Towards Action
Works from the University Art Collection

February 21 – April 21, 2017

Kenderdine Art Gallery

Curated by Leah Taylor 

The notion of moving towards action necessitates the artist’s role in changing and reshaping social consciousness. This exhibition unpacks ideologies around artist-as-activists.  Philosopher Rudolf Steiner believed that freedom is the foundation of spiritual growth, not only in society but also for the individual. These artworks reflect how cultural production can be used as a social, political, spiritual and even ecological action. Some works make direct implications that point to the capitalist authoritarianisms that have shaped contemporary society, while others explore themes around the interrelationship between art-making and natural processes of transformation. 

Steiner’s esoteric philosophy, anthroposophy, postulates that there is a spiritual, intellectual world accessible by inner development, and that ‘no human being would find peace in the enjoyment of happiness if others were unhappy…when we realize the spiritual in ourselves, we are also realizing our connectedness with all living beings.’ The underlying themes in these artworks can be found in the artist taking action to activate and move towards the universal pursuit for individual and social freedom.


John Scott
Marcel Dzama
Istvan Kantor
Angela Grossman
Allyson Clay
Jane Ash Poitras
Morgan Wood
Alastair Mackie