Art History Department

Rhiannon Vogl


Supervisor: Elizabeth Legge

As a curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, since 2008, Rhiannon has curated Kiki Smith and Tony Smith: Masterpiece in Focus (2016); New Lines: Contemporary Drawings from the NGC, Art Gallery of Alberta (2014) and Mendel Art Gallery (2014); Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts exhibition (2017-2011); as well as Store/Fronts (2015), Mark Soo: House is a Feeling, (2014) and Phil Collins: they shoot horses for NGC@MOCCA. She assisted with Geoffrey Farmer: A Way out of the Mirror (2017); BGL: Canadassimo (2015); Shary Boyle: Music for Silence (2013) and Steven Shearer: Exhume to Consume (2011) at the Venice Biennale. Independent curatorial projects include Zachari Logan: Hanging Garden, Line Gallery, North Bay (2014) and Isabelle Pauwels, Art Star 5, SAW Gallery, Ottawa (2013). Her writing appears in numerous NGC publications as well as Art & Place: Site-specific Art of the Americas (Phaidon); James Kirkpatrick: Secret Base by the Lake (University of Western); Blackflash; Herd Magazine; Border Crossings and Canadian Art.

Areas of Academic Interest
  • Contemporary art criticism
  • Contemporary drawings / works on paper
  • Athleticism and endurance in contemporary practices
  • Tarotology, astrology, mysticism/spiritualism and their manifestations in emerging artists' practice
Current Research
  • My focus will be in the area of Modern/Contemporary Art, and my studies will examine the fairly recent history of art writing and publishing in Canada. I want to, by way of extensive archival and primary source research, attempt to trace - at least a portion of - the trajectory of how art has been written about in this country, concentrating on English language publications, predominantly magazines, journals and periodicals, including Canadian Art Magazine, Border Crossings, C Magazine and the Journal of Canadian Art History. What I am interested in doing is writing about writing, as well as the journalists, critics, editors and publishers who have shaped Canadian art criticism, to look at the way artistic production has been received, interpreted and disseminated through print media, and to elucidate the importance of key magazines and publishing houses in that process. I am interested in the interwoven, at times even symbiotic relationship that exists between writers and artists, the ways in which they can serve to promote and stimulate one another, and inversely, how the written word serves/served to effectively record or exclude specific versions of art history in the country. This research has the capacity to splinter into the realms of aesthetics and graphic design, linguistics and rhetoric, politics and economics, as well as sociological and anthropological realms, none-of-which at this time can be ruled out. With an increasing move towards online platforms of publishing, it is an apt time to conduct research into the physically printed word, to track a history that is in a rapid state of flux, and to capture a particularly key moment in Canadian art history.
  • MA Art History: Art and Its Insitutions, Carleton University
  • BA (Hons) Art and Culture, Carleton University
Selected Publications
  • 2017 Canadian Biennial. Ottawa: The National Gallery of Canada, 2017.

  • “Open Edition.” Border Crossings Magazine 144 (December 2017): 104–5.

  • James Kirkpatrick: Secret Base by the Lake. London: University of Western, 2016.

  • “Venice Art Biennale.” Herd Magazine 10 (2015): 44–48.

  • “Julian Garner: grayarea.” Herd Magazine 8 (2015): 8–10.

  • “Central Art Garage.” Herd Magazine 6 (2015): 12–17.

  • “Zachari Logan.” Blackflash Magazine 31.3 (2015): 32–37.

  • Shine a light/surgir de l’ombre: Canadian biennial 2014. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2014.

  • “Parc Jean Drapeau” and “Anish Kapoor: untitled (Mountain).” In Art & Place: Site-specific Art of the Americas. London: Phaidon, 2013.

  • “Breaking it Down: Dagmara Genda.” Guerilla Magazine 37 (Winter 2013).

  • “Shary Boyle: Biography.” In Shary Boyle: Music for Silence. Ottawa: The National Gallery of Canada, 2013.

  • “The Making of Arnaud Maggs.” In Arnaud Maggs: Identification. Ottawa: The National Gallery of Canada, 2012.

  • “Yinka Shonibare, MBE,” “Lee Bul,” “Sarah Sze,” “Bharti Kher,” “David Altmejd,” and “Tricia Middleton.” In Misled by Nature: Contemporary Art and the Baroque. Ottawa: The National Gallery of Canada, 2012.

  • “New Ottawa Artist Spotlight: Guillermo Trejo.” Border Crossings Magazine 119 (September 2011).

Recent Awards
  • 2015 Writer in Residence, Algonquin Park Arts Centre, Algonquin Park
  • 2014 Blouin Art-Info Top 30 Under 30
  • 2006–7 Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada Master’s Grant

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