Ron Terada attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, before completing his fine art studies at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. From 1998-2007, he taught at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.
Ron Terada began his artistic career as a painter and was initially concerned with merging the modernist style of monochrome painting with advertising, print and television to explore ordinary gestures and social systems. His earlier series feature familiar texts from sources such as high school year books, exhibition advertisements from art magazines and newspapers painted in white on monochrome canvases. His Jeopardy Paintings (1998-99), quote typical questions, in the form of answers, from the enduring TV game show “Jeopardy” By combining seemingly random, perhaps even trite knowledge with the purity of the monochrome canvas, Terada collapses the time and space between the highly venerated tradition of modernist painting, conceptual practices and the everyday.
Terada uses neon signs, multi-media sculpture, video, installation and photography, in which he continues to create works that make use of language, or take text as their primary subject matter. The series Jack (2010) consists of paintings that reproduce chapters written by the artist Jack Goldstein for his memoire Jack Goldstein & the CalArts Mafia (2003). Terada explains: “It was important that I wasn’t just pulling pages out of a book and pinning them to a wall. For me, Jack’s story is the story of painting.” Terada speaks about the myth of the artist, how artists feel about being artists and the anxieties and social dynamics of the art world.