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Howard and Cindy Rachofsky: Collecting art, building a community, leaving a legacy

October 29th, 2014

How do you build community through art collecting? Ask Howard and Cindy Rachofsky. Together they have helped make Dallas a major centre for contemporary art, architecture and philanthropy. As the powerful agents behind the revitalization of the Dallas Museum of Art in 2012, the Rachofskys co-founded The Warehouse, turning what had been an abandoned industrial building into a world class art centre, complete with classrooms, a library and over 18,000 square feet of exhibition space. Over the years, their Richard Meier–designed home has become a community hub and a venue that embraces and promotes contemporary art throughout the city. It is also where the Rachofskys annually host TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art, an event that has raised more than $45 million for AIDS research and for contemporary art acquisitions at the Dallas Museum of Art. In the video above, they discuss their approach to collecting and their contributions to the DMA. Says Howard: “In making the gift, along with our friends, to the museum, gave us the additional responsibility of being curatorially smart and trying, while developing our own collection and responsibilities, recognizing that there are works of art that will ultimately be in a wonderful public institution and that will be in the company of other works in the museum. And therefore it’s the goal to make the museum’s collection as good as it can possibly be and as informative as it can be.”

On Nov. 5, the Rachofksys will share their passion for art and discuss the intersections between collecting, philanthropy and civic change in a Brown Bag Lunch & Talk at the AGO. Tickets are on sale now.

Join us for the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize winner announcement

October 27th, 2014

The crowd at last year's Aimia | AGO Photography Prize winner announcement, Nov. 7, 2013.

The crowd at last year’s Aimia | AGO Photography Prize winner announcement, Nov. 7, 2013.

This Wednesday, October 29, join the AGO, Aimia, the Walrus Foundation and host Garvia Bailey for the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize winner announcement. The public voting period, which began in August, ends at 11:59 p.m. tonight, and one of the Prize’s four shortlisted artists will be awarded $50,000 at the private event. Watch the livestream starting at 7 p.m. watch the livestream on the Aimia | Photography Prize homepage or The Walrus‘s website.

And, if you haven’t yet, cast your vote!


Image via Twitter.

Image via Twitter.


About Garvia Bailey
Garvia Bailey has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years and currently hosts Good Morning Toronto on JAZZ.FM91. She spent 10 years with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She got her start in the world of independent film with the start up production company Channel Zero – telling stories of social unrest around the world and with the CBC, she served as the host of Canada Live and Radio 2 Top 20 on CBC Radio 2, Backstage Pass on CBC-TV, Big City Small World and was a contributor at cbcmusic.ca. Throughout her career in broadcasting she has turned the spotlight on emerging talent from across the GTA and has interviewed many celebrated international artists including Jimmy Cliff, Maestro Fresh Wes, Russell Peters, Melanie Fiona and M.I.A.

Follow Garvia on Twitter

Conservation Notes: A return to Betty Goodwin’s studio

October 27th, 2014


This is the third post in a series on the preservation and storage of Betty Goodwin’s notebooks. See the previous posts here and here.


Marianne Williams, Digital Special Collections Assistant in the AGO Library and Archives, has finished her project of creating new preservation enclosures for the 121 sketchbooks and notebooks from the late Montreal-based artist Betty Goodwin. Read the rest of this entry »

Art on wheels: Meet the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Art Truck

September 25th, 2014

For the first time, the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is bringing its talented finalists to the streets. The travelling Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Art Truck will feature video footage of the four shortlisted artists discussing their practices, offering a glimpse into their artwork and allowing visitors an opportunity to vote for who should win the $50,000 prize. Track the location of the Art Truck using the hashtag #ArtIsMoving or follow the Prize on Twitter @AimiaAGOPrize.

The Art Truck arrives in Toronto on Sept. 27, 2014, making its first stop at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts on Front Street East and continues onto a number of locations across the city.

The Art Truck was created to break the Prize out of gallery walls and making it accessible by all who walk by. Voters will have the opportunity to win an expenses-paid trip to Toronto, a private tour with an AGO curator, dinner for two at the AGO’s FRANK restaurant, tickets to the exclusive winner announcement and 15,000 Aeroplan® Miles.

Making appearances at several key locations and festivals across Toronto, the Art Truck can be found at:

The Prize, co-presented by Aimia and the AGO, will award each of the four artists a six-week artist residency in Canada and will feature their work in an AGO exhibition, on now through Jan. 4, 2015. The winner will be chosen by public vote via the Prize’s website and Facebook page until Oct. 27, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. The winner will be announced on Oct. 29, 2014, at the AGO, and the Art Truck offers a unique way of voting by using iPads, so that all visitors to the truck can have their say.

The 2014 finalists are:

  • David Hartt (Canada);
  • Elad Lassry (Israel/USA);
  • Nandipha Mntambo (South Africa); and
  • Lisa Oppenheim (USA).

Search for #ArtIsMoving on Twitter to follow the Art Truck around town. For updates on the Prize, further details on the shortlisted artists and additional information, please visit AimiaAGOPhotographyPrize.com and follow @AimiaAGOPrize on Twitter.

#AGOfieldtrip: Pascal Paquette’s Instagram tour of new Toronto street art

September 16th, 2014

We handed over our Instagram account to Toronto artist Pascal Paquette last week, and from Sept. 10 to 13 he travelled around Toronto’s street and alleys capturing new street art and graffiti work, both commissioned and sanctioned, along with classic works from recent years. The 15 photos he shared with our followers are evidence of Toronto’s thriving street art community, which provides fertile ground for Toronto talent and attracts accomplished artists from around the world. Many thanks to Pascal for the tour and to all the artists who’ve brightened our city’s streets with these projects.

About
Pascal Paquette is primarily a fine art painter, and also uses street art, graffiti and photography in his site-specific projects. His art has been exhibited, commissioned and published internationally and locally, notably at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) and the AGO in 2012, when he and Sean Martindale presented their collaborative installation NOW. He lives in Toronto, Canada, and posts to Instagram at @pascalpaquette.

Instagram takeover: Pascal Paquette presents new Toronto street art

September 8th, 2014

Chou (aka Pascal Paquette) on Camden Street, Toronto.

Chou (aka Pascal Paquette) on Camden Street, Toronto.

Toronto artist Pascal Paquette is taking over our Instagram account from Sept. 10 to 13. He’ll be roaming Toronto streets to post pics of street art and graffiti, both commissioned and sanctioned works produced mainly this summer, along with classic works from recent years. Follow @agotoronto and #agofieldtrip to see the photos, then find the geo-mapped locations and experience the pieces in person.

About
Pascal Paquette is primarily a fine art painter, and also uses street art, graffiti and photography in his site-specific projects. His art has been exhibited, commissioned and published internationally and locally, notably at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) and the AGO in 2012, when he and Sean Martindale presented their collaborative installation NOW. He lives in Toronto, Canada, and posts to Instagram at @pascalpaquette.

This month in Prints and Drawings: a Date with Italian master drawings

September 8th, 2014

Francesco Salviati, Lamentation over the dead Christ, c. 1540, brown ink and wash, over traces of black chalk, heightened with white gouache on laid paper, 24.1 x 16.1 cm. Purchase, 1981. Art Gallery of Ontario.

Francesco Salviati, Lamentation over the dead Christ, c. 1540, brown ink and wash, over traces of black chalk, heightened with white gouache on laid paper, 24.1 x 16.1 cm. Purchase, 1981. Art Gallery of Ontario.

For the month of September, as part of its monthly Date with [Art] series, Prints and Drawings is offering visitors a closer look at Italian master drawings, in anticipation of the exhibition Michelangelo: Quest for Genius, opening Oct. 18, 2014.

Each Wednesday throughout the month, stop by the Marvin Gelber Print & Drawing Study Centre for the Open Door program, running from 1 to 8 p.m. Enjoy tours of the Study Centre and see original works by Italian masters. Before 4:30 p.m., you can even ask staff members to bring specific works out from storage for viewing. Read the rest of this entry »

Conservation Notes: What’s (literally) behind Belle Époque posters’ longevity

September 3rd, 2014

Théophile Steinlen, Tournée du Chat Noir, 1896. Colour lithograph, sheet: 142 × 98.1 cm (55 7/8 × 38 5/8 in.). Gift from the Donald R. Muller/ Ross R. Scott. Collection through the American Friends of the Art Gallery of Ontario Inc., 2013. © 2014 Art Gallery of Ontario

Théophile Steinlen, Tournée du Chat Noir, 1896. Colour lithograph, sheet: 142 × 98.1 cm (55 7/8 × 38 5/8 in.). Gift from the Donald R. Muller/ Ross R. Scott. Collection through the American Friends of the Art Gallery of Ontario Inc., 2013. © 2014 Art Gallery of Ontario

In a post earlier this year we introduced you to Tessa Thomas, Samuel H. Kress Fellow in Paper Conservation at the AGO. Tessa is currently completing research and treatments on a group of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec posters from the Ross R. Scott and Donald R. Muller Collection. Here is Tessa’s latest update on the progress of the project: Read the rest of this entry »

Conservation Notes: Preserving history on nitrate film

August 18th, 2014

By Katharine Whitman, Conservator, Photography

The Henryk Ross collection of negatives depict the Łódź Ghetto in Poland from 1939 to 1944, composing a valuable record of the conditions Jewish people faced during the Second World War. As with all film negatives from that period, they are on cellulose nitrate stock, a potentially dangerous medium due to the material’s tendency to release harmful gases when it degrades. Steps had to be taken to stop the deterioration of the negatives, and so they were recently digitally copied and put into frozen storage at the AGO.

Read the rest of this entry »

Meet the artists of the 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize shortlist

August 15th, 2014

Together with our partners at Aimia, we were excited to announce the 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize shortlist on Aug. 13. Below, learn about the four artists from around the world who were our jurors’ top picks, then head to the Prize website to see more of their work and choose your favourite.


David Hartt

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

“Our understanding of ourselves is deeply rooted in the spaces we occupy.”

David Hartt was born in Montreal and currently lives and works in Chicago. In his installations, which include photographs, videos, and sculptures, he explores how physical spaces reflect the ideas and beliefs of a particular time and place. By investigating the materials, symbols and histories that shape our surroundings, Hartt calls attention to the ways our built environments exist and evolve. After extensive research and site visits, he distils this material into complex and elegant installations.

Artist’s web page

On David’s work:
David Hartt by Aimee Walleston for Art in America
David Hartt: Stray Light at the Studio Museum in Harlem by Andrew Russeth for Gallerist


Elad Lassry

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

“The questions for me are about this very mysterious unit that is the picture. It brings on a set of assumptions and built-in ways of looking with which I am in constant battle.”

At the centre of Israel-born, Los Angeles-based artist Elad Lassry’s work is the question: “What is a picture?” His practice suggests that the photograph is an elusive “unit.” Lassry uses multiple aesthetic modes and technologies to create analog images, digital interventions, moving pictures, design applications and applied arts that seem utilitarian but produce complex visual sensations. His ongoing investigation leads him to refer back to and experiment with a variety of visual sources – textbooks, manuals, film stills, marketing materials and science texts – which at turns contradict and play off one another in his work. Lassry uses this dynamic to pinpoint what he calls a “contemporary condition” in which the photograph is a flexible entity, seductively powerful and yet untrustworthy. “Once the photograph is not what it appears to be,” Lassry asks, “what else is at stake?”

Artist’s web page

On Elad’s work:
Elad Lassry by Gillian Young for Art in America
Elad Lassry at David Kordansky via Contemporary Art Daily


Nandipha Mntambo

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

“I’m interested in uncovering that binary – that in-between space that you can’t always pinpoint or articulate.”

Nandipha Mntambo was born in Swaziland and lives in Johannesburg. She originally trained as a sculptor and then expanded her practice to include photography, performance, and video. Her work investigates such dualities as male and female, attraction and repulsion, animal and human, European and African. Mntambo makes sculptures from cowhide, using her own body to mould the forms. In many of her videos and photographs, she appears wearing her sculptures, suggesting our capacity as individuals to shape the world around us, while also highlighting the forces that form us, including notions of race, gender and history.

Artist’s web page

On Nandipha’s work:
Nandipha Mntambo: Hide & Seek by Kudi Maradzika for AkAthemag
Visiting Artist Profiles – Nandipha Mntambo by Matthew Harrison Tedford for ArtPractical


Lisa Oppenheim

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

“I want the viewer to ask, ‘What am I looking at? How is it made?’ Somehow, that provides a way of critically reading how images come to all of us through our daily lives.”

Lisa Oppenheim, who lives and works in New York, creates photographs and videos that connect historical imagery and techniques with the present moment. Her process often begins with online research, to source images that she reinterprets using old and new technologies. Oppenheim also employs unusual materials as negatives – fabric, lace, slices of wood – directly recording the objects’ specific textures to create near-abstract compositions. Through her experiments with analog darkroom and digital methods, Oppenheim gives photographic images new forms and new contexts, inviting us to question and to wonder.

Artist’s website

On Lisa’s work:
Lisa Oppenheim by Shama Khanna for Frieze
Lisa Oppenheim: Elemental Process by Brian Sholis for Aperture