Kim Adams, Minnow Lure, 2004. Galvanized steel and mixed media. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Purchased 2005, no. 41666.
Kim Adams, Minnow Lure, 2004. Galvanized steel and mixed media. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Purchased 2005, no. 41666.
Originally commissioned for the North Bay exhibition Ice Follies, this is one of the Toronto-based artist's large sculptural works of “subversive engineering.” Adapting a corrugated aluminum grain bin into a shelter with metal water troughs for windows and wooden skis for transport, the artist has created a hybrid functional structure. His use of consumer items and construction materials builds upon the tradition established by Marcel Duchamp in which ready-made items were presented as works of art. Yet Adams's innovative – and often humorous – conversion also propose new configurations of dwelling, mobility and leisure.

Kim Adams was born in Edmonton in 1951. Educated at the University of Victoria, he received his BFA in 1979 and now divides his time between Toronto and Grand Valley, Ontario.

Inspired by street culture, Adams has been documenting images of “street remakes” since the 1970s – vehicles that have been cut away, altered and reassembled to create objects for “buying, selling, living and leaving.” He is known for his assemblage sculptures that incorporate readymade and prefabricated commodities adapted from hardware stores to explore social structures, the implications of technology and mobility, and the blurring of life and art. His work often hybridizes two fundamentals of suburban life: the vehicle and the home, proposing new structures for living and leisure. Other works offer a glimpse into miniature worlds, intricately and eccentrically created using hobby and architectural model components and figures. Imbued with wry humour, his works frequently highlight the absurdity of our customs and behaviours.

Over the past three decades, Adams has exhibited extensively across Canada and in the United States, South America, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Eastern and Western Europe. His works have been shown in both art venues and in public spaces. He has participated in prestigious international events including Skulptur Projekte Münster ’97 in Germany and the Sydney Biennale of Contemporary Art, Australia (2002). Recent solo exhibitions include New Old Work (Love Birds), Diaz Contemporary, Toronto (2010); Artist Colony (Bureau de change, 75th Anniversary of the Banff Centre) Harbourfront Centre, Toronto (2008); Roadside Attractions, Galerie Stadtpark, Krems, Austria (2007); and Bugs and Dragons, Art Gallery of Ontario (2006- 2007). Recent group shows include Beyond/In Western New York: Alternating Currents, Hallwalls, Buffalo, New York (2010); Wandering Positions/Here We Go Again. Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Mexico (2010); Insiders, Musée d’art contemporain in Bordeaux, France (2009); and El Geni de Les Coses, Office for Artistic Diffusion (ODA), Barcelona (2009). His work is the subject of numerous books and catalogues, and is held in major public collections across Canada including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina; Vancouver Art Gallery; and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; as well as abroad in the collection of the Centraal Museum in Holland and the Collection publique d’art contemporain du Conseil général de la Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris.