Barbara Fischer is the Executive Director/Chief Curator of the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery and the University of Toronto Art Centre as well as an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream and the Director of the Master of Visual Studies program in Curatorial Studies at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto.
Fischer has curated award-winning solo and group exhibitions in the area of contemporary art and its histories, including the internationally circulating retrospective exhibition General Idea Editions 1967-1995 (Kunstverein Munich, Kunsthalle Zurich, Kunst-Werke ICA Berlin, CAAC Seville, Henry Art Gallery Seattle, and the Andy Warhol Museum Pittsburgh, among others), and Projections (2007), the first major survey (and touring exhibition) on projection-based works in the history of contemporary art in Canada. Most recently, she partnered with five curators from across Canada to produce the first survey of conceptual art in Canada (Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980) which premiered at the University of Toronto Galleries in the fall of 2010 and toured across the country through 2013. In a new configuration, Continental Drift: Conceptual art in Canada in the 1960s and 70s was presented at the Badischer Kunstverein (Germany) — the most comprehensive exhibition of its kind to travel to Europe. It moves in revised form to the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris in 2014.
Barbara Fischer is the recipient of the 2008 Hnatyshyn Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art, and was appointed commissioner and curator of Mark Lewis’ project of the Canadian Pavilion for the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009).