Cordella - Maryon Kantaroff

Centennial Park

Maryon Kantaroff
Cordella, 1998
Aluminium, 152 x 161 x 41 centimetres

"I think I was asking, where do we all come from?" In Cordella we see Kantaroff's attention shifting to a universal fascination with the idea of origins. The piece is dynamic and seems almost to be growing organically. Cordella is caught up in the evolutionary tension of being a living thing. Beginning at the microscopic level, one half of this clam-shaped sculpture seems to represent a cell moving through the earliest stages of its division. The other half, more rounded and smooth, holds on to the perfectly natural shape and symbol of an egg. Cordella also restates Kantaroff's interest in paired shapes or matching dualities. The two hemispheres flow into each other. They emphasize again the ideas of fluid natural development and contact. It is an important work for the artist and for the sculpture park. "I think this one piece almost sums up my philosophical vision of the world."

About Maryon Kantaroff

One of Canada's most recognized sculptors, Maryon Kantaroff, was born in Toronto in 1933. She studied Piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music and majored in Art and Archaeology at the University of Toronto, receiving her honours degree in 1957. She was assistant curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario from 1957 to 1958 and then went on to pursue postgraduate studies in American Ethnology at the British Museum in London. While in England, she also studied at Reading University, the Sir John Cass College of Art and the renowned Chelsea College of Art. In addition, she has been an art critic for the British Broadcasting Corporation and Eastern Europe Broadcasting.

At home, Kantaroff has been a major political and philosophical presence in Canadian sculpture for more than thirty years. She is a founding member of the Toronto New Feminists and continues to be committed to the human rights projects of Amnesty International and Artists for Peace. In 1974, she established the Toronto Art Foundry, which she operated until 1988, casting bronze sculptures for herself as well as other artists across Canada and the United States.

She has exhibited extensively in England, Europe, Canada and the United States, including several solo exhibitions in London, Milan, Munich, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Los Angeles and Sophia, Bulgaria. Her private commissions include monumental works for the Canadian embassies in Tokyo and Mexico City, as well as several sculptures for courthouses, hospitals, synagogues and estates in the Toronto area. Kantaroff has received the YMCA's Women of Distinction Award for courage and outstanding achievement in the arts, and in 1992 she was recognized with the Sculpture Society of Canada's prestigious President's Award.‚Äč

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