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Archive: April, 2011

Saturday ArtSpeak Series: Merge (Audio)

April 27th, 2011

ArtSpeak Series: Merge 2011
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Recorded: Saturday, April 16, 2011 @ AGO Art Rental + Sales Gallery
Duration: 56:24

In conjunction with Merge, an annual exhibition showcasing emerging artists, Pamela Chang recently spoke with three Toronto based arts professionals about what you need to know to stay on top of the rising stars in the art market. This year’s exhibition featured works by Tristram Lansdowne, Jenn Law, Bogdan Luca, Amanda Nedham, Meryl McMaster and Alex McLeod.

ArtSpeak Participants:
Wil Kucey, owner/director, Le Gallery
Bill Clarke, Executive Editor of Magenta and art collector
Trish Boon, artist, arts educator, and arts writer

About the ArtSpeak Series

AR+SG host a series of FREE intimate discussions on the 3rd Saturday of the month, at 1:00 pm. Jennifer Bhogal, Coordinator of AR+SG, sits down with 3-4 prominent figures in the arts community to discuss an issue related to the exhibition on view. Everyone is welcome.

About the Art Rental + Sales Gallery

Since 1965, The Art Gallery of Ontario’s Art Rental + Sales Gallery (AR+SG) has consigned artwork from Toronto’s top galleries and independent artists, including Olga Korper Gallery, Stephen Bulger Gallery, Bau-Xi Gallery, Georgia Scherman Projects, Feheley Fine Arts, Diaz Contemporary, and many more, totaling over 40 galleries, and more than 50 independent artists. Our entire rotating inventory of over 500 works is available for rent to AGO members (memberships available at AR+SG) and for purchase to everyone.

Bringing Things Down to Earth: A Phenomenology of Paterson Ewen (Audio)

April 26th, 2011

Photo of David Morris

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Recorded: Wednesday, April 20, 7 pm @ Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 01:29:55

Paterson Ewen’s paintings are kin to phenomenological philosophy, in that they spring from a sense of wonder at the things around us and plunge us into insights about the nature of things and ourselves. In many of his works, Ewen seeks to show, in paint and wood, celestial bodies that are out of this world and beyond easy perceptual grasp. In bringing these things down to earth, he illuminates fundamental dimensions of perceptual experience: spatial and temporal scale, movement and our rootedness in place, surface and depth, lighting and the lit. The talk will introduce phenomenology and its relationship with painting. No philosophy background needed, just wonder.

David Morris has explored the phenomenology of body, mind, life and nature in numerous publications and presentations, with special attention to the phenomenology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Morris is Chair and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Concordia University, Montréal.

Matthew Teitelbaum on Paterson Ewen (Audio)

April 22nd, 2011

Matthew Teitelbaum

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Recorded: Wednesday, April 13, 7 pm @ Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 01:11:27

Paterson Ewen (1925-2002) is one of Canada’s most acclaimed painters. Throughout his career Ewen’s search has been to make the observed world tangible and real. His work stands as a testimony to the cycles of nature, its terror and its beauty.  Matthew Teitelbaum, AGO Director and CEO, as well and curator of the exhibition Paterson Ewen: Inspiration and Influence will place Ewen in the context of his times and highlight his influences and enthusiasms. He will also reveal the full breadth of the AGO’s holdings.

No Ordinary Day at the Office

April 21st, 2011

9 to 5 opening soon at the Art Gallery of Ontario!

Anitra Hamilton  Graeme Patterson  Ed Pien

Exhibition Dates | April 27 to 29
Art/Work Symposium | April 30
Closing Reception | April 30, 6-9pm

Art is work. Hard work.

9 to 5 is an exhibition that lets visitors experience art in an unexpected way: by interacting with the artists while they make it! Running from April 27th to the 29th, 9 to 5 will transform one gallery at the Art Gallery of Ontario(AGO) into a live office space. For three days, contemporary Canadian artists Anitra Hamilton, Graeme Patterson and Ed Pien welcome AGO visitors to meet with them and enjoy a conversation about their artistic practice. Using the familiar setting of the office, 9 to 5 will create a space for collaboration, inspiration and a forum for new knowledge and understanding about the artistic process. In addition, the artists have been invited to select a work of their choice from the permanent collection to “decorate” their cubicle. Accessible and interactive, 9 to 5 is an experience not to be missed!

Want to know more about whats happening at the 9 to 5 office or ask the artists a question about their research process?  Visit the blog here.

Following the exhibition, on April 30th, will be a free, one-day symposium entitled Art/Work. The first half of the symposium will feature 9 to 5 artists and curators reflecting on the project, followed by a special presentation by curator, artist and educator Rebecca Duclos. Duclos will expand on the burgeoning topic of artists’ research.

Event Schedule:
9 to 5 exhibition, 2nd floor, Gallery 248:
Wednesday April 27, 1:00pm – 8:30pm
Thursday April 28, 10:00am – 5:30pm
Friday April 29, 10:00am – 5:30pm

Art/Work Symposium, Jackman Hall, AGO
Saturday April 30
1pm – 2:30pm — Artists & Curators reflect on the 9 to 5 project
3pm – 4:30pm — Rebecca Duclos keynote presentation

Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=194409267264777

Tickets to AbEx On Sale April 30 at 10 am at the AGO

April 20th, 2011



(TORONTO – April 20, 2011)
Tickets to Abstract Expressionist New York: Masterpieces from The Museum of Modern Art, which opens at the Art Gallery of Ontario on May 28, will go on sale to the public on April 30 at 10 am. On view for just 14 weeks, this landmark exhibition — a Canadian exclusive — features more than 100 works by the legendary artists whose drips, splatters, and fields of incredible colour catapulted New York to the centre of the international art world in the 1950s and changed the course of art history forever.

To celebrate the arrival of the exhibition, the AGO is throwing a public party the night before the opening. The AbEx Opening Party will feature live music and DJs in Walker Court, a cash bar, and advance access to the exhibition. The party starts at 9 pm on May 27 and continues to midnight. Tickets are $25 for the public and $20 for AGO members, and will also go on sale April 30.

Abstract Expressionist New York will be time-ticketed by the hour to ensure shorter wait times and greater convenience for visitors. Ticket prices range from $16.50 for youth and student visitors to $25 for adult admission. Admission is free for children ages 5 and under. Beginning April 30 at 10 am, tickets can be booked online at www.ago.net or by phone at 416-979-6655.

AGO members receive free admission to Abstract Expressionist New York, and are invited to attend exclusive previews of the exhibition on May 26 (10 am – 5:30 pm) and May 27 (10 am – 8:30 pm). Members do not have to pre-book tickets to the exhibition and can avoid the general line by presenting their membership card and exhibition ticket to enjoy access to an exclusive VIP line. AGO members also receive a 10% discount on merchandise purchased in the AbEx satellite shop, in addition to their discounts at shopAGO, caféAGO, and FRANK, the AGO’s signature restaurant.


Click here to read the rest of the press release.

Conversations with Inuit Modern artists

April 18th, 2011

Michael Massie, A Cool Breeze Blew Up My Back

On April 1, 2011 the AGO invited six leading artists to participate in an online symposium in conjunction with the exhibition, Inuit Modern.  Conversations with Kenojuak Ashevak, Mattiusi Iyaituk, Jimmy Manning, David Ruben Piqtoukun, Mike Massie and Tim Pitsiulak provide valuable insights into inspiration, process, and the challenges of  achieving and sharing their artistic visions. Video of all three sessions is now available online:

“The painting is just a surface to be covered.”

April 5th, 2011

Preparations are underway for the arrival of Abstract Expressionist New York: Masterpieces from The Museum of Modern Art, the AGO’s big-ticket summer exhibition. AGO curator of modern and contemporary art David Moos writes below about Joan Mitchell’s “Ladybug”, an vibrant, exuberant painting that features as a major work in the exhibition. Mark your calendar now: AbEx tickets go on sale to the public on April 30. The exhibition opens at the AGO on May 28.

Joan Mitchell (American, 1925 – 1992). Ladybug. 1957. Oil on canvas, 6’ 5 7/8” x 9’ (197.9 x 274 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. © Estate of Joan Mitchell. Photo credit: The Museum of Modern Art, Department of Imaging Services, Thomas Griesel.

How Joan Mitchell arrived at “Ladybug” in 1957 as the title for her fiercely energized majestic canvas would be similar to other such personal, associative titles from that period. Like thoughts left to dangle for both artist and viewer to behold, through titling Mitchell telegraphed her inner thinking about what was visible on the canvas. George Went Swimming at Barnes Hole but It Got Too Cold, another painting from the same year, is a more elaborate incantation of personal experience converted into words. George was one of Mitchell’s dogs and Barnes Hole is a narrow beach on Napeague Bay, close to Pollock’s watery vista. The twitching of a dog emerging from frigid water conveys the fleeting energy Mitchell brought to the act of painting. And similarly, Ladybug bears out this state of mind that is somehow tethered to nature. The horizontal composition is panoramic in sweep and keyed in green—foliant, at parts verdant. Lashing, rapidly placed strokes trace the movement of the artist’s hand while connoting the constant flux and flow of the natural world. And within this orchestrated lattice Mitchell punctuates the composition with assertively placed red strokes. The eye reads them from left to right, the trace of a ladybug.

Mitchell’s process is analogous to the way poets conjure reference and imagery. Frank O’Hara, a MoMA curator who was also a central New York poet at the time, was a close friend who wrote poems inspired by Mitchell and her work. “At Joan’s,” relays how the poet looks at painting to fuel his creative quest: “barely a sound filters up/ through my confused eyes/ I am lonely for myself/ I can’t find a real poem.” O’Hara’s writing style—highly subjective, circumstantial yet elegant—is analogous to Mitchell’s way of working. Against the whiteness of her canvas (which might be likened to a blank page) she swiftly makes decisions in paint, using brushes of differing width to construct a thatched, arcing rhythm. Toward the periphery some strokes spiral out, mere flashes of an impulse or idea. Toward the centre an intensity arrives, as strokes and colours compete for placement and recognition.

Poets later struggled to comprehend and verbalize this process. James Schuyler collaborated with Mitchell on poem-pages, gauging if words could indeed approximate the painter’s process. Ladybug signals the arrival of Mitchell’s style, a fully formulated, large-scale declaration, occurring at a tumultuous moment in her life as she was transitioning toward Paris where the painter Jean-Paul Riopelle was based. Turning to love and turning away from New York, Ladybug captures the energy of anticipation, the anxious rhythm of maximum life.

David Moos
Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art

Growing up Royal

April 3rd, 2011

“Growing up I had always heard my mother speak about the very colourful life of the royal court. She would speak about the glorious and less than glorious aspects of having a royal lineage. I would hear these rather ostentatious, colourful and often gruesome stories, taste many different types of royal cuisines and yet, I was never that interested in my ancestral past until 2006 when my sister and I decided to visit our ancestral home of Murshidabad with none other than my mother, a princess of the royal family of Murshidabad as our guide.

It was strangest and yet most wonderful experience to visit the Hazarduari Palace in Murshidabad and see my ancestors in paintings… the eyes! Yes, we all have the same heavy-lided eyes. The most precious part of the visit was my mother’s commentary on our family history and what life was like in the royal court. She named each object on display and what it was used for and then the stories; the many, many stories. We went through the armoury and that was chilling… to know that all these weapons had actually been used in battle. Perhaps it was my devotion to the concept of “Satyagraha” but I almost smelled the blood. When we arrived at the “Darbal Hall”, I could not help but be in awe of the majesty of it all! I looked up at the massive chandelier… the most massive chandelier I had ever seen in my life! I stared at the huge painting displayed right above the royal throne depicting a scene where my great, great grandfather was holding his court and then I looked down at the actual throne where he sat. The whole scene was being played out in my mind’s eye like a stop-motion film, complete with the scratches on the film and the sounds.

I was incomplete awe and then came the shock! It was incredible how quickly our arrival there made news through out the town, even though we went conspicuously as tourists! It was the strangest experience, to have people follow us around, stare at us, point at us, some stopping to say “salaam” or “namaste” and then bow down in reverence and respect. Those gestures felt so alien, uncomfortable even and yet, I felt an intense sense of belonging.

When we visited again in 2007, the connection was more in the face… for both me and my sister. She some how almost innately knew how to navigate the streets. I would look at the rotting, dilapidated structures in complete awe. These monuments to the pomp and glory of an era gone by, remnants of power, politics, culture, history and colonialism every where I looked; each building telling its own story, speaking as if only to me. No, these were not just any remnants, each and every stone spoke and was alive, telling haunting tales, tales of my forefathers, some even asking me questions.”

Do you have a story to tell about South Asian royalty? Does your family have connections to maharajas? Do you have photographs or objects related to kings and their courts? Share your stories and ideas here or by emailing us at yourvoice@ago.net.

Four Small Canadians at the Indore Palace

April 3rd, 2011

“My husband and I went to India in 1950 with our baby daughter. She called me this morning to tell me how thrilled she had been to view your wonderful exhibit. Her sister is in India at present with her physics professor husband, who is speaking at several Indian universities. While in North India she is visiting the hilltop town of Mussoorie where she was born. Since we lived in Indore our second term, I decided to home school the children and send them to Daly College, a private school founded by the Maharajah of Indore, to study art and music. In 1958, Wendy, Susan, and the two Canadian Leard children Bill and John, were invited to the Indore Palace to attend the birthday party of one of the young princes. We have pictures at home showing the children along with the Holkar family and guests watching the entertainment. If I were in Halifax instead of Central Florida, I would be attending your wonderful exhibition. Hurrah for Canada … Jai Hind!!!!”

Do you have a story to tell about South Asian royalty? Does your family have connections to maharajas? Do you have photographs or objects related to kings and their courts? Share your stories and ideas here or by emailing us at yourvoice@ago.net.

Made for Maharajas (Audio)

April 1st, 2011

Amin Jaffer

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Recorded: Thursday, March 24, 7 pm @ Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 01:23:22

Amin Jaffer spoke about western luxury goods made for Indian princes  in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  The talk explored the superb and extraordinary commissions made for maharajas by western luxury houses Cartier, Chaumet and Boucheron.  Jaffer contextualized this appetite for luxury goods within the broader historical context of shifting taste and power between India and the West.

Dr. Amin Jaffer is International Director of Asian Art at Christie’s and specialises in Indian art in the age of European influence.   For thirteen years a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Jaffer authored Furniture from British India and Ceylon (V&A, 2001), Luxury Goods from India (V&A, 2002) and Made for Maharajas: a design diary of Princely India (2006).   Jaffer was co-curator of the V&A’s blockbuster 2004 exhibition Encounters: the meeting of Asia and Europe, 1500-1800, which explored the artistic and cultural encounter between Europe and Asia following the discovery of a sea route to India by Vasco da Gama in 1498.  He lectures frequently in Europe, America and India and contributes regularly to journals and major newspapers.