"He expresses his large-scale vision with sincerity and directness."
Whether creating a unique font for use in his work, teaching design and design history, writing, curating or producing his own art, Toronto artist Robert Fones expresses his large-scale vision with sincerity and directness. He often combines elements from popular culture and design, such as packaging, pictograms and letterforms, with investigations into geological, cultural and industrial history. He has explored these ideas through artist books, sculptural letterforms with applied photographic imagery and paintings that hover between geometric abstraction and trompe l’oeil.
In his most recent work such as somewhere… (2007) and Leviathan (2008) Fones superimposed text fragments from Cervantes’ Don Quixote or Hobbes’ Leviathan on photographic images using his own amoeba-like lettering. This fusion of historical text, organic lettering and photographic imagery gives the ideas embedded in the original texts new meaning for a contemporary audience.
Nomination statement by Dennis Reid, professor of Art History, University of Toronto