Victoria Cantons is an artist who happens to be a woman, transgender, and gay. As a trans woman she is keenly aware of limitations and stigmas, which leads her to question how much freedom we have and where our boundaries lie.
Cantons wants to understand as much as she can about what it means to be human. She believes that what we as individuals present to the world is multifaceted and not always visible; a continuous evolution in response to experience, and in relationship to each other. The human condition and questions of identity are central to her work. Cantons is interested in themes of power, identity, and male and female perceptions of each other. She says “These aspects connect us all and yet we are also unique individuals”.
Cantons’ painting is figurative and she could be described as a colourist. She is interested in the dialogue between painting’s contemporary iterations and its histories. Cantons uses drawing and written notes combined with found and made photographs to navigate between intuitive, intellectual, and aesthetic content informed by a multinational, -cultural and -religious background. An interest in the internal-external dichotomy manifests in an attention to scale, to how shadows form, and to where absences appear. Memories of being different suggest the need to use masks and camouflage as protection, while influencing the paintings as they evolve in an exploration of identity, self, and representation.
Victoria Cantons b. 1969, London, UK
2018 - 21 MFA Painting (Distinction), Slade School of Art, University College London
2017 - 18 Painters Studio Programme, Turps Art School, London
2014 - 17 BA (Hons) Fine Art: Painting, Wimbledon College of Arts, University of the Arts London
2021 Silver Art Projects Digital Residency
2021 Chadwell Award (shortlist)
2018 Felix Slade Scholarship
(C) denotes that a catalogue was published in conjunction with the exhibition
People Trust People Who Look Like Them, Flowers Gallery (East), London (upcoming)
Guts Gallery, London (Upcoming)
Champagne tastes on beer money, Guts Gallery, London
Give Me Your Hand So That I May Not Be Alone, 48 Woodstock Road, London
TWO ARTIST SHOW
2021 Tomorrow Will Be The Most Beautiful Day Of Your Life, with Xu Yang, Studio West, London
2021 You Can Tell Me, with Marla Bendini, Cuturi Gallery, Singapore
An Ode to Orlando, Marcelle Joseph Projects @ Pi Artworks, London
Invisible Dragon, Cedric Bardawil @ Cromwell Place, London
Small is Beautiful, Flowers Gallery, London
ING Discerning Eye, The Mall Galleries, London
LONDON GRADS NOW. 21, Saatchi Gallery, London
Collection, Sixty Six London, London
Yield, No 20 Arts, London (C)
Incognito, Kovet.Art at Photo London Fair
A New Art World, Guts Gallery, London
Slade Postgraduate Fine Art Degree Show, Slade School of Art (UCL), London / Online
Every Woman Biennial London: My love is Your Love, Copeland Gallery, London
ANOTHER FIGURE, Silvis Contemporary, Online
TRANSCENDENTAL, Cuturi Gallery, Singapore
When Snowdrops Rise, MAPA Fine Art, The Hague / online
New Futures Digital: Slade, Kovet.art Gallery, Online
Redirecting, Tree Art Museum, Beijing
PAPA RAGAZZE, Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles
the tales we tell ourselves, Purslane Gallery, online
TwentyTwenty Women, Artistellar Gallery, online
RA Summer (Winter) Show, Royal Academy of Art, London (C)
A Rudimentary Education, Art Lacuna, London
LONDON GRADS NOW., Saatchi Gallery, London
Slade Graduate Fine Art Showcase, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London
Begin Again, Guts Gallery, online show via instagram (C)
Tomorrow: London (week 3 of 4), White Cube Gallery, London
Trans-Identity: Body, Soul and Time, NoSpace Organisation, online show via instagram and NoSpace WeChat Official
When Shit Hits the Fan, Guts Gallery, online show via instagram (C)
Little Originals exhibition, Dock Street Studios, Dundee
Annual Open Exhibition 2019, The South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts @ Exeter Castle, Devon
Graduate Interim Show, Slade School of Art (UCL), London
Beautiful China, Beautiful World: Golden Era of China-UK, China Pictorial & UK-China Photography Association @ Central Hall Westminster, London and Charing Cross Library, London
On the Mountain We Stay, supported by No Space in Zichuan district, Zibo city, Shandong province, China
AIR Open 2019, AIR Gallery, Manchester
RA Summer Show, Royal Academy of Art, London (C)
Change, Hundred Years Gallery, London
Micro, AIR Gallery, Manchester
TROPE, Serf, Leeds
LOVE, Slade School of Art (UCL), London
Pulling Teeth, ASC Gallery, London
Turps Studio Painters, Paul Stolper, London (C)
Set 24, The Art Academy, London
CHAIN, The Library of China University of Mining & Technology, Beijing (C)
24th edition of Artist of the Day: Day Nine, Flowers Cork Street Gallery, London
Beijing Summer Exhibition 18, NL Gallery, Beijing
Picnic, Subsidiary Projects, London
Bring me my cloak, LVP House, London
Glutted: 7 Artists 24 Hours, 392 Grove Green Road, London
Wimbledon College Undergraduate Summer Show, UAL, London (C)
Landscapes of the Mind & Earth, Conference Centre Gallery, St Pancras Hospital, London
Currents of Identity, The Crypt Gallery, St Pancras Church, London
To Be Continued…, Gallery of the College of Arts, Huabei University of Science & Technology Tangshan, China (C)
109 Nails, Copeland Park, London
8th edition of Loudest Whispers, Conference Centre, St Pancras Hospital, London
Exhibit Here Summer Exhibition, Menier Gallery, London
It's A Pleasure, 83 Greyhound Lane, London
Interrogating The Soul, SAFEHOUSE 1, London
Contemporary Art, Forme Trinity @ This Is Art Gallery, London
Recent Work, 1st Year, BA Fine Art, Wimbledon College of Arts (UAL), London
Summer Edit, Moreton Gallery, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire
Summer Foundation Course Show, Slade School of Art (UCL), London
Zhe:[noun] Undefined, Soho Theatre, London
4th edition of Loudest Whispers, Conference Centre, St Pancras Hospital, London
LONDON GRADS NOW. 21, ("Slade Gallery"), Saatchi Gallery, London
New Futures Digital: Slade, Kovet.art Gallery, online
LONDON GRADS NOW. ("Slade Gallery"), Saatchi Gallery, London
Slade Graduate Fine Art Showcase, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London
Trans-Identity: Body, Soul and Time (editor of show text; research advisor to show curator and text's author Ting Deng), group show online organised by NoSpace Organisation
100 Carat Diamond (co-curator), Artist: Yang Xu, Artworks Project Space, London
Landscapes of the Mind & Earth (co-curator), Group show, Conference Centre Gallery, St Pancras Hospital, London
TEACHING POSTS (UK)
Visiting Lecturer, Wimbledon College of Arts (UAL), London for the undergraduate fine art programme
Visiting Lecturer and tutorials, Camberwell College of Arts (UAL), London for the undergraduate painting programme
SELECTED PRESS / MEDIA
Dazed Digital: Ten women artists and designers on their love of Louise Bourgeois, 22nd February 2022, text by Emily Dinsdale. Available to read online here.
Art On A Podcast / Art On A Postcard, Series 9: IWD Auction 2022: Victoria Cantons Podcast online, recorded 17th January with Mollie E Barnes of She Curates. Available on all podcast platforms.
The Sunday Times, Culture section, 12 December 2021, “12 future stars of the art world you need to know about” by Waldemar Januszczak. Online and in print.
Cedric Bardawil "In the Studio with Victoria Cantons and Xu Yang", online here
Evening Standard: Cultural Capital Ep24, online feature 11th November 2021: We’re at Saatchi Gallery taking the temperature of London’s emerging art world. View Here
FAD magazine, online feature, 5 November 2021, LOVE, ART AND AFFIRMATIONS: AN INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST COUPLE VICTORIA CANTONS AND XU YANG By Bella Bonner-Evans. Read Here
New York Times: T: The New York Times Style Magazine, 26th September 2021, pp 80-86, “The New Testament” written by Megan O’Grady. Also online.
Beyond the Paint with Bernadine: Episode 131: Artist Victoria Cantons: Seeing Beyond the Visible Podcast online, recorded 9th September. Listen Here and on all podcast platforms.
Financial Times: FT Weekend Festival, 4th September 2021, one of four artists chosen to represent the spirit and issues of the festival. 1200 Tote bags printed with the painting “A way to keep what’s vital from being lost or Sometimes all I think about is you” and given to visitors at at the entrance gate. Online info here.
Elephant magazine, online feature 21 July 2021, Rising Stars: Elephant’s Pick of This Year’s Most Exciting Art School Graduates. Read Here
Art Adventures with Custorian: #09 Artist Victoria Cantons Podcast online, recorded 17th May. Listen Here
Financial Times: How to Spend It (magazine): The Hope Issue, 1st May 2021, pp 48-49, guest edited by Jonathan Anderson. “Six artists reshaping our way of seeing”. Also online here.
Slade Painting hosted by Latifah Al-Said Stranack SladePainting talks to Victoria Cantons about life and art. Available on instagram here
'NEW FUTURES DIGITAL: SLADE FOCUS': Curator Victoria Cantons talks to artist Eleanor Newis Kovet.Art KlubTalk, 20th March, available on instagram here
'NEW FUTURES DIGITAL: SLADE FOCUS': Curator Victoria Cantons talks to artist Flora Bradwell Kovet.Art KlubTalk, 13th March, available on instagram here
'NEW FUTURES DIGITAL: SLADE FOCUS' ZOOM DISCUSSION WITH ALISTAIR HICKS AND VICTORIA CANTONS Kovet.Art KlubTalk, 3rd March, Zoom Online Webinar
Having Conversations Through Paintings Artist profile on Chimera Art available online here
ON-OFF with curator Jeanette Gunnarsson Artist in Conversation, available on instagram here
The Artist Contemporary Podcast Season 1, Episode 11 Victoria Cantons and Xu Yang with Joséphine Bailey and Anna Woodward available on all podcast apps
JW Anderson Artwork used in “The Secret of Life is in Art” - Oscar Wilde capsule collection Promotion. Available to view here
Art She Says '6 Emerging Artists We Love from Artistellar' by Emeline Callaway, 18 Nov, 2020 Available here
Eduardo da Costa Artist in Conversation. Part 1 available on instagram here and Part 2 here
Loyse de Pury Studio visit: Victoria Cantons. Available on instagram here
Where's the Frame? "Studio visit: Victoria Cantons & Xu Yang", online here
The Sunday Times, Culture section, 13 September 2020, “Saatchi Saves the day, A lucky few graduates seize the moment” by Waldemar Januszczak. Online and in print.
The Brooklyn Rail, Rail Squares: London MFA Spotlight: New Social Environment #113 on Friday, 21 August, hosted by White Cube Director of External Projects Toby Kamps. Recording available on YouTube here
NoSpace, article in English and Chinese regarding Trans-Identity: Body, Soul and Time exhibition on WeChat Official.
Pulse-UK, London's Russian Newspaper, issue No.11 (692), 19 March 2020, pp.6-7, Rococo, wigs and the philosophy of the London queer princess, a review of Yang Xu’s show 100 Carat Diamond curated by Victoria Cantons and Junyao Chen
NoSpace, article in English and Chinese regarding On the Mountain We Stay residency and exhibition in China on NoSpace WeChat Official
Context, the magazine for family therapy and systemic practice, issue 164, August 2019, pp.13-16, When one’s very sense of self is a political matter - Victoria Cantons and Lizette Nolte in conversation
Fill Me In, Graduate Painting Staff, Students and Honorary Research Associates 20218-2019, Pub. Graduate Painting, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL.
Wimbledon College of Arts Blog, London. Interview: The Studio: Victoria Cantons, BA Painting by Sophie Kassay featured on website Wimbledon College of Arts Blog
The Telegraph, UK. Video about Andy Warhol's rejection letter from MOMA featured on website the telegraph newspaper
Resonance 104.4 FM, London. Interview with Rosie Wilby on Out in South London
Ten women artists and designers on their love of Louise BourgeoisEmily Dinsdale, DAZED, 22 Feb 2022
VICTORIA CANTONS FEATURED IN FINANCIAL TIMES 'SIX ARTISTS RESHAPING OUR WAY OF SEEING'Baya Simons and Rosanna Dodds, FINANCIAL TIMES , 26 Apr 2021
ON VIEW BY FLASH ART: “It’s 2020 For F*ck Sake” Guts Gallery and Soft Punk / LondonFlash Art , 11 Dec 2020
IT’S 2020 FOR F*CK SAKEART PLUGGED, ART PLUGGED, 30 Sep 2020
The London art you can take a virtual tour of right now for freeLucy Scovell, The Glossary, 29 Mar 2020
This Instagram-only exhibition is full of London’s best young artistsEddy Frankel, Time Out London, 24 Mar 2020
Begin Again: The online exhibition challenging austerity and racial oppressionScarlett Baker , Love Magazine, 13 Aug 2020
Scrap that, lets begin againTJ Sidhu, The Face, 13 Aug 2020
Ten's to see 'When Shit Hits the Fan', The insta-exhibition by Guts GalleryPaul Toner, 10 Magazine, 2 Apr 2020
Art markets find high-tech ways to reach buyersMelanie Gerlis, Financial Times, 27 Mar 2020
When Shit Hits the Fan (In the Artworld)TJ Sidhu, The Face, 27 Mar 2020
Guts Gallery present ‘When shit hits the fan’ a digital Instagram exhibitionMark Westall, Fad Magazine, 23 Mar 2020
Begin Again is the virtual art exhibition tackling racial inequalityGunseli Yalcinkaya, Dazed , 14 Aug 2020
Supporting the Disaster Emergency CommitteeAN ONLINE ARTWORK CHARITY SALE 24 Mar 2022About DEC 'The DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis overseas. In these times of crisis, people in life-and-death situations need our help, and our mission is to save, protect and rebuild lives through effective humanitarian response. Pooling our...
A NEW ART WORLDA NEW ART WORLD IS POSSIBLE. 22 - 29 Jul 2021Private View: Thursday 22 July 6-9pm Opening Hours: Tues - Sun 11am - 6pm Location: 147 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 0NY No RSVP's required BUY THE MANIFESTO PRINT NOW Picking up where Guts Gallery’s online show, When Shit Hits the Fan Again (Feb, 2021) left off, A New...
CHAMPAGNE TASTES ON BEER MONEYA Debut Show by Victoria Cantons | It's 2020 For F*ck Sake – A Thirteen Artist, Back-to-Back Solo Exhibition Marathon 10 - 14 Dec 2020A Debut Solo Show by Victoria Cantons as part of the It's 2020 For F*ck Sake Exhibition Marathon
BEGIN AGAINAs society shifts, the art world shifts. We are on the cusp of change. 13 - 27 Aug 2020This is a time to stop, reflect, create dialogue, and put our words into positive action. To begin again we must shoulder each other, listen to each other, work together and collectively change together. As the newest generation of art collectors, we urge you to collect from this exhibition. The revenue made will support The Free Black University and the newest generation of artists.
to proceed to perform the first or earliest part of some action; commence; start
once more; another time; anew; in addition
With many thanks to Lotte Andersen for her continuous support throughout this exhibition, and to Pallas Citroen, Director of The Bomb Factory Art Foundation. Who is kindly providing a free gallery space as part of The Guts Prize.
WHEN SHIT HITS THE FANGallery openings have been affected by the spread of coronavirus 26 Mar - 16 Apr 2020Many art-related events, including Guts Gallery's, have either been cancelled or postponed, causing a large economic impact on artists and smaller galleries. We want to challenge this, putting our ethos of supporting underrepresented contemporary voices into action by navigating this set back through a digital Instagram exhibition.