Partners in Art as The Power Plant 2008-2009 Commissioning Partner

The Power Plant is thrilled to announce Partners in Art as 2008-2009 Commissioning Partner for its 2008 Commission featuring Scott Lyall and 2009 Commission featuring Candice Breitz 

Toronto, May 1, 2008

Following the success of its current Simon Starling exhibition and commission, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery is thrilled to announce its new Commissioning Partner: Partners in Art (PIA).

As Commissioning Partner for 2008 and 2009, Partners in Art will support The Power Plant and help realize two major commissions for the gallery: Scott Lyall (2008) and Candice Breitz (2009).

Launched in 2006, The Power Plant Commissioning Program is linked to The Power Plant’s Strategic Plan to produce at least one major new art work of international significance per annum, establishing The Power Plant as a lead agent in Canada for commissioning landmark contemporary art projects by Canadian and international artists.

“Partners in Art have been instrumental in assisting arts organizations in Toronto and Canada and have contributed immensely to the arts and arts community,” states Gregory Burke, Director of The Power Plant. “We are honoured that Partners in Art have partnered with The Power Plant for such an ambitious program of newly commissioned works.”

“PIA’s commitment to The Power Plant and to the development of contemporary art enables us to realize our goals to offer audiences a chance to engage with the work of some of contemporary art’s most original figures, and to build awareness of its significance as a vital social and cultural force,” adds Gregory Burke. “Their support also helps to cement Toronto’s claim to be a major international art city given that each major commission has the potential to attract enduring international attention.”

“Contemporary art in 2008 is a very international affair. Partners in Art wants to support and foster the cross-pollination between Canadian and international contemporary artists. This partnership with The Power Plant, in support of their Commissioning Program, has very exciting possibilities for the future of Canadian contemporary artists,” Kathleen Crook, Partners in Art co-chair, said.

As Canada’s leading non-collecting contemporary art gallery, the commissioning of major new projects is a distinctive and important role for The Power Plant. Realizing at least one major commission per year, the program incubates major art projects that might not otherwise see the light of day.

The 2008 Commission will feature a new work by Toronto artist Scott Lyall. Lyall combines drawing, painting, sculpture, and found objects into spare yet complex sculptural environments. An intense period of research and digital image making precedes each project. Lyall delves into themes such as the links between graphic processes, sculptural display, and the design legacies of Conceptualism. He makes his sculptures from everyday materials like particle board and Styrofoam and incorporates minor, ephemeral fragments, as well as mathematically-generated drawings and paintings, into his installations. The effect is one of improvisation and incompleteness married with calm predetermination.

Lyall’s 2008 commissioned work for The Power Plant will be the centerpiece of a major solo exhibition at The Power Plant in Fall 2008.

Scott Lyall is also presenting a work at the Seventh International Biennial SITE Santa Fe, June 22 through October 26, 2008. His work at the Biennale has been curated by Gregory Burke and commissioned by The Power Plant, in association with SITE Santa Fe. For more information visit

The 2009 Commission will feature a new work by Berlin-based South African artist Candice Breitz. Breitz works in photography, video and other media, using popular imagery to expose the absurdity of how we construct meaning through stereotypes. Through darkly humorous and subversive tactics, she scavenges and then synthesizes the overwhelming remains of vernacular media, striking out at visual and narrative conventions to reveal our fascination with celebrity culture.

Breitz has participated in many major exhibitions including the Johannesburg, São Paulo, Istanbul, Kwangju, Taipei and Venice Biennales. She has had solo exhibitions at De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam (2001), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2004), Modern Art Oxford (2003), Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2005), and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005).

Presenting a talk as part of The Power Plant’s International Lecture Series on May 1, 2008, Candice Breitz is currently in Toronto conducting research on her upcoming commissioned work.

History of The Power Plant Commissioning Program:

  • 2006 Simon Starling – Founding Commissioners: Lonti Ebers and Bruce Flatt, Yvonne and David Fleck, The Latner Family, Phil Lind, and Garnet and Evan Siddall.
  • 2007 Rafael Lozano-Hemmer – Commissioning Partners: LuminaTO, Harbourfront Centre
  • 2008 Scott Lyall -Commissioning Partner: Partners in Art
  • 2009 Candice Breitz -Commissioning Partner: Partners in Art
Media Contact(s):

Shane Gerard, Publicist, Harbourfront Centre