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MUD History
From November 12 to December 3,1994, 20 Canadian Painters (John Armstrong, Nicole Collins, Michael Davidson, Oliver Girling, Alexander Irving, Howard Lonn, Anda Kubis, Patrick Macaulay, Jennifer McMackon, Natalie Olanick, Brent Roe, Ayad Sinawi, Richard Storms, Denyse Thomasos (1964–2012), Julie Voyce) pooled their art, labour and resources and launched MUD at the Toronto art scene.

This was NOT a collective. British artist and theorist Victor Burgin had defined painting as "the anachronistic daubing on woven fabric with coloured mud" and this exhibition was our response. The group formed through a rhizomic process of word of mouth and group consensus until we hit 20, the number of analogue slides that would fit into a single sleeve. The participating artists made tangible connections with curators, dealers and their contemporaries.

The Toronto art scene in 1994 was dominated by sculpture, installation and video art and this was an exhibition to show that a wide range of painting was still alive and well and thriving.

Our project was supported by all 3 major funding agencies (The Toronto Arts Council, The Ontario Arts Council, The Canada Council). Curator Ihor Holubizky agreed to write a provocative essay. A catalogue was produced, and the art press paid attention.

A short documentary was produced in 2014 by Toronto's Other Art Scene. As this project predated the era of smartphones and ubiquitous documentation, there remain only a few fragments of ephemera, and a powerful memory for those who attended.

Nicole Collins
January 2015

Video: MUD

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