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Current Issue: Fall 2020
Fall 2020: Chroma


Available from September 15 to December 14, 2020

Though we have been planning this issue since the fall of 2019 (and, arguably, have been dedicated to this work for most of our careers), we were aware that Chroma would be viewed within the longue durée of Black artists, curators and writers who have worked against their marginalization to establish their own cultural spaces while continuously engaging with this country’s shifting cultural and social imaginaries. More recently, the twin pandemics of systemic racism and COVID-19 have brought to the fore societal inequities that touch all sectors of life and work. The loss of a “normal” has created the potential for rapid, dramatic change. These two realities formed the environment in which Chroma was developed and assembled. —Yaniya Lee and Denise Ryner, co-editors



For Tau Lewis, sculpture is an always unfolding conversation between progenitors and peers, the past and the possible

Monochrome and Matter

A 1967 artscanada roundtable on the subject of “black” revealed the consequent tensions between the aesthetics of abstraction and the politics of race

Black History Decades

For the better part of 40 years, David Woods has been an archivist and advocate for the overlooked artistic contributions of Black Maritime communities

Fade Into Place

On Vancouver artist Stan Douglas and the anonymity of the working body

by Denise Ryner

Porch Light, A Window

This neighbourhood storefront became a gathering place for Vancouver’s Black creative community

by Cecily Nicholson

A Letter from the Black Curators Forum to Contemporary Art Institutions and Organizations across This Land Called Canada


Making Throughlines

A national survey of artists whose work layers collaboration, inheritance and collective memory

Artist Project

Dialogue: A Gesture in Two Directions

by Tim Whiten

Cover Artwork

dusk settles (NourbeSe behind the veil)

Photograph, dimensions variable, 2019

by S*an D. Henry-Smith

This Issue

Excesses and Refusals

In this introductory essay for the Fall 2020 issue of Canadian Art, Chroma, co-editors Yaniya Lee and Denise Ryner write about some of the origins of, and hopes for, this project



Interviews with Camille Turner, Curtis Talwst Santiago, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Charles Campbell, Aisha Sasha John and Michael Fernandes


Terrain of Struggle

Notes from educators across Canada making space for Black study and ethically writing Black culture into the curriculum

by Katherine McKittrick, Charmaine A. Nelson, Deanna Bowen, Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall, Rinaldo Walcott, Afua Cooper


untitled folder (for CS)

by Chantal Gibson


In the Atmosphere

Robert S. Duncanson’s 19th-century landscapes were shaped by an abolitionist imaginary

by Adam Lauder


Touching the Ground

The sea and its horizons bring both respite and reminders of violence. For poets Imani Elizabeth Jackson, M. NourbeSe Philip and S*an D. Henry-Smith, the sea is an end, and also a beginning


Other Places

A new collection edited by Deanna Bowen reflects on under-recognized voices from Canadian media arts and the sovereignty of reclaiming one’s image

Brontez Purnell

In this project, the artist, writer, arthouse film director and frontman of the punk band The Younger Lovers exuded candid pathos and humour over Zoom

What Carries Us

At The Rooms, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Afro-diasporic histories challenged a provincial self-portraiture

Dana Michel

With gestures of discovery, Michel asked, “How might I locate my sexual identity within a multitude of complementary and seemingly contradictory identities?”

And eight other reviews, including Karin Jones and Amy Malbeuf at the Richmond Art Gallery, “Grasping at the Roots” at the Mitchell Art Gallery, and Justine A. Chambers at the Contemporary Art Gallery, among others

Fall 2020: Chroma