the bodies anonymous, the rendering of muscle and flesh is meticulous and precise, yet demonstrates a certain softness.
For most of 2020 Tod has experimented with watercolor and this unforgiving medium has enabled the artist to be more spontaneous without compromising the technical mastery she is known for.
Tod has always been enchanted by the influence and ubiquity of decorative arts in the late 20th century. Here her inclusion and rendering of a Maori-style tattoo on one of the bodies, while likely a new motif for the artist, is consistent with her previous explorations of how desirable, or in this case sacred, design elements get diluted and disseminated into daily life.
Finally it is worth noting that while Tod has painted an array of characters over the years, her depictions of people are typically individual. This watercolor is a rare example of her work in the erotic sphere.
Joanne Tod's works can be found in numerous public institutions across Canada including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), and the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal.
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Untitled ("Tattooed Embrace")
Watercolor on paper
15.5”H 11.75”W (sheet)
18.5”H 14.5”W (framed)
Framed with museum glass
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