• Zacks, Ayala (also known as Ayala Ben-Tovim Fleg Zacks Abramov) (Israeli/Canadian, 1912–2011)

    Ayala Zacks was a collector of modernist European art and the work of Canadian and Israeli artists. Born in Jerusalem, she studied in Paris, where she met her first husband, Morris Fleg, a Resistance fighter during the Second World War; at his death in action, she joined the Resistance. In 1947 she moved to Toronto with her second husband, Samuel Zacks. Together they built a notable art collection while supporting the city’s art scene, especially the Art Gallery of Toronto, renamed the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1966. Following her husband’s death in 1970, Zacks donated a significant portion of her collection to the AGO and returned to Israel in 1976, where she and her third husband, Zalman Abramov, were patrons of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Israel Museum. She continued that role herself after being widowed again in 1997.

  • Zacks, Samuel J. (Canadian, 1904–1970)

    Born in Kingston, Ontario, Samuel J. (Sam) Zacks was a financier, art collector, and philanthropist. With his wife, Ayala Zacks, he amassed a collection of work focused on international modernism and on the work of Canadian and Israeli artists. Throughout his life, Zacks made numerous important donations to Canadian art institutions, in particular the Art Gallery of Toronto, which became the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1966. An active Zionist, he was also a strong supporter of Israeli institutions, including the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Significant bequests of artwork to the AGO and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art after his death helped both institutions to establish their collections.

  • Zao Wou-ki (Chinese/French 1921–2013)

    Born in Beijing, Zao studied painting at the China Academy of Art in Hongzhu before moving to Paris in 1948. His Lyrical Abstraction paintings draw on Chinese, American, and French influences, especially the work of Paul Klee, the French Impressionists, and traditional Chinese drawing techniques. Zao’s large-format, multi-panel canvases are characterized by luminous swaths of colour and abstracted effects of light.

  • Zaritsky, Joseph (Israeli, 1891–1985)

    An important figure in the history of modernism in Israel, Zaritsky first became interested in abstraction in the 1940s. He co-founded and later led New Horizons, an artists’ group active from around 1948 until 1963. He inspired many younger artists to break from the figurative expressionism that had dominated Israeli art.

  • Zeidler, Eberhard (German/Canadian, b. 1926)

    An architect, educated at the Bauhaus and the Technische Hochschule, University of Karlsruhe, Zeidler has lived in Canada since 1951. He has designed numerous public buildings in Canada, the United States, and Europe, including MediaPark in Cologne, Germany; Eaton Centre, Queen’s Quay Terminal, and Ontario Place in Toronto; and Canada Place in Vancouver.

  • Zelenak, Ed (Canadian, b. 1940)

    An important contemporary sculptor and a member of the London, Ontario, circle of artists active in the 1960s that included Greg Curnoe and Jack Chambers. The spiritual quality of his abstract works is expressed in materials ranging from tin and copper to plastic, fibreglass, and wood. His work is represented in public collections in Canada, the United States, and Europe.

  • Zen Buddhism

    A branch of Mahayana Buddhism, Zen Buddhism emerged in China as Chan Buddhism during the Tang Dynasty, migrating to Korea, Vietnam, and Japan in slightly different forms. It emphasizes meditation or dhyana, and seated meditation, or zazen, is a core practice. Under the shogun, Zen Buddhism in Japan attained political power and influence, though by the end of the Edo period it had declined. After the Second World War it gained popularity in the West.
     

  • Zerafa, Boris (Egyptian/Canadian, 1933–2002)

    Born in Cairo, Egypt, and trained in London, England, Boris Zerafa was an architect and a founding partner of the Toronto firm Webb Zerafa Menkes Housden (now WZMH Architects). His major projects include Toronto’s Royal Bank Plaza and Calgary’s City Hall—the firm was responsible for the modernist development of the downtowns of both cities and the design of Toronto’s CN Tower. Zerafa was also involved in projects overseas, including in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as the firm expanded internationally in the 1980s and 1990s.

  • Zuck, Tim (Canadian, b. 1947)

    Steeped in Conceptual art as a student at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (now NSCAD University), Halifax, and California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, in the 1970s, Zuck developed a painting and drawing practice that probes questions of perception and representation. His focused examinations of seemingly simple objects and shapes reveal their complexities to the viewer.

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