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Painting in the park

July 25th, 2017

Arthur Lismer conducting a children’s outdoor sketching class in Grange Park in 1934. Photo courtesy of the AGO.

This is a guest post by Judy Koke, Richard and Elizabeth Currie Chief, Public Programming and Learning.

Does the name Arthur Lismer ring a bell? Best known as an artist and a founder of the Group of Seven, Arthur Lismer has another important connection to the AGO – and Grange Park, the wonderful green space behind the AGO that recently re-opened to the public. A respected art educator, and the former principal of what is now the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax, Lismer was invited to establish an art school at the AGO in 1928 – an opportunity he gladly accepted as it allowed him to explore new approaches in art education and to spread the ideals of a new “Canadian” art. Read the rest of this entry »

And the finalists are…

July 25th, 2017

Top Left to Bottom Right: (1) Station to Station (Image Detail, 1 of 5 Prints), 2014, 5 screen resolution LightJet prints mounted on dibond. Each 45.75 x 61 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver, BC. (2) Unititled, 1986 to 2010, Black Balloon Archive, Courtesy of the artist. (3) Untitled (Melting Rainbows 103), 2010 Archival Pigment Print, 111 x 74 cm / 60 x 40 cm, Courtesy of the artist. (4) Crossroads, 2012. Digital c-print Variable sizes. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery.

Big news! Four outstanding international artists have been shortlisted for the 10th annual Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, which will award $50,000 to a winner decided entirely by public vote. Without further ado, they are… Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t miss it! Last week of Georgia O’Keeffe

July 25th, 2017

Georgia O’Keeffe, American, 1887 – 1986. Painting. Black Door with Red, 1954 oil paint on canvas. Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA, Bequest of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.

Flowers come and go with the seasons – and the same goes for Georgia O’Keeffe’s beautiful blooms on canvas. Georgia O’Keeffe, the AGO’s ambitious and career-spanning retrospective on one of America’s most beloved painters, must close its run on Sunday, July 30. Read the rest of this entry »

Getting better with age

July 25th, 2017

Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Do you remember Transformation AGO? Back in 2008, the AGO reopened its doors after a major expansion and renovation project designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. It was a huge moment for the Gallery (and Toronto), as the new façade with its distinctive bowed Galleria Italia added a whole new dimension to the cityscape.

One person who clearly remembers the preparation, the process and the result is Roman Baron, a long-time AGO security guard. Roman has been working at the Gallery for 28 years, and has seen it all – celebrities, renovations and all the moments in between. Read the rest of this entry »

Travel back in time

July 17th, 2017

Jean-Baptiste Armand Guillaumin. Chaumière à Damiette, c. 1885. Oil on canvas, 54.2 x 69.8 cm. Gift from the Estate of R. Fraser Elliott, 2005. (2005/172) © 2017 Art Gallery of Ontario.

The AGO’s Look:Forward reinstallation project is marching forward! The latest gallery to get a facelift is the Richard Barry Fudger Memorial Gallery on Level 1. It’s now home to some of the AGO’s most outstanding pieces of European art from the 1800s, an exciting time for artists across the continent, as our Assistant Curator of European Art, Caroline Shields, explains in the video below:

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A little perspective…

July 17th, 2017

Springwater Pallasite. (Stony-iron) meteorite fragment, M56008. With permission of the Royal Ontario Museum. © ROM

Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood is currently on view on Level 4 of the AGO’s Contemporary Tower. Inside, visitors will find three pieces on loan from the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM): copper skulls from Michigan, a meteorite fragment from Springwater, Saskatchewan, and an impact shatter cone found in Sudbury, Ontario. Some of these pieces are billions of years old!

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How do you describe nature?

July 17th, 2017

Photo courtesy of the AGO.

There’s so much to look at in the brand new Grange Park, which officially opened to the public on Saturday, July 8. The Henry Moore sculpture Large Two Forms is a big hit in its new lush leafy location, having been moved from its original spot at Dundas and McCaul. The new playgrounds and interactive water features have kids swinging and splashing, and climbing on structures that look like tipped-over paint cans, crumpled up pieces of paper, and a giant squeezed paint tube. Then, there are more than 80 additional trees and newly-planted gardens that invite you to take a seat and rest awhile in the shade.

With so much beauty surrounding you, it might be easy to miss another one of the park’s new features—an inspirational walkway bearing quotes from iconic Canadian writers, artists and leaders, engraved into the bricks beneath your feet. Read the rest of this entry »

Come and knock on our (new) door

July 17th, 2017

Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Grange Park is officially open, and along with it is a brand new way to get into the AGO!

Our new entrance leads out of the park and right into the Weston Family Learning Centre (WFLC), where our learning programs for all ages take place. The new area, designed by Siamak Hariri of Hariri Pontarini Architects (the same firm that completed the WFLC in 2011) adds an additional 4,000 square feet of interior space to the AGO.

So, what will you see when you get inside? Read the rest of this entry »

Channelling Georgia O’Keeffe

July 17th, 2017

Photo courtesy of Lauren Pincente.

The AGO’s popular exhibition, Georgia O’Keeffe, is only in Toronto until July 30, so time is running out to see this once-in-a-lifetime, career-spanning collection of over 80 works (if you haven’t seen it yet – get tickets now!)

But once Georgia O’Keeffe is over, how can you keep some of her visual inspiration around in your own home? We spoke to Lauren Pincente, Toronto florist and owner of Wildhood in The Junction, to get her thoughts on Georgia O’Keeffe’s famous use of flowers in her paintings, and talk about her own O’Keeffe-inspired arrangement.

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ReBlink will make you look twice

July 10th, 2017

Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Have you ever looked at historical paintings in the AGO Collection and wondered how the scenes would look today? Would this country landscape look so serene, would that portrait look so formal, would this plate of food look so appetizing?

Well, the answer to the last one is definitely yes, but a new artistic intervention at the AGO helps us imagine what it would look like for some of the AGO’s most beloved pieces to jump through time and enter the year 2017. And it does so using Augmented Reality technology, an iPad, and a newly-developed program called ReBlink. Read the rest of this entry »