November 5, 2020

2020 Stonecroft Visiting Artist Lecture: Ken Lum

University of Ottawa

Ken Lum, Four French Deaths in Western Canada (detail), 2002. Oil on wood panel (4 panels), 183 x 146 1/2 inches. Courtesy of the artist.


The Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa, in collaboration with the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) is excited to welcome Ken Lum for the sixth Annual Stonecroft Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture. Both institutions are situated on the traditional unceded territory of the Anishinàbe Algonquin Nation.

This lecture series is made possible thanks to a significant gift from the Stonecroft Foundation for the Arts, in support of contemporary art discourse. The annual Stonecroft Lecture series allows the public to discover prominent Canadian artists’ practices. On November 12, Ken Lum will present an artist-talk followed by a conversation and Q&A moderated by Josée Drouin-Brisebois, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the NGC.

Ken Lum is an artist best known for his conceptual and representational art working in different media, including painting, sculpture, and photography. His art deals with how meanings are assigned to images, texts, and objects based on cultural, racial and social codes. A long-time professor, he currently is the Chair of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design in Philadelphia. He has published extensively, including a book of his collected writings issued by Concordia University Press in 2020. He has given keynote speeches for the Sydney Biennale, World Museums Conference in Shanghai, and the Universities Art Association of Canada. He has an extensive art exhibition record that includes Documenta 11, the Venice Biennale, Sao Paolo Bienal, Shanghai Biennale, Carnegie Triennial, Sydney Biennale, Liverpool Biennial, Gwangju Biennale and the Whitney Biennial. Solo exhibitions include the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, Kunstmuseum Luzern in Lucerne, Switzerland, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Since the mid 1990s, Lum has worked on numerous major permanent public art commissions including for the cities of Vienna, the Engadines (Switzerland), Rotterdam, St. Louis, Leiden, Utrecht, Toronto, and Vancouver. Lum was Project Manager for the seminal exhibition, The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa: 1945 – 1994. He has also worked as a curator for several large-scale exhibitions, including Shanghai Modern: 1919 – 1945, Sharjah Biennial 7, and Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia. He is Co-Founder and Chief Curatorial Advisor for Monument Lab. He is represented by Magenta Plains Gallery, New York; Royale Projects, Los Angeles; Galerie Nagel/Draxler, Berlin; and Misa Shin Gallery, Tokyo.

The talk will be presented in English with simultaneous French interpretation. The event will be recorded and will be posted on the NGC’s YouTube channel a few days after the event.

About the University of Ottawa
The University of Ottawa is committed to research excellence and encourages an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge creation. The Department of Visual Arts offers attentive teaching and mentoring within a close-knit university community, while also encouraging student interaction with a broad network of art institutions and professionals. The MFA in Visual Arts is a bilingual two-year program where students take an in-depth look at theories informing contemporary art and image culture.

About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada’s premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st centuries, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. In 2015, the National Gallery of Canada established the Canadian Photography Institute, a global multidisciplinary research centre dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to works of art for all Canadians. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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