Tim Jocelyn

1952–1986

Tim Jocelyn was a central figure in the art scene that exploded around Toronto’s Queen Street West in the early 1980s. He first emerged as an innovative designer of clothing and fashion accessories, for which he found an enthusiastic market in New York and Toronto. But his work was always informed by an artistic sensibility and, without completely abandoning wearable art, he increasingly moved his exuberant vision into other areas of the cutting-edge art world. At the time of Jocelyn’s death from AIDS, in 1986, he was breaking new ground with what was to be his final work, a large-scale installation commissioned for Vancouver’s Expo 86. 

A survey of his life and work is overdue, and the gap is filled nicely by The Art of Tim Jocelyn. The book is anchored by a trio of essays that locate Jocelyn’s oeuvre in its social context of artistic ferment and pre-AIDS gay culture. The many colour plates show the influence of Matisse’s papercuts and Russian constructivism, as well as the neoprimitivism that defined urban style 20 years ago. The geometric shapes and dancing figures that populate much of Jocelyn’s work sometimes feel rather dated, which makes one wish he’d had the chance to prolong his Icarus-like career into the present day.

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Solo shows 1

1990

Tim Jocelyn: Fictions & Realities - The Power Plant, Toronto, ON

 Group shows 3

2011

One Of A Kind - - Pierre Menard Gallery, Cambridge, MA (closed, 2011)

1996

Reviews, The Monumental new city: Art and Community - Mercer Union - A Centre For Contemporary Visual Art, Toronto, ON

1984

Visual Rhythms - Toronto Sculpture Garden, Toronto, ON

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