Represented by General Hardware Contemporary, Toronto
For video distribution, contact Vtape, Toronto
Since 1974, when Canadian artists John Armstrong and Paul Collins met at art school, they have frequently shared studios. They began their full-fledged collaboration in 1999. Collins lives and works in Paris, and Armstrong in Toronto. They each carry out all aspects of their collaboration: painting, writing, photography, performance and video. Armstrong and Collins have exhibited their work in numerous group and solo exhibitions across Canada. They have also exhibited in France, Germany and China. John and Paul are included in Magenta Publishing's 2008 survey of contemporary painting in Canada, Carte Blanche: Vol. 2, Painting.
John Armstrong has exhibited his work in Toronto galleries such as YYZ, Cold City and Robert Birch (now Birch Libralato), as well as nationally and internationally. In 2003-04, his work was included in The Ironic Turn, a survey of contemporary Canadian art that originated at the Kunsthalle Erfurt, Erfurt, Germany, and traveled to the following locations: Faux Mouvement, Metz, France; Owens Art Gallery, Sackville, New Brunswick; and the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, Toronto. A 1998 survey exhibition of his artwork from the 1990s, titled “Sanguine,” was organized by Cambridge Galleries and Plug In Inc., and toured to several Canadian destinations.
Armstrong was a member of the Board of Directors of Mercer Union (an artist-run centre in Toronto) from 1991 to 1997, and has curated exhibitions in Toronto for Mercer Union, The Museum for Textiles and Harbourfront Centre, in Peterborough for Artspace, and in Kingston for the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. He has published many reviews and articles for C International Contemporary Art; his writing has also appeared in ArtsAtlantic, BorderCrossings, Canadian Art and Parachute, as well as in The Globe and Mail.
Armstrong's work is represented in the collections of the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Art Gallery of Peel, Canada Council Art Bank, Canadian Embassy Washington (Foreign Affairs Canada), Canadian Embassy Berlin (Foreign Affairs Canada), McMaster Museum of Art, Owens Art Gallery, and the University of Toronto Art Centre.
Before moving to Paris in 1982, Paul Collins lived in Toronto, where he studied Fine Arts at York University and at the New School of Art. He worked at the Coach House Press, exhibited his paintings and photographs at A Space, YYZ, Mercer Union, played music at the Spadina Hotel, contributed to Only Paper Today and co-founded Permanent Press. Since living in Paris, he has exhibited and performed at the Cartier Foundation, CREDAC, Le Musée des Beaux-arts de Mulhouse, La Galerie Bernard Jordan, L'Impasse and La Générale. He released Wipe Out!, a 2005 experimental music CD with French composer J.J. Palix.Collins’s feature-length video, 24 Hour 3 Stooges, premiered in 2006 at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. In 2008, he co-authored MAL ARME (Letter Drop 3), with poet Victor Coleman (BookThug, Toronto). In 2010-11, Collins' photographs were on view at the Art Gallery of Ontario, as part of the exhibition, Canadian Art in the 1960s & 1970s Through the Lens of The Coach House Press. He teaches intermedia practice and experimental music at the Ecole Supérieure d'arts et media de Caen.
I think my work is about how my mind represents the world through the filter of my personal memory as it intersects with the collective memory and the common culture.
John Armstrong and Paul Collins