The Art Gallery of Ontario has acquired Greg Girard’s House on Zixia Lu, #14 Zixia Lu, 2005; Annie Pootoogook’s Drawing My Grandmother’s Glasses, 2007; and Denyse Thomasos’s Metropolis, 2007, at this year’s Toronto International Art Fair (TIAF).
Acquisition of the works was made possible using proceeds from TIAF’s Opening Night Preview gala, and through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Acquisition Assistance program.
"These three artists are deeply Canadian with international profiles," says David Moos, curator of contemporary art at the AGO. "This trio of large-scale works diversifies and augments our holdings."
This is the first time the Gallery has made a purchase using funds raised from the event’s Opening Night Preview. Final selections were made by Moos and Dennis Reid, AGO’s director of Collections and Research, and senior curator of Canadian art. Jay Smith, chair of the AGO’s contemporary curatorial committee, also played an active role.
Born in Vancouver in 1955, Girard focuses on the rapid metamorphosis of cities in the 21st century. House on Zixia Lu, #14 Zixia Lu
is a large scale photo and nocturnal meditation on the transformation of Shanghai, where he currently resides. His work has been displayed in exhibitions around the world including Germany, Finland, South Korea and the United Kingdom. He has had several books of his work published, and pieces in a number of collections across Canada. His photos have also been featured in the pages of leading magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Elle and The New York Times Magazine. This will be Girard’s first work in the AGO collection.
Pootoogook’s monumental 4-by-8-foot drawing features her grandmother’s glasses, a recurring image in her work. Born in Cape
Dorset, Nunavut, in 1969, Pootoogook now resides in Montreal and was the recipient of the 2006 Sobey Art Award. She was also featured in Documenta XII, which is among the world’s most important international exhibitions of contemporary art. The acquisition of Drawing My Grandmother’s Glasses joins five other Pootoogook works in the AGO collection.
Thomasos’s canvas draws motifs from her global travels and studies of architectural structures from Asia and Africa. Winner of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Award in 1997 and the Canada Council Millennium Grant in 1999, Thomasos was born in Trinidad, raised in Toronto and now lives in Brooklyn. In August 2005, she created a monumental 50-foot mural titled Hybrid Nations as part of the Wallworks exhibition at the AGO, where it remained on view until the Gallery closed earlier this month.
The Opening Night Preview was spearheaded by a committee of AGO volunteers, chaired by Tamara Bahry-Paterson. "This year’s inaugural AGO acquisition is of great significance to both the Gallery and Canadian artists," says Bahry-Paterson. "In addition to growing the AGO’s contemporary collection, this purchase is generating tremendous excitement in the community and making a valuable contribution to the future growth and success of this event."
Drawing My Grandmother’s Glasses
Cape Dorset, 2007
Oil stick on paper
4 x 8′
© 2007 Annie Pootoogook
House on Zixia Lu, #14 Zixia Lu, 2005
6 x 7 feet
© 2007 Greg Girard
Acrylic on canvas
84” x 132”
© 2007 Denyse Thomasos