Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Joyce Wieland: Writings and Drawings 1952-1971

Joyce Wieland (1930-1998), the Toronto artist who was a pioneer in breaking through barriers women faced in the art world in the sixties and seventies, is known for her work in a variety of media. She made an endless number of drawings and sketches with pencil, pen and ink, and also kept a journal when she was in her early twenties as she was developing her ideas about her life and her art. Her drawings and writings are housed in the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections at York University in Toronto. This is where I found them when I was researching Wieland’s life for what became “Joyce Wieland: Artist on Fire” (James Lorimer & Co., 2001).

I have made a selection of Wieland’s writings and drawings, which will be published in one volume by Porcupine’s Quill in Erin, Ontario. Next week I will be checking the final proofs of “Joyce Wieland: Writings and Drawings 1952-1971,” which means the book will soon be available in bookstores. This collection tells us much about Wieland’s early aspirations and struggles, and the subjects important to her in her work. She loved to poke fun at politicians, the art establishment, and even artists themselves. Her sense of humour and great wit would cut through the most stodgy situations on any day of the week.

On 25 March 2010, the Ben McNally Bookstore in Toronto at 366 Bay Street (west side of Bay, south of Richmond) will host the launch of “Joyce Wieland: Writings and Drawings 1952-1971” from 5 to 7 p.m. My hope is that this book will help to keep Wieland in our consciousness, and remind the art world of what she has given to Canada and the world.


  1. I'll be at your launch Jane and I'm very much looking forward to reading this book.

  2. Hi Jane. In your book on Joyce Weiland "Artist on Fire" you made reference (p79) to a Thomas Ripka whom Jane met in Paris "divorced with child(me)... on his way to Australia."
    Any further information would be most appreciated.
    many thanks
    Gabriel Ripka Melbourne Australia