Skip to content

May we suggest

Features / August 23, 2016

David Balzer’s Top Pick at Canadian Art’s Gala Auction

Shannon Bool’s multiple, fraught ideas of beauty make her artwork Iman’s a top pick for editor-in-chief David Balzer at Canadian Art's upcoming auction.
Shannon Bool, <em>Iman's</em>, 2014. Photogram, 11.4 x 7 inches. Courtesy the artist and Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto. Shannon Bool, Iman's, 2014. Photogram, 11.4 x 7 inches. Courtesy the artist and Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto.

The Canadian Art Foundation auction takes place during our 21st annual gala on September 22. In anticipation, we asked members of our art-advisory committee to select their favourite works on the auction block. We’ll be publishing their selections periodically leading up to our auction preview on September 15, when all of the works will be on view at Waddingtons.

Top Pick for David Balzer, editor-in-chief and co-publisher, Canadian Art: Shannon Bool, Iman’s, 2014

“Shannon Bool plays alchemy with history. Iman’s is part of a series of photograms Bool has made based on images from the 1925 Paris exposition—a key event for the introduction of the Art Deco aesthetic to the world. The figure in the photo is a classic Siegel mannequin, outfitted with a chic, wide-brimmed hat, but the body has been cut out, replaced with a motif from a Papua New Guinea shield, used in male coming-of-age rites. The motif destabilizes the image, recalling eyes, or vagina dentatae. Design, and the act of looking at design, becomes gendered, or perhaps neutered; everything is exotic. Handmade in Bool’s studio, which she turns into a darkroom, Iman’s is a literal apparition—a composite of multiple, fraught ideas of beauty.”

Visit for information on gala tickets, and to view our full auction catalogue.

David Balzer

David Balzer is the author of two books, Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else, winner of ICA London's 2015 Book of the Year, and the short-fiction collection Contrivances. He has written about art and culture for the Globe and Mail, the GuardianFrieze, Artforum, The Believer and others, and from 2016 to 2019 was editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Canadian Art.