Visual Arts DepartmentWestern Arts and Humanities

David Merritt

MFA, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
BFA, University of Western Ontario (Gold Medal)



My creative work is drawing-based, extending from work on paper into sculpture, print, moving image and occasionally, sound. At the heart of the work is an exploration of embodied and performative aspects of language.  An extended drawing based project has involved a linguistic mapping of popular songs. Compiled from a range of music industry databases, the song titles incorporated in these works typically cross genres and periods to trace the collective migrations of thought across common or recurrent themes. In running conversation with this work is a sculptural project involving the unraveling of common sisal rope. The loosened rope fibre is lightly reworked, often to enfold the meandering line of cursive texts.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

saer, Jessica Bradley Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, (June 2014)

David Merritt, Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto, Ontario, (June – July 2011)

Shim/Sham/Shimmy, One person survey exhibitions at Museum London (July – Nov.
2009), the Art Gallery of Hamiliton (2010), and the Art Gallery of Windsor (2010). 

New Drawings and Sculpture, Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto, Ontario. 2007.

twix, TENT, Centrum Beeldende Kunst, Rotterdam, Netherlands. March-April 2002.

passim, Galerie Articule, Montréal, Québec. 1999.

mater, University Art Gallery, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas, U.S.A., 1997.

littera, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta.  1998. (catalogue) London Regional Art and Historical Museums.  London, Ontario, 1997.

Present Tense: David Merritt', Art Gallery of Ontario. Toronto, 1996.

Unswept Room, Art Gallery of Windsor, Ontario. 1992.

Common Knowledge, Permanent Installation, McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, ON.                                    

The Magic Voice and Geometric Solids, London Regional Art Gallery, London, 1988.

Permanent Installation and Exhibition, Embassy Cultural House, London, Ontario, 1987.

One Blind Eye, Embassy Cultural House, London, Ontario.  1986.

Phantasiebildung, Forest City Gallery, London, Ontario. 1985.

Tides of History, Eye Level Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia.  1983.

Imagining Life Below and Beyond the Horizon, Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax, NS.  1983.

Compensation, YYZ Gallery, Toronto, Ontario. 1980.

Selected Group Exhibitions

More Than Two (Let It Make Itself), The Power Plant Plant, Toronto.  Curated by Micah Lexier, 2013

Volume, Hear Here, Barnicke Gallery and Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto, Curated by   Christof Migone, 2013

Where I Lived, and What I Lived For, Oakville Art Galleries, Curated by Jon Davies, 2012

Builders, 2012 Canadian Biennial, curated by Jonathan Shaughnassy, October 2012

Fray, Textile Museum of Canada, and Koffler Gallery, Toronto. Curated by Sarah Quinton and Carolyn Bell Farrell, 2006.

Côté de Art + Projects, Galerie René Blouin, Montréal, Québec, February 2006.

In Line, Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto, Ontario. December 2005.

Beyond Bounds, Art in London 1970 – 1987, Museum London, Curated by Robert McKaskell, 2005.

Loose Ends/De Toutes Piéces, (Kai Chan, David Merritt and Martha Townsend), Galerie Laine et Danny Taran at the Centre des Arts, Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montréal, Quebec, curated by Renée Baert, January 2005.

Outline in Black, Theilsen Gallery, London, Ontario. Curated by Jamelie Hassan.

Petal Pushers, Oakville Art Galleries, August, 1999. Curated by Marnie Fleming.

Ellipsis, Hartnett Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester,  NewYork, November
 1999. Koffler Gallery, Toronto.  Curated by Carolyn Bell Farrell, January, 1999.

International Artists Writing Reading Room, Sidestreet Projects, Santa Monica, California. 1996.

Significant Details, Glendon Gallery, York University, Curated by Carol Laing, Toronto,

Under a Canopy of Blue?, McMaster Museum of Art. Curated by Kim Ness,  May 1991.

International Exhibition of Artists' Bookworks, Biblioteca  Sormani, Milan, Italy.  1987.

Encounters and Inquiries, London Regional Art Gallery, London, Ontario, curated by
Marnie Fleming, December 1986.

Interpretation of Architecture, YYZ Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Curated by Andy Patton, 1986. (Catalogue)

People, Places, Things, YYZ Gallery, Toronto, Ontario.  Curated by Elizabeth MacKenzie, 1986.

Research and Discovery, London Regional Art Gallery, London, Ontario. Matthew Teitelbaum, 1986.

Graduate Supervisions

Amanda OPPEDISANO. Liquidation. Consumerist Impulses in Contemporary Sculpture Practices. (Supervisor) MFA

Andrew PATTON. A Painter's Brush That Also Makes Poems: Contemporary Painting After Northern Song Calligraphy. (Supervisory Committee) PhD

Janice GURNEY. AN Alliance of Fragments: Actor-Network-Theory and the Translation of Things (Supervisor)  PhD

Kevin RODGERS. Out of Order: Thinking Through Robin Collyer, Discontent and Affirmation (1973-1985) (Supervisory Committee) PhD

Diana YOO. Across Boundaries: A Temporary Memorialization Project for the Korean-Canadian Diaspora (Supervisor)  MFA

Michelle MCGEEAN. Tit for Tat: (Re) Production in Sculpture and Architecture (Supervisor) MFA

Corinna GHAZNAVI, - Animal: A Curatorial Approach (Supervisory Committee) PhD

Jason HALLOWS. Demonstration. The Table in Contemporary Sculptural Practices (Supervisory Committee) PhD

Jamie Q. MFA. DIY: Politics and Aesthetics in the Margins and the Mainstream


Andrew MACDONALD. Fragments. The Fragment in Recent Sculpture and Installation Practices. (Supervisor). MFA.

Liv BONLI, Down the Dark Hall, Up the Stairs.. Critical Nostalgia in Contemporary Art, (Supervisor) MFA.

Blair FORNWALD, Between Nothing and Something.. Performative Practices and the Infra-Thin (Supervisor). MFA.

Steven LAURIE, Celebratory Angst: Performing Masculinity. (Co-Supervisor). MFA.

Amy HARRISON, Childlikeness. Visual Constructions of Childhood in Western Culture. (Supervisor). MFA.

Alex HOMANCHUK, The City Will Recall,. Photographic Production, Surveillance and Tactics of Resistance. (Supervisor). MFA.

Pamela WILSON, Appropriation and Irony: Postmodern Elements in the Work of Three Contemporary Canadian Artists, (Co-Supervisor). MFA.
Pedro CORREIA, By Design: Ornament and Fascism, (Co-Supervisor). MFA.

Larry GLAWSON.  Photography, Sex and Dancing. Sexuality, Ideology and Photographic Representation. (Supervisor). MFA.

Paul DREOSSI, Blood, Sweat, and Gears: An Examination of Performed Representations of Masculine Subjectivity. (Co-Supervisor).

Mark SCHILLING, The Spectres of Brecht and Benjamin: “New” Media, Access, Resistance. Contemporary Media Production in context Walter Benjamin’s and Bertold Brecht’s Media Theories. (Supervisor). MFA.

Maymee Ying LUM, Filum. Photography and Memory. (Supervisor). MFA.

Christine SHAW, Locomotion. Interactive Strategies in Sculptural Practices (Co-Supervisor). MFA.

Christy L. THOMPSON, Carrying Wet Laundry & Starting Fires. Meaning Production in Contemporary Installation Practices. (Supervisor). MFA.

Kim D. GRAHAM, (in) between the space(s) of terror I find fragments of my memory. Trama and Representaion. (Co-Supervisor). MFA.

Recent Courses Taught


VAS 9541/9543  -  Graduate Studio Seminar
VAS 9521b  -  Extemporal (Special Topics Graduate Studio)
VAS 545b  -  Dust Tracks (Special Topics Graduate Studio)


VAS 4430  -   Practicum
VAS 3300  -  Advanced Drawing
VAS 3382  -  Honours Studio Seminar 2
VAS 2282  -  Honours Studio Seminar 1
VAS 2210   -  Introductory Drawing
VAS 394/494  -  Special Topics (Contemporary Drawing Practices)
VAS 1025  -  Advanced Foundations Visual Arts