Ron Terada

Ron Terada (b. Vancouver; lives/works: Vancouver) has developed a wide-ranging conceptual art practice over more than two decades, which includes painting, photography, video, and music, as well as publications, posters, billboards, and signage. The majority of Terada’s work is text-based, appropriating material from a variety of sources, from pop culture to conceptual art. Since 1993, Terada has produced various series of found text paintings, reproducing the texts of commercial gallery ads, high school year book quotes, Jeopardy clues, and even the full text of artist Jack Goldstein’s memoir. For these works, he selects fonts for their canny or critical relationships to the chosen content, then he adheres a vinyl text to the canvas, paints over the entirety in a monochromatic hue, and then painstakingly removes each letter, thereby creating contrast between the text and the ground.

Terada selects texts that, together, trace the ways in which communication technology shapes speech and access to information. For instance, in his 2017 series titled TL; DR—internet shorthand for “too long; didn’t read”—Terada addresses the fragmentation of attention caused by the deluge of online content and its effects on everyday life. By reproducing headlines from the website The Verge in the signature font for The New York Times on a plain white background, the individual missives on individual canvases hung salon-style on one wall, point to the formal aspects of information consumption and how visual identities and treatments contribute to ideas of authority and truth-telling. Together, the work is monumental in scale, and creates a humorous, but unsettling conceptual art take on the history painting.

Terada is a graduate of the Emily Carr College of Art and Design. In 2006, he was awarded the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award, Visual Art, from the Canada Council for the Arts, and in 2004, he won the VIVA Award, Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts, Vancouver.

Terada's significant solo exhibitions include the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2018); Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver (2017); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2011); Hayward Gallery Project Space, London, UK; Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, Canada; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2010); and Ikon Eastside, Birmingham (2006). Recent group exhibitions include Vancouver Art Gallery (2017); Kunsthalle Wien (2016); Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (2013); 4th Guangzhou Triennial (2012); CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2012); and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2010, 2009).