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Devora Neumark


  • born in 1959 in Brooklyn, New York
  • parents emigrated from Russia
  • has lived in Canada since 1989
  • B.F.A. (1983), Concordia University, Montréal, Québec

expanded images click on thumbnails at left to view larger images

Devora Neumark, an interdisciplinary artist, has worked with installation, intervention and durational performance to explore the authority of memory, both on an individual and societal level. As a Jewish woman, Neumark integrates her Jewishness into societal concerns, as in a truth, a fiction... of sabbath clothes and feeling an imposter (1996/97). In this performative work Neumark inserted herself into the pictorial space of Isidor Kaufmann's painting The Friday Night, in which a woman is sitting alone at a table laid out with Sabbath candles, wine and Challah. Neumark embodied this woman, and unsewed the dress she had made from paper patterns in the style of the painted figure's clothing. As she detached each piece of the pattern dress, Neumark stitched it to a blanket she was creating. The resulting paper blanket then was used to wrap her naked self at the end of the process. In the 1995 series (un)veilings, a photographic anti-monument created for the Old Market Square in Winnipeg, Neumark explored the issue of child abuse and the current debate surrounding memories of childhood trauma. In the same year, Neumark in collaboration with Danielle Boutet and Hélène Engel, developed traces--a public intervention as studio practice. This was a durational performative intervention and sound work in Montréal's Square Victoria Metro station which questioned the idealized representations of woman in Western tradition and Jewish Orthodoxy. marked, like some pages in a book (1997) involves the insertion of bookmarks made by the artist into books in libraries and bookstores wherever she travels. With 10,000 bookmarks printed, this work is still ongoing. On one side of the bookmark is an image of the arson that burned her home and studio to the ground, on the other side is a photograph of her hands peeling beets during a six hour durational performative street intervention s(us)taining which she did to mark the six month anniversary of the event. In another 1997 durational performative intervention présence, Neumark used crochet to create an ambiguous object (part kippah, part garment, cocoon and body bag) while marking her contact with pedestrians in the colour of the stitches. Crocheting in yellow while alone, Neumark switched to purple when people cared to interact. Neumark's art, which is usually created as insertions into the public sphere has been woven into and out of her work in public service. She served as Vice-president from 1995-1999 of Auberge Shalom . . . pour femmes, a Montreal crises intervention centre and shelter for woman victims of conjugal violence and their dependant children. The emphasis on working with women and storytelling was present back in 1994 when, in collaboration with Lily Markiewicz, she produced like (in) the space of breath: aspects of ritual and community for an artist run centre in London, Ontario. The two women sifted flour, kneaded dough, swept the floor and told stories of ritual and communal participation, encouraging gallery visitors to take part in the activities and story-telling. Neumark coordinated the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts Youth Institute's program Once upon our time and in 1994 co-organized the international symposium Visual Art and Jewish Identity: A Contemporary Experience with Regine Basha, then curator of the Art Gallery of the SBC. Neumark is currently working on a website focussing on the same theme. In addition, she has been an arts enrichment instructor at the Hebrew Foundation School in Dollard des Ormeaux, artist-in-residence at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge and at Fringe Research Holographics in Toronto. As a frequent lecturer, she has addressed a wide variety of audiences across North America and in England, speaking about her artistic practice; interdisciplinarity, competing authorities of memory and history; formations of identity; family violence; and health and safety in the visual arts. Since 1985, Neumark has produced a number of visual arts health and safety guides including An ounce of prevention for Concordia University's Faculty of Fine Arts. Most recently, Neumark initiated and was co-organizer with Loren Lerner and pk langshaw of Public Art as Social Intervention a multilayered project looking at the relationship between engaged artistic practice and the after-effects of violence and trauma at



1999 back pain: a postcard series


1999-98 iris
in collaboration with Wende Bartley and Naomi Kahane at the Koffler Gallery (Toronto) and the Sweeney Art Gallery (Riverside, California)


1997 marked like some pages in a book
Ongoing solo intervention in the form of a bookmark, book stores, and libraries everywhere the artist travels.

Solo street intervention/durational performance within group exhibition called Sur l'expérience de la ville, Optica, Montréal, Québec


1996 Communal Voices: Making a Place to be Heard
Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta

Solo street intervention/durational performance, Montréal, Québec

Project: Placemats
Auberge Shalom, Montréal, Québec


1995 traces -- a public intervention as studio practice
in collaboration with Danielle Boutet and Hélène Engel and sponsored in part by Cobalt Art Actuel's Les ateliers s'exposent Square Victoria Metro Station (Montréal, Québec)

Old Market Square, Montréal, Québec

The Task of Mourning
Neutral Ground Artist Run Centre, Regina, Saskatchewan


1994 Like (in) the Space of Breath: Aspects of Ritual and Community
in collaboration with Lily Markiewicz Forest City Gallery (London, Ontario)


1993 making a book (fragmentary evidence)
Public intervention/durational performance, Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, Montréal, Québec


1992 shifting thresholds
Gallery 101, Ottawa, Ontario

indices fragmentés
Solo public intervention, Montréal, Québec


1991 Departed Structure/Imparted Tracing
Gallery 44, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Toronto, Ontario



1999 Le scénario visuel de la page : 100 livres d'artistes
Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, Montréal, Québec


1998 L'Art inquiet. Motifs d'engagement
Galerie de l'UQAM, Montréal, Québec


1997 Les cigales et les fourmis: Exposition bénéfice de dessins et d'oeuvres de petit format
Optica, Montréal, Québec

Dancing with the Leviathan
York Quay Gallery, Toronto, Ontario

P'aint Misbehavin'
Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta


1996 Artifice 96: Contemporary Visual Art in Montréal
Galerie d'art centre Saidye Bronfman/Gallery of the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, Montréal, Québec

Rebelles un jour, rebelles toujours!
Congrès de Fondation de la réseau des lesbiennes de Québec, Montréal, Québec

Quand le livre devait ouvre d'art le livre d'artiste: tendences actuelles
Maison Hamel-Bruneau, Québec, Québec


1995 Biennial du livre d'artiste
Foire du livre d'artiste, Purchase Prize Association Pays-Paysage, Saint-Yrieix-La-Perche, France

Forming Memory
Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec

Reflections on Our Identity
Jewish Women's Caucus for Art National Conference, University of Texas, San Antonio, Texas


1994 A Livre Ouvert
Centre d'exposition du Vieux-Palais, Saint-Jerôme, Québec


1993 Une certaine présence au monde
Maison de la culture Mercier, Montréal, Québec



Association Pays-Paysage, Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche, France
Bibliothèque national du Québec, Montréal, Québec
Bruce Peel Special Collections Library, University of Alberta, Calgary, Alberta
Harvard University Library Rare Books Collection, Boston, Massachusetts
Lillian Mauer et Martha Tapiero Lawee

Musée du Québec, Collection prêt d'oeuvres d'art, Québec, Québec
National Library of Canada Artists' Books Collection, Ottawa, Ontario



Aquin, Stéphane. "L'art inquiet: Artistes, vos papiers!" Voir 12, no. 4 (29 January 1998): n.p.

---. "Sur l'expérience de la ville: les vingt-cinq and d'Optica." Voir 64 (11 September 1997): n.p.

Blouin, Marcel, et al.  Le mois de la photo à Montréal, september 1993: aspects de la photographie québécoise et canadienne. Montréal, Québec: Vox Populi, 1993.

Carlevaris, Anna. Forming Memory. Montréal, Québec: Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, 1995.

---. "monumental amnesia: recent installations by Devora Neumark." In Light Year: A Festival of Photographies. Winnipeg:The Floating Gallery, 1998.

Catchlove, Lucinda. "Women's work?" Hour 5, no. 10 (6 March 1997): 12.

Constantino, Terry, et al. Valediction. Toronto, Ontario: Gallery 44, 1991.

Cron, Marie-Michèle, et al. Les ateliers s'exposent 1995. Montréal, Québec: Cobalt art actuel, 1995.

Déry, Louise, et al. L'art inquiet: motifs d'engagement. Montréal, Québec: Gallery UQAM, 1998.

langshaw, pk, Martin Meilleur, and Devora Neumark, eds. Immixtion: Sites of Engagement. Montréal, Québec: Dare-dare, 1997.

Liss, David, and Marie-Michèle Cron. "Artifice '96: Contemporary Visual Art in Montréal." ETC Montréal 36 (1996/7): 12-14.

Nefsky, Marilyn F. "Memory and History: The Power of the Dead" presented at Confronting the Holocaust: A Mandate for the 21st Century. The 26th Annual Scholars' Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches: 1996.

Neumark, Devora. "Departed structure - imparted tracing: on the rhetoric of monuments." Espace 19 (Spring 1992): n.p.

---. En Suite. Montréal, Québec: Gallery B-312, 1997.

---. An Ounce of Prevention: Health and Safety in the Visual Arts. Montréal, Québec: Concordia University, 1998.

---. Santé et sécurité dans l'enseignments des arts plastiques. Québec, Québec: Minister of Education, 1992.

---. "S(us)taining memories/dwelling." MIX Magazine 23, no. 1 (Summer 1997): 56-59.

---. "Les yeux fermés." Vie des arts 158 (Spring 1995): 24-25.

Ring, Nancy. "Devora Neumark: Metro Square Victoria." Parachute 82 (April - June 1996): 49-50.

Turner, Myron. "Archaeologies of light." Border Crossings 15, no. 1 (February 1996): 48-50.

Walsh, Robert, Photography and the Art of Death. Toronto, Ontario: Gallery 44, 1991.


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