IAIN BAXTER& is a painter, photographer, sculptor, mixed media artist, installationist, film & video maker, interventionist & performance artist who has been a forerunner of conceptual art in Canada, and has aimed to expand & challenge the definition of ‘art’ for over 50 years. BAXTER& uses his work to undertake cultural commentary & explore art as ‘’visual sensitivity information’’, his phrase for the word “art”, which points to how his work has always been informed by Marshal McLuhan, so much so that BAXTER& has been considered the Marshall McLuhan of Visual Arts in Canada. Continuous themes in his work include information technology, landscape, art as commodity, & environmental & ecological concerns. These prominent themes throughout BAXTER&‘s work are often met with wit, parody, satire & word-play.
Through his art, teaching, and mentorship, BAXTER& has widely influenced Canadian art, creating new movements such as the Vancouver School of Photo-conceptualism and blurring the lines between private and public through his N.E. Thing Co. among many other impactful projects. He has also directly influenced major Canadian artists, including Stan Douglas, Ian Wallace, Jeff Wall, Roy Arden, Ken Lum and Rodney Graham.
BAXTER& has exhibited throughout Canada and internationally in the United States, China, Korea, Japan, and Europe including at the Guggenheim; The National Gallery of Canada & the Canadian Cultural Center in Paris, France; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Tate Modern, London and Today Art Museum, Beijing. In 2011, BAXTER&’s work was compiled into a major retrospective IAIN BAXTER&: 1958--‐2011, organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario & The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
His work can be found in collections including the National Gallery of Canada; the Art Gallery of Ontario; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Vancouver Art Gallery; the F.R.A.C Art Museum in Bretagne, France; the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, The Netherlands; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; & the Tate Modern, London.
BAXTER& is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Canada including the Order of Ontario and the Order of British Columbia. He is a Member of the Royal Canadian Academy. Among the many awards he has received are the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, the Canadian Council Molson Prize for the Arts in 2005, the Gersho Iskowitz prize in 2006, & the Canadian Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2004. He was winner of the Melva J. Dwyer Award in 2013. IAIN BAXTER& holds five honorary doctorates from the following Influential Canadian Universities including: The University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, NSCAD University, the University of Windsor, & most recently OCAD University.
He has taught at the University of British Columbia, Simon Frasier University, The Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, The Alberta College of Art & York University. During his time at Simon Frasier University BAXTER& was responsible for creating the department of Visual Arts. He is University professor Emeritus at the University of Windsor and received an honorary doctorate from Ontario College for the Arts & Design.
He currently lives in Windsor (Ontario, Canada) with his wife & collaborator Louise Chance Baxter.
IAIN BAXTER& is going to do a community project involving the people of Suzhou. He will invite local people use their digital cameras or cell phones and work with round mirrors to take reflective photos of their environment, families and activities. After the people have photographed their images, BAXTER& will discuss with them in groups to select images that they would like to exhibit in public. The selected photographs will be enlarged and printed, and attached to a giant billboard to be displayed in exhibiting site. After the event, BAXTER& will encourage the community to use these images in whichever ways they would like, such as publish a book and invite writers and poets reflecting on the images that give them inspirations. BAXTER& have been using mirrors for many years in his art work. One of his recent work involves local community in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, invite people to create images of their living space and environment using contemporary technique and media. BAXTER&’s work shows his continual attention to the media and the communication among people, as well as a passion of celebrating life.
IAIN BAXTER&, Reflections of & on Suzhou, interactive photograph invention, 2016