Canadian Architect


Micah Lexier’s public art project launches in Winnipeg

April 8, 2015
by Canadian Architect

Toronto-based artist, collector and curator Micah Lexier, a Winnipeg native, officially launched his Hands Holdings Things (2015) series of images in partnership with Pattison’s Art in Transit program. The eight-image series will be displayed on street-level outdoor media products at several locations across the city, with media supplied by Pattison Outdoor Advertising from April 1 to May 29, 2015.

Lexier’s Hands Holding Things is a collection of photographic images of the artist holding or manipulating objects culled from his extensive archive of used books and other found objects. Lexier has drawn from this archive numerous times to make a variety of projects, including vitrine displays, a lightbox piece for Louis Vuitton Maison Toronto, and most recently a video which was shown in Lexier’s survey exhibition at The Power Plant during the 2013/14 season. In that video, Lexier used his hands to manipulate objects against a simple white background. Hands Holding Things is an extension of that video, producing a sequence of still images in which Lexier’s hands are as sculptural as the objects they hold. In order to generate the imagery, Lexier performed in front of the camera while watching his actions on a live monitor. Each of Lexier’s images is evocative in its own right. But the more you see of them, the more you come to understand that each is part of a larger, mischievous campaign playing out across the city.

“I am a big fan of ‘teaser campaigns’ that start out with an unexplained, enigmatic image, only to be followed up a few days later with a more elaborate advertisement that reveals what is being advertised. At first glance, my images appear to be standard product photography. But the more you look at them, the less you’re sure what it is that you are looking at,” said Lexier.

On March 24, 2015, Lexier was announced as a recipient of the 2015 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts. The award, selected annually by independent peer-assessed committees, is given for distinguished career achievement. Lexier has had over 100 solo exhibitions, participated in more than 200 group exhibitions, and has produced a dozen permanent public commissions. His work is in numerous public and corporate collections including, the British Museum (London, England), the Contemporary Art Gallery (Sydney, Australia), the Jewish Museum (New York, NY), the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, ON), the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, ON), the Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver, BC), and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

Sharon Switzer, National Arts Curator and Programmer, Pattison Onestop, said, “I am beyond excited to be working with Micah on this project for Winnipeg. The series is both playful and a bit perplexing. It’s the tension between the familiar banality of the objects and the thoughtfulness of the artist’s long-term fascination with them that makes the work so intriguing.”

Lexier’s images can be found on Pattison’s street level products at the following locations around Winnipeg: Donald Street & York Avenue; Ellice Avenue & Donald Street; Graham Avenue & Carlton Street; Graham Avenue & Garry Street; Main Street & St. Mary Avenue; Main Street 10ft north of  Henry Avenue; Main Street 40ft north of Disraeli Freeway; Main Street 20ft north of Higgins Avenue; Osborne Street 175ft north of Roslyn Road; Osborne Street north of River Avenue; Osborne Street & McMillan Avenue; St. Mary Avenue & Fort Street; Water Avenue, 120 feet west of Westbrooke Street; and William Avenue & Hargrave Street.

Lexier has a deep interest in measurement, increment, geometric shapes, display structures, found imagery, and the casual marks we make in our day-to-day lives. The artist is represented by Birch Contemporary in Toronto. More information can be found at and at

micah lexier: hands holding things
micah lexier: hands holding things

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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