(Untitled) Mountain (1994) by Anish Kapoor, Located at Simcoe Place. Photo by Matthew Monteith.

(Untitled) Mountain (1994) by Anish Kapoor, Located at Simcoe Place. Photo by Matthew Monteith.

In 2015 the acclaimed photographer Matthew Monteith began a photo essay tracing the rise of public art in Toronto. His ongoing series explores how this work animates the city’s unique canvas, dissolving traditional distinctions between public and private, home and institution, natural and urban, high art and daily life. 

If public art was once a foil to a rational city, Monteith’s images capture a new reality – a far more integrated and immersive public realm where art, architecture and landscape partner to produce total environments. His photos foreground the public’s consumption of and engagement with the work, capturing chance encounters across the city and revealing Toronto’s multiple publics. 

Ultimately, Monteith’s images capture Toronto at a key moment in the city’s evolution, a moment when art is actively intensifying the urban landscape as well as changing our perceptions of the public sphere.

Curated by: Ilana Altman

The Artful City photo project was made possible by the support of our generous sponsors: