Carol Todaro- Object as Subject | July 29 - Sept 30

July 29 - September 25, 2023

WAAM is pleased to present the two-person exhibition Carol Todaro: Object as Subject and Mary Larsen: Poetic Forms at Dimensions Variable. This exhibition features a selection of artwork, archives, and ephemera that explore the artistic journeys of two Miami-based artists. Larsen and Todaro excavate and unveil the intricate relationships between text, objects, and images through their multifaceted processes in distinct ways. The exhibition opens on July 29 and runs through September 2023.

Artist, educator, and writer Carol Todaro’s multidisciplinary art practice spans several diverse mediums including drawings, prints, artists’ books, installations, and book objects. This exhibition presents an insightful look into the defining moments and evolution of her visual and conceptual language. A central theme throughout Todaro’s practice is the foundational analysis of the subject/object framework.  Beginning with her silverpoint drawings in the early 90s to the emergence of her art bookmaking practice in the late 90s, we see an articulation and keen interest in the ontological nature of objects. Todaro draws from the tradition of still life drawing to deepen her understanding of how everyday objects exist in their natural states. The responsiveness and fluidity of the silverpoint combined with watercolor allowed her to experiment with abstract and ephemeral representations of objects. 

Todaro’s exploration of creative writing and poetry is another significant development in her journey.  While teaching Book Art at the FIU (Florida International University) North Campus, she joined the Miami Poetry Collective (MPC), founded by Miami-based poet Campbell McGrath. During her time with the MPC, she pursued writing classes and workshops which led to collaborative projects with fellow members. She contributed to the MPC’s Cent Journal and designed the MPC edition of Tigertail Productions’ poetry annual.  

In 1998, Todaro produced Mattered, her first artist’s book, based on original Polaroid photographs. The theme of “object as subject’ is also evident in her bookmaking practice. Throughout her exploration of the book as an art form, she maintained a fascination with the presentation of archetypal objects that had captivated her. Gradually, the book itself became the object of her focus. The conversations surrounding the potential decline of book culture fuelled her experimentation with new techniques, materials, and bookmaking formats. In doing so, she pushed the boundaries of traditional bookmaking practices. Today, Todaro continues to radically redefine and reshape the language, format, and techniques related to bookmaking in innovative ways.

Carol Todaro’s work is in several private and public collections. The Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the National Museum for Women in the Arts, the Library of Congress, and the Jaffe Collection at Florida Atlantic University, among other public institutions, have collected her work. In 2018 she delivered the Annual Book Arts Lecture for the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. Recent solo exhibitions include “All Along,” Under the Bridge, North Miami, Florida (2019); and “Bell, Book, and Candle,” University of Miami Wynwood Gallery, Miami, Florida (2017). Recent group exhibitions include “Spheres of Meaning,” Frost Art Museum, Miami, Florida; “The Artful Book,” LnS Gallery, Miami, and the Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach, FL (2019); and “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here,” Center for Book Arts, New York City and traveling internationally (2014-2016). Todaro received three Faculty Development Fellowships from New World School of the Arts, Miami, Florida (2011, 2013, 2014); three Artist Access Grants from Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Council/Tigertail Productions (2000, 2010, 2012) and an Individual Artist Fellowship, State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs (2000).