Mansaram’s Art Exhibition At the University of Toronto: The Medium is the Medium is the Medium, Feb. 2 – March 23, 2019


Panchal Mansaram, who prefers to be identified as just Mansaram, was helped by Marshall McLuhan when he and his family immigrated to Canada from India in 1966. Later, McLuhan collaborated with Mansaram on a collage painting that was influenced by McLuhan’s ideas titled Rear View Mirror 74 (RVM 74) by personally adding some of the textual content. I published an article about McLuhan and Mansaram which was published first online in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, which you can read here and then later in print by the University of Winnipeg (see here ).

P. Mansaram: The Medium is the Medium is the Medium

February 2 – March 23, 2019

Curated by Indu Vashist and Toleen Touq
Co-presented with SAVAC

Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Hart House, University of Toronto

The exhibition The Medium is the Medium is the Medium presents works by media artist P. Mansaram and thinks through the artist’s decades-long practice of repetition. For Mansaram, repetition is art practice, repetition is meditation, repetition is spirituality, repetition is falling in love, and as he says, repetition is a way to finding god. Strategically using recurrence and reproduction through a variety of medium including drawing, painting, collage, text, sculpture, xerox, silkscreen printmaking, and film, Mansaram’s work invokes unending feelings of travel: through time, dimension and territory.

Spanning more than five decades, the selection of works highlights both material and spiritual elements from the artists’ surroundings and everyday life–including characters, symbols and spaces–to convey the artist’s meditative and transcendent processes in both form and content. In that regard, the ways in which Mansaram assembles different media and creates a sense of place present the viewer with a nuanced narrative of the diasporic experience.

Over the past decade, SAVAC has presented Mansaram’s work in several group programs and we are delighted to be able to shine a spotlight on his long career in this solo exhibition. Continuously tinkering with old works in response to contemporary shifts, Mansaram holds the rare ability of keeping an ever-evolving artistic practice that is both timely and germane.

Mansaram was born in 1934 in Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, India and studied at the Sir J. J. School of Art. Shortly after studying at the Rijks Academie in Amsterdam, he migrated to Canada in 1966. In 2016, the ROM acquired over 700 pieces from the artist’s archive reflecting over 50 years of his work.

P. Mansaram: The Medium is the Medium is the Medium is presented in collaboration with SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre), a nomadic artist-run organization dedicated to fostering imaginative thought among artists and curators of colours, and integrating them into the Canadian contemporary arts ecology.

Additional Exhibition Resources           Press Release

Opening Reception 

Saturday, February 2, 2019, 5-7pm
University of Toronto Art Centre

Extended exhibition hours from 7pm – 12am at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery and the University of Toronto Art Centre for the Night of Ideas.

Yoga Nidra with Taryn Diamond

Monday, February 11, 2019, 6pm
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery
Registration is required. Sold out.

Curatorial Tour with Indu Vashist and Toleen Touq

Wednesday, March 6, 2019, 6:30pm
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Artist Talk with P. Mansaram

Saturday, March 16, 2019, 1pm
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Drop In Guided Tours

Tuesdays at 2pm, beginning February 5, 2019
Meet at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Our Supporters – We gratefully acknowledge operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council.

See also on this blog An Unpublished Interview with Marshall McLuhan (1967) by Artist P. Mansaram at

2 Responses to “Mansaram’s Art Exhibition At the University of Toronto: The Medium is the Medium is the Medium, Feb. 2 – March 23, 2019”

  1. 1 Terry Gordon

    It is intriguing to learn that Mansaram’s art includes painting and text and equally intriguing to learn of the centrality of repetition in his work. It reminds me that Gertrude Stein always claimed that there was a crucial link between how she put words on paper and how Picasso put paint on canvas. At the same time, she made a distinction between repetition and insistence, the latter being, for her a repetition with a chance of emphasis. It will be interesting to discover if that distinction applies to Mansaram’s work in the same way that it applies to Stein and Picasso.


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