Artist, curator and educator, Christian Bernard Singer was born in 1962 in Paris into a family of artists and raised in New York City where he began as a company dancer with Laura Foreman’s Composers and Choreographers Theater, performing in Spaces and Foreman’s seminal work, Signals II. These were performed over several years in such venues as Judson Memorial Church, the Cubiculo Theater, and The New School, until the work was eventually performed at the Museum of Modern Art.
Singer is best known for incorporating mosses and other living plant life with glass, clay, bronze, found objects, and video into installation-environments and land art works that turn on notions of place, memory and time-passing. While his earlier works often inhabited entire spaces, his recent series of intimately-
scaled constructions using painted pine needles still reference his own awareness of being interconnected with living energy of the natural world. The process of making these new works is contemplatively ritualistic, not only in their painstakingly laboriousness, but in how the sorting, editing, placing of the pine needles have become a way of activating quiet spaces in an otherwise chaotic world.
Singer’s work has been included numerous museum and land art invitational exhibitions including: Habitat, Akasha Art Projects, Toronto; Pins and Needles, Headbones Gallery, Vernon, BC (2017); Three Canadian Artists Reflect on the Natural World (2016), Kean University Galleries, Union, NJ; Summerfires (2009), Galerie Lausberg, Toronto; Aligning with Beauty (2009), Varley Art Gallery; Pass the Buddha with Julie Oakes (2008), Galerie Samuel Lallouz, Montreal; Cabinets of Curiosities (2008) and Tessellated Anamnesis: Patterns for Unforgetting (2005), Canadian Clay and Glass Museum (Waterloo); Revivified (2008), Headbones Gallery, Toronto; Mobile Structures: Dialogues between Ceramics and Architecture in Canadian Art, (2007), MacKenzie Art Museum, Regina which also toured to the Surrey Art Gallery, BC (2008); The Edward Day Gallery's Kiwi Sculpture Garden Project in Perth (2006-09); The Shore/Lines Project: Responding to Place (2005) organized by the MacLaren Art Centre; and Second Nature at the Fish Tank Gallery in New York City (2004). In 2012, he was a Visiting Artist at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD - Atlanta), and last year, was invited to speak at the Jubilee Arts International for the Diamond Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan in Lisbon, Portugal. This year, six of his pine needle works were purchased by Global Affairs Canada for their AWKZ Visual Arts Collections and will be installed in Canadian embassies and official residences worldwide.
Singer has received grants from the Canada Council for the Art and the Ontario Arts Council, both funders have invited him several times to serve as a Peer Review Committee Member. He holds an AOCAD from the Ontario College of Art and Design (including multiple awards for painting and sculpture) and a Master of Fine Arts from The New York State College of Ceramics, School of Art and Design at Alfred University. For six years, Singer taught sculpture at the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU) and the Toronto School of Art, and he has lectured throughout Canada and the United States.
Singer has also curated over 75 exhibitions national and international artists, including three major retrospectives. Throughout, he has championed artists who push boundaries, materially and conceptually, while opening pathways to meaningful and resonant experiences for viewers. Until 2017, he was Senior Curator of the Tom Thomson Art Gallery and for over five years, he served as the Curator/Artistic Director of the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery. Before this, he was Director of the 2005 Contemporary Art Forum – Kitchener & Area (CAFKA), Curator and Associate Director of Lehmann Leskiw Fine Art until he co-founded Rouge Contemporary Art Projects where he remained as Director and Curator until 2009, bringing Judy Chicago: A Survey of Important Works (curated by Virginia Eichhorn) – the first large-scale survey exhibition for Chicago ever to come to Canada.
He continues to develop curatorial projects independently and his writings about art have been published internationally (Ceramics Art & Perception, Vie des Arts, Exile Literary Quarterly, and others). He presently serves on the board of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG).
The artist wishes to acknowledge the Ontario Arts Council in making this exhibition possible through a Francophone project grant (Arts visuels et metiers d’art – projets francophones, Conseil des arts de l’Ontario).