Missing: Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

Untitled, Jun Kaneko, 2002

Untitled, 2002
LOCATED: The Gardiner Museum (111 Queen’s Park)
ARTIST: Jun Kaneko
WEBSITE: http://www.junkaneko.com/
EMAIL: info@junkaneko.com
Copyright 2017, Public Art of Toronto. All rights reserved.

map-gardinerMost of us know the Royal Ontario museum. It’s hard to miss sitting at the corner of Bloor and Avenue Road, especially now that it’s added that huge crystalline monstrosity to the side of it. If you attended school in Southern Ontario you’ve more than likely gone on more than a few tours of its collection. But there is another museum, nearby, The Gardiner Museum which doesn’t get as much attention. It really should because its mandate is very interesting. The Gardiner is dedicated wholly to the preservation and study of ceramics from around the world.

Given its purpose, it should come as no surprise that the Gardiner Museum would have a giant ceramic head outside of their building. Well, maybe not the head bit….
Truth be told, it makes a nice change to write about a statue that is constructed from something other than bronze. But where does it come from?

Untitled, Jun Kaneko, 2002

Untitled, 2002
LOCATED: The Gardiner Museum (111 Queen’s Park)
ARTIST: Jun Kaneko
WEBSITE: http://www.junkaneko.com/
EMAIL: info@junkaneko.com
Copyright 2017, Public Art of Toronto. All rights reserved.

In the summer of 2011, the Gardiner Museum hosted an exhibition of 39 works by Japanese artist Jun Kaneko. The pieces demonstrated Kaneko’s range as an artist, including a mix of larger and smaller ceramic pieces, as well as some paintings and drawings. Included in the exhibit was a large turquoise head. Patrons were so taken with the giant ceramic cranium that they began fundraising in order to place one in the museum’s permanent collection. Within 18 months they were able to raise the $100,000 dollars needed to relocate Kaneko’s 2002 work from Omaha, Nebraska, where the artist is based, to Toronto. The black and white head was chosen because fund raisers felt the zebra stripping was the most dramatic and eye-catching. The untitled piece was unveiled by the artist himself in September 2013, a preamble to the Gardiner’s 30th-anniversary celebrations.

The title for this piece comes from the children’s song: Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes.

One response to “Missing: Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

  1. Pingback: A Cornucopia of Photography | Public Art of Toronto·

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