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Claire Wilks’ oeuvre lays bare the inner emotional world of the human lived experience, from love and compassion to devastating loneliness,  pain and suffering. In her works, the human body, nakedly vulnerable and vulnerably naked, manifests inner strength and the power of self-awareness. Mortality comes to us all. It often comes unfairly, sometimes cruelly and al­­ways too soon, but it is our awareness of our own mortality that is at the heart of the human condition. And, it is in Wilks’ exploration of the human condition that we witness her search for understanding of – and meaning in – the unknowable in a way that is ultimately life affirming.

Claire Weissman Wilks (1933-2017) was a figurative artist, drawing the naked human body over and over again, from every angle, conveying a multitude of experiences. Wilks once called women’s bodies her ‘chosen landscape,’ but she did not consider this a political statement: “The female form is my line, the form lives in the brain of my finger.” Yet, during the 1970s her erotic images of women were rarely accepted for showing in conservative Toronto galleries – far too startlingly carnal for conventional audiences. Although not Wilks’ intention, they contributed to a new dialogue about sexual desire from a woman’s perspective, which happened to coincide with the first major wave of Feminism.

To read more about Claire Wilks and her work, please visit her website



Solo Exhibitions

2015 ‘Women This Way’ GNSTUDIO Contemporary Art, Oakville 
2013 WAR: Light Within/After the Darkness' The Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Waterloo 
2012 From the Beginning'  De Luca Fine Art | Gallery, Toronto 
2011 Sculpture and Monoprints Galeria Ethra, Mexico City 
2008 Monoprints: ‘Out of the Cave III’ Querini Stampalia, Venice 
2004 Monoprints: ‘Solitude’ Prince Arthur Fine Arts, Toronto, Ontario
2004 Two of Us Together, Each of Us Alone: Retrospective (1982-2004) Hamilton Conservatory of the Arts, Hamilton 
2002 Monoprints: ‘Ghosts’ Prince Arthur Fine Arts, Toronto, Ontario 
2002 Monoprints: ‘Out of the Cave II’ House of Congress, Mexico City 
2001 Monoprints: ‘Out of the Cave II’ and Brush Drawing Museo        Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City 
Monoprints: ‘Out of the Cave I’ Prince Arthur Fine Arts, Toronto, Ontario 
Monoprints: ‘Out of the Cave I’ and Brush Drawing Museo de Arte Contemporáneo - MARCO, Monterrey, Mexico 
1999 Sculpture Gallery Schieder on Yorkville, Toronto, Ontario 
1998 Drawings and Sculpture Academy of Spherical Arts, Toronto, Ontario 
1997 Sculpture and Drawings Liu Gallery, Toronto, Ontario 
1995 Drawings and Sculpture Madison Gallery, Toronto, Ontario  
1993 Sculpture and Painting Gallery Schieder and Associates, Toronto, Ontario 
1992 Drawings, Paintings and Sculpture Sunnen Gallery, Soho, New York  
Drawings: In the White Hotel Luba Bystriansky Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
Drawings, Paintings and Sculpture Luba Bystriansky Gallery, Toronto, Ontario 
1991-89 Quan Schieder Gallery, Toronto, Ontario 
1989 Drawings Centro Internationale de Graphica, San Marco, Venice, Italy
Sculpture and Works on Paper Centro Culturale Canadese, Rome, Italy 
Lithographs and Sculpture Muzejsko Galeruski Centar, Zagreb, Croatia 
Sculpture Charles Allis Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
Sculpture and Brush Drawings Quan Schieder Gallery, Toronto, Ontario 
1987 Erotic Drawings and Sculpture Galleri Hander, Stockholm, Sweden
Sculpture and Drawings Debel Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel
Drawings and Lithographs Arts and Letters Club, Toronto, Ontario
Retrospective, 1975-1987, Drawings McGibbon Cultural Centre, Toronto, Ontario  
1986 Sculpture and Drawings Del Bello Gallery, Toronto, Ontario 
1985 Lithographs Papoli, Italy Drawings and Lithographs WR Mitchell Gallery & Associates, Calgary, Alberta 
The Thinking Heart: Series of Drawings Del Bello Gallery, Toronto, Ontario 
Medallions, Lithographs Del Bello Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
1984 Drawings Hett Gallery Collection Exhibit, Edmonton, Alberta 
1983 Hillmother: Series of Drawings WR Mitchell Gallery & Associates, Calgary, Alberta
1982 Erotic Drawings IGA Gallery, Toronto, Ontario  

Selected Group Exhibitions

1995 Gallery Artists Exhibition Madison Gallery, Toronto, Ontario 
1994 Sculpture John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
1993 Sculpture Gallery Schieder & Associates, Toronto, Ontario 
1992 Group Show Luba Bystriansky Gallery, Toronto, Ontario 
1991 Spirited Gallery 101, Ottawa, Ontario 
1987 First International Miniature Show Del Bello Gallery, Toronto, Ontario 
1981 The Nude ATC Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
1980 Women Artists: A View of Men McGibbon Cultural Centre, Toronto, Ontario 
1976 Portraits Jerrold Morris Gallery, Toronto, Ontario 
1975 The Nude Gadatsy Gallery, Toronto, Ontario 
1968 Works on Paper Pollack Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
1967 Society of Graphic Artists National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario 
Miniatures Pollack Gallery, Toronto, Ontario

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