Joanne Tod

Having Fun? / The Time of our Lives

1984
Joanne Tod became known in the 1980s for her ambitious paintings that at the time used two or more canvases to pair or contrast social stereotypes. As Toronto critic John Bentley Mays has described, these paintings consider “the hard distance between what we are, what we long to be, what we are expected to become.” In Having Fun? / The Time of Our Lives, the painter presents two contrasting scenarios, united by their shared subject, dance, and the gesture of one of each dancer’s upheld arms on either side of the composition. The left canvas depicts a classical recital performed by a man and a woman; while to the right, a burlesque striptease unfolds in front of a middle-aged audience who seem perhaps more suited to the former performance. Through her signature painterly, realist style, Tod’s direct brush strokes and subject matter implicate the viewer in questions of voyeurism and gender relations that contradict the light-hearted title of the work.
Artist
Title
Having Fun? / The Time of our Lives
Date
1984
Medium
Painting
Materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
199 x 199 cm each
Nationality
Canadian
Credit line
Purchased 1985
Accession number
28717.1-2