A Partridge in a Nail Tree
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A Partridge in a Nail Tree

When you go through the doors of City Hall, one of the first things you’ll probably see (especially if you’re headed to the café, library, or washrooms) is “Metropolis” to your immediate right, an expansive “mural” made out of 100 000 nails, their blunt ends jutting out in patterns of concentric circles. And you won’t be able to resist running your hand along it, no matter how late you are for your meeting or how badly you have to get to the washroom. It is arguably, after the building itself, the most impressive and affecting piece of art within Toronto’s City Hall.
2006_12_19NaillieMetropolis.jpgWhich is why Torontoist was saddened to learn of the passing of the artist, David Partridge, last week at the age of 87. The Toronto Star had an obituary in Monday’s paper, and the Globe ran one over the weekend.
According to his official CV, Partridge has several other “Naillies” currently displayed around Toronto in addition to “Metropolis” (pictured at right), including in York University’s Scott Library (pictured above), Bloor West Village’s Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and in the public collections of University College, Trinity College, and the Rotman School of Management (all at U of T), as well as those of George Brown College and Centennial College. (Ryerson, however, appears to be Naillie-free.)
A note on his website lets us know that “David has now gone to that big Naillie in the sky but his next show will still be at the Moore Gallery at 80 Spadina Ave. in March ’07.”
Photo of the Scott Library’s “Craters” by kelly maher, from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.