Art Exhibition and Book Launch
September 9th - October 2nd
Opening Reception: Friday September 9th - 7-10pm
Book Launch/Reading of creative writing by Adam Litovitz: Thursday September 22nd 7-10pm
Closing Reception: Friday September 30th 7-10pm
“Adam Litovitz was a singular artist and thinker. He was quick to dance and play, and in him I found a soulmate. I nicknamed him Judge, because he was trustworthy and sincere, open-minded and non-judgemental, qualities that make for a great judge. I also called him The Oracle because at night, as we lay in bed, him dozing off and me wrestling with a complicated life question, I’d whisper the question in his ear, and he would respond with astonishing clarity and wisdom while asleep! Adam had a deep connection to his unconscious. He would wake up in the morning and feverishly write down brilliant imaginings and observations. He was prone to falling into trance (especially while playing the drums) and he was good at making ridiculous and wonderful rhymes on the spot. Adam was a mixture of light and dark and everything in between. He was deep and effervescent. In his essays and cultural considerations, Adam articulated radiant and abstract perspectives with breathtaking intellectual precision. And though rigorous and cerebral, he was open and spontaneous. Among his creative pursuits, in 2018 and 2019, Adam began to draw on yellow lined paper with ballpoint and felt pens. He had an intuitive and focused approach; each drawing took no more than fifteen minutes to make. Adam posted them online, and soon they attracted admirers to his delightful and idiosyncratic expression.
“He had been experiencing anxiety and depression and suffered a bad reaction to the medication prescribed for him. The result was suicide. His absence is an indescribable loss for his friends, community and family.
“In the years since, in the wake of the upheaval of a global pandemic, his drawings take on new dimensions and offer insight and uplift.” - Sook-Yin Lee
We are excited to announce that his selected drawings are being made into a book, The Lined Yellow Paper Drawings by Adam Litovitz, beautifully printed and published by Colour Code. His book launch will correspond with an exhibition of his original drawings and a reading of his selected works at Toutoune Gallery in Toronto.
“Invitation into a Time Machine” by Adam Litovitz
"I was lucky enough to know Adam as a friend. He was sweet, gentle, easygoing, and generous. It was always a treat to get together with him. He might play me a song that he was working on. Or he might tell me about an essay that he was writing. Or he might show me some drawings that he’d recently done — drawings like the charming ones you see in this book.
“They were created in a turbulent period for him. A long-term romantic relationship had ended. On his own and finding his way in the world, he was experiencing a flood of conflicting emotions – excitement, anxiety, disorientation – and this resulted in a creative explosion: music, creative writing, and these drawings flowed out of him. I see the work in this book as part of his process of understanding the new world he was in — trying to both really see his surroundings in a new way and also transcend those surroundings. In drawings like “Robarts Library, My God” (October 15th) and “What Pyjama Pants Look Like Before I Play Guitar” (November 6th) he focuses on the details of what he’s really observing, whereas in ones like “The Soul Dipsydoodling Where It Will” (December 11th) and "Excuse Me, Would You Mind Helping Me Figure Out What Is What? I’m New” (December 16th) he indulges in fun, goofy invention to delightful effect. I love both approaches. And writing out those titles reminds me that they're part of what gives these works their playful zest. That playful nature was such a strong part of who he was.
“I miss him." - Chester Brown, cartoonist
Adam Samuel Litovitz
August 17, 1982 - June 16, 2019
North York born and Toronto-based son of poet Malca Litovitz, née Halpern, and architect Allan Litovitz, Adam was a writer, musician, and visual artist of rare insight and imagination. He was a professor of English and film studies, essayist, and arts and culture journalist. Adam graduated from York University with a Master of Arts, English and was the Graduate Recipient of the Guy Hamel Award in Renaissance Literature from the University of Toronto.
Adam and Sook-Yin Lee released music albums as jooj, composed film scores, and created experimental dance and video narratives. He wrote and recorded the theme song for the CBC podcast Sleepover. In 2018 to 2019 he co-created the original score for a Netflix TV series with music producer Onakabazien and wrote, performed and recorded songs for his spare and sublime solo album, posthumously titled Invitation Into A Time Machine, which was mixed by Sandro Perri. In the same year Adam completed the manuscript Kinship of the Overheard, edited by Sky Goodden, and created wonderful drawings that are simple, deep, and true.
The Lined Yellow Paper Drawings by Adam Litovitz
Printed and Published by Colour Code
First printing September 2022
This book has been edited down from 130 drawings by Adam Litovitz.
To see his full series go to @adamlitovitz.
For his music, essays, journalism, poetry, and book, Kinship with the Overheard go to: www.sookyinlee.com/adam
“Instead of Having the Flu, I’m Flying On an Incredible Bird” by Adam Litovitz