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Cigarettes, Candies, and Other Trinkets: Art by Liz Magor

A piece made of a folded-up shirt in a box, with some candy wrappersBeing This (M + M's), paper, textiles, found materials

Liz Magor is a Canadian artist who is currently located in Vancouver. Her works explore objects and their usefulness, and the accumulation of various material vices over a person’s lifetime. The motifs of cigarettes, candies, and other trinkets that one might find in the pockets of an old coat run throughout her body of work.


A box made of translucent rubber, filled with cardboard and papersAll The Names III, silicon rubber, paper, cardboard

I like the aesthetic that Magor’s work takes on – it is reminiscent of cleaning out the attic of an elderly, distant relative. The work often looks like it might smell of mothballs, but the materials used and the way they are arranged is often quite inspired. In one recent exhibition, Magor lined the walls of a gallery with folded articles of clothing, wrapped in tissue paper and placed in open boxes of the sort that a nice shirt would be packaged in upon purchase. These articles of clothing were also packed with bits of detritus like bits of found fabric and candy wrappers.


Magor’s works are sometimes cynical, but they hold a strange, nostalgic charm that draws the viewer in despite any negativity.


A sculpture of a folded tweed jacket with two Toblerone bars sticking out of itTweed (Toblerone), polymerized gypsum

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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