A Life Cut Short

Copyright 2016, Public Art of Toronto. All rights reserved.

Frederick G. Gans, QC Memorial, 1980
Located: McMurtry Gardens of Justice (361 University Avenue)
Artist: Maryon Kantaroff
Copyright 2016, Public Art of Toronto. All rights reserved.

The Frederick G. Gans QC Memorial  is composed of a single bronze abstract figure sculpted by artist Maryon Kantaroff. Kantaroff is a local artist who began her career after majoring in Piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music and in Art and Archaeology at the University of Toronto. She not only is a freelance sculptor but also a founding member of the Toronto New Feminists and a public speaker. Her topics include art history and feminism. As a well-known artist, Kantaroff has exhibited throughout North America and Europe and has hosted solo shows in London, Milan, and Munich.

The sculpture she used to memorialize Frederick Gans is deceptively simple. It is composed of a single arch rising in a tight curl from its plinth. The arch curls, stretching two extensions towards the back of the piece. One extension ends in a spherical shape, reminiscent of the ball at the head of the femur which inserts into the hip joint. The second extension is cut off abruptly. It feels almost like an amputation in keeping with the anatomical feel of the piece.

In fact, an amputation is not a poor analogy. The break represents a life cut unexpectedly short, as Frederick C. Gans’ was that day in 1978.

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