Recorded: Wednesday, October 26, 7 – 8:30 pm in Jackman Hall
David Jaffé, Senior Curator in the Department of Painting, National Gallery, London talks about the work of 17th Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens. In particular he will discuss the Massacre of the Innocents by Rubensfrom the Thomson Collection at the AGO.
(TORONTO – Nov. 28, 2011) – Hundreds of Toronto District School Board (TDSB) students and educators will be able to visit the Weston Family Learning Centre at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) each year for hands-on experience of art thanks to a new five-year partnership between the TDSB and the AGO.
Students will experience:
Special full-day programs at the AGO: Up to 500 high-priority TDSB classes will visit the Gallery in the 2011-12 school year;
The AGO’s installation of 13 key paintings from the TDSB’s art collection in the Weston Family Learning Centre;
Specialized curriculum and resources for teachers and students online and at the AGO; and
Free access to the Weston Family Learning Centre for students, teachers, parents and the community.
“This historic partnership is an incredible opportunity for our students, teachers and school communities,” said Chris Spence, TDSB Director of Education. “We truly believe the arts have an overwhelmingly positive impact on student achievement. Our fine art collection helps tell the story of who we are, as a school board, and as a city.”
… in action. Check out our efficient and futuristic coat rack solution. Seven hundred fifty hooks hang from a snake-like piece of stainless steel that is fixed to the ceiling, eliminating the need for dozens of coat racks and cubbys. Whenever a class full of kids arrives at our Weston Family Learning Centre, the AGO staff pulls it to the floor, stocks it up, then pulls it back to the ceiling in one space-optimization move. Famous Canadian Artist Emily Carr used to use this technique in her studio to make room for her paintings, and do away with unwanted guests. Find out more about Emily Carr
Need some holiday gift inspiration? Check out our top 10 holiday must-haves from ShopAGO. We’ve got a wide range of exciting gift options – you can either buy online or come visit us at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto M5T 1G4.
1. Brushed stainless steel watering can from Born in Sweden ($65) Stylish and minimal, yet at the same time striking, this innovative design typifies Born in Sweden’s approach; functional, practical and always aesthetically pleasing. It is made of 18-0 stainless steel with a flexible silicone hose. The hose has a built-in magnet that allows it to be attached to the can’s body when not in use. When watering your plants, simply hold the metal cylinder with one hand and the hose in the other. To start or stop the water flow, just move the metal cylinder up or down.
2. Stainless steel ‘Rocker’ garlic press from Joseph Joseph ($20) The stylish design of this garlic crusher makes the messy task of cooking with garlic much easier. By using downward pressure and a ‘rocking’ motion it crushes garlic cloves quickly and efficiently, forcing the pieces up through the mesh of holes. Once crushed, the garlic pieces are held in the shallow bowl, allowing them to be spooned or scraped easily into a pan. Additional cloves can also be crushed at this stage before emptying.
3. Handmade glass Fishscape fishbowl designed by Aruliden ($153) If the fish fan in your life isn’t into plastic plants and neon skulls, why not grab them this beautiful fishbowl? The contours of the bowl add an elegant twist to the classic fishbowl shape.
4. Alarm Dock for iPhone or iPod touch designed by Jonas Damon for Areaware ($50)
Remember those faux wood grain GE flip clocks that sat on every bedside table just a couple of decades ago? The Alarm Dock uses a nostalgic product language to meet the progressively thin and disappearing profiles of consumer electronics. It is at once a critique and an accommodation to new technology. Place an iPhone or iPod Touch running a flip clock app onto the dock, and see an iconic and meaningful form return to your nightstand, mantel, or shelf. Your iPhone or iPod’s dock connector can be pulled through it, allowing your device to recharge while docked.
The Art Museum is the finest art collection ever assembled between two covers. This revolutionary and unprecedented virtual art museum in a book features 992 oversized pages of nearly 2,700 works of art. It is the most comprehensive and visually spectacular history of world art ever published. Ten years in the making, this unique book was created with a global team of specialists in all fields of art – including museum curators and educators, who have collected together important works as they might be displayed in the ideal museum for the art lover.
6. Faux fur collar + cuffs designed by Heather Campbell ($65-$95) Superb faux fur lined with geometric printed silk inspired by artist Sonia Delaunay. Help the fashion-conscious lady in your life stay cosy without sacrificing style this winter. Available in red/black, blue/black, grey/black. AVAILABLE IN-STORE
7. ‘Vessel’ earrings designed by Nervous System ($40-$90) A fine network of vessels defines the surface of these semicircular earrings and serves as a hollow tube for carrying a loop of sterling silver chain. These 3d-printed nylon earrings hang from surgical steel ear wires.
Nervous System is a design studio that works at the intersection of science, art and technology. They create using a novel process that employs computer simulation to generate designs and digital fabrication to realize products. Drawing inspiration from natural phenomena, they write computer programs mimicking processes and patterns found in nature, using those programs to create unique jewelry.
8. All Natural Clementine Modelling Dough ($12.95) Strawberry, lemon and lime – fresh, natural scents in a soft, crumble-free, all natural dough for little hands. Coloured with tumeric, carmine and spinach. Three recyclable 4 oz containers. Lasts for more than 12 months when stored in our airtight containers. Ingredients: flour, water, salt, soybean oil, cream of tartar, natural glycerin, natural scent extracts, natural colours (tumeric, carmine and spinach), calcium propionate. Other art supplies (pictured) also available.
9. Mini speaki speakers by DOMA ($18.95)
He may be small in size, but there is nothing small about the sound performance of the MiNi SPEAKi. Simply charge him up with your computer and he’s ready to be your sound companion wherever you go! Ideal for iPods, MP3 Players, computers…anything with an audio jack.
10. POP phones designed by David Turpin for Native Union ($40)
Styled by French designer David Turpin, the POP handset combines classic style with a contemporary edge and is finished with a luxurious soft-touch texture.
The handset has been manufactured with a high quality speaker and microphone and can be used with all mobile phones when fitted with the correct adaptor (sold separately) and when fitted with a USB adaptor (sold separately) can be used for VOIP computer telephone calls (Skype, Google Talk…). This product is fitted with a 3.5mm jack (compatible with the iPhone)
Recorded: Friday, October 21, 7 – 8:30 pm in the Weston Family Learning Centre
Dr. Allan Peterkin engages Dr. Susan Abbey and artist Deirdre Logue in a conversation around the issues of mindfulness in the arts and medicine. A selection of Deirdre Logue’s work is screened.
Dr. Susan Abbey specializes in psychiatry concentrated on the interface of mind and body – with a particular focus on depression, quality of life and stress management with the medically ill and transplant patients and families. Deirdre Logue’s film, video and installation work focuses on self-presentational discourse, the body as material, confessional autobiography and the passage of ‘real’ time.
Presented in partnership with the Wilson Center, the Arts, Health and Humanities Program and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.
Jack Chambers: Light, Spirit, Time, Place and Life opens at the AGO on November 26. The collection surveys the varying styles and media used by the artist to create an incredible range of work. Today members of the press arrive to preview the exhibition – I’ll be following along right here on the ArtMatters blog so you can get a sneak peek of the show too! Remarks start at around 10.15am. – Holly, Internet and Social Media Content Coordinator.
Photo: Quotes about the exhibition from people who have contributed.
Photo: Curators Dennis Reid and Sarah Milroy with the AGO’s Matthew Teitelbaum. Reid is a renowned Canadian Scholar and Milroy is an art critic.
Photo: A section of the exhibition catalogue cover.
Jack Chambers by Michael Ondaatje (from the exhibition catalogue)
10.19 MT is now on stage welcoming the audience – HK
‘It’s the first survey of Jack Chambers’ work since 1988. The project was made possible by Dennis Reid who is known across the country for his commitment to Canadian art, together with esteemed art critic Sarah Milroy.
You’re going to see the complexity of Chambers’ collection. At its heart is the collection of record formed at the AGO.’
10.22 MT is thanking the sponsors and the people who loaned artworks for the exhibition. He’s joking that we won’t be giving them back.
10.23 Dennis Reid ‘Jack’s papers are phenomenal – he was a deeply reflective man, and he kept everything. We didn’t want to think of this as a retrospective but it’s certainly comprehensive. It’s organised according to four big themes in Chambers’ work: Life, spirit, place and time.’
Light: Jack thought of light as that which makes everything actual. He was snapping all the time with his camera.
Place: it’s about geography, ancestry, the past and the future, Jack felt all of this deeply. When he came back to London from Spain he discovered that this was his place and the rest of his life was sent exploring this.
Spirit: Raised baptist and converted to Catholicism, spirituality was a constant. But for me it all came down to family.
Time: You can’t make film without thinking about time.
10.29 ‘Critical to this exhibition is how we displayed the archival material – I’m going to ask Sarah i talk about this.’
10.30 Sarah Milroy is on stage talking about the archives as her ‘happy place.’
‘You can travel inside the mind of an artist. Jack really used the camera as a way of seeing – you’ll be in his mind.’
‘In the archive you’ll see photos if sea and sky and beach, preparation for a series of works of Lake Huron. By looking at these photos you can see how this work really arose out of his family life – kids eating peanut butter sandwiches on the beach.’
‘He also used photography when he was building an image. If you look in the archive you can see his pictures don’t arise from one photograph but a bunch of different photographs – his pictures can be thought of as collages in this way.’
‘We have a suite of source photos from when he was planning to paint The 401 Towards London. You can see he was actually running back and forth across the 401 with his camera – it’s uncanny, you can be with him whilst he’s figuring out his subject.’
Photo: Sarah Milroy talks about the archival element of the show.
Media checking out the show
Jack Chambers: Light, Spirit, Time, Place and Life opens at the AGO on November 26. For more information please visit http://www.ago.net/jack-chambers-light-spirit-time-place-and-life
‘Nice To Tweet You’ is a regular series that connects our Twitter followers with artists, curators, speakers and experts. Tweet your questions to @AGOToronto using the #NTTY hashtag, or leave a comment on our Facebook page, and the best will be put forward to whoever’s in the hot seat. Answering your questions this week is Jeanne Beker, who is curating a special exhibition for the AGO’s 2nd Annual Collectors Series.
Jeanne Beker wants to answer your questions
Jeanne Beker is an internationally recognised fashion guru, but did you know she is also an avid art collector? It makes sense that a great eye for fashion translates into a great eye for art, but aren’t you curious to know more? This week we’re accepting your questions for Jeanne via Twitter and Facebook – find out how and why she fell in love with the art world, delve into her personal collection and discover which artist she’d pick as ‘one to watch’.
Beker herself is a huge fan of Twitter, you can follow her at @jeanne_beker.
She is currently curating a special exhibition for the AGO’s 2nd Annual Collectors Series. The exhibition in offers a rare glimpse into Beker’s private art collection including paintings, photography, and sculptures. Opening Tuesday, Nov. 29, the Collector’s Series runs until Friday, Dec. 16, 2011 at the AGO’s Art Rental + Sales Gallery, located on the ground floor of 481 University Ave. The Collector’s Series shines a spotlight on the personal art collections of notable Canadians, offering rare opportunities to share their own treasured pieces, as well as to select favourite pieces from the holdings of the Art Rental + Sales Gallery to be featured in the space. These selected works are available to the public for purchase or for rent.
Those wishing to take part can tweet @AGOToronto with their questions using the hashtag #NTTY (nice to tweet you) from now until Sunday, November 27 at 9pm. The top questions will then be selected and put to Beker. Excerpts from the full interview will be shared via @AGOToronto and a complete version will be published on the AGO Art Matters Blog.
About Jeanne Beker:
Born in Toronto, Jeanne Beker began her career in show business at the age of 16 and since then has never looked back. A mother of two teenage girls and fashion guru extraordinaire, today, Jeanne Beker is one of the most iconic and influential women in the fashion industry both here at home and around the world.
Jeanne helped pioneer fashion on the Internet with American communications giant MCI, when she became editorial director of @fashion in 1995 – the web’s first fashion site. And with FashionTelevision.com hitting the one million mark of podcasts downloaded per month, people around the world now have 24-hour access to Jeanne and episodes from Canada’s leading fashion series. For more information, visit www.FashionTelevision.com.
To find out more about the interview please contact Holly Knowlman via email, Twitter or call 416 979 6660 (ext 426)
In connection with the exhibition Haute Culture: General Idea – A Retrospective, 1969-1994, join artist Luis Jacob, artist and writer Sholem Krishtalka and art historian Virginia Solomon for a stimulating discussion about this foundational Canadian artist group’s diverse and increasingly influential production. I’ll be liveblogging this panel session, which begins at 7pm, so you can follow along at home if you couldn’t make it out to the Gallery tonight. Click here for more information about the panelists. I hope you enjoy reading tonight’s blog! – Holly, Internet & Social Media Content Coordinator
19.00 Philip Monk and AA Bronson are both in the audience, sat together talking about the work. V exciting. HK
19.02 Our awesome adult program coorrdinator, Gillian McIntyre, is on stage introducing tonight’s panelists. HK
19.03 ‘SK is an artist and writing in Toronto. His writing has been featured in Canadian Art amongst others. His paintings are featured in the premiere issue of Headmaster magazine and has solo shows in New York & Peterborough.’
19.04 SK is on stage. ‘I wanted to acknowledge the obvious. I’m a generation removed from the topic at hand – I thought people who knew General Idea personally might be more suited to this event. I’m not going to pretend to an expertise I don’t have. I’m going to address a particular aspect of GI within the context of Toronto and trace a lasting legacy.’
‘Toronto is a provisional space. It was when GI formed and it is now. There’s no firm social hierarchies or stratification in the art scene here. We drink together, eat together, party together and go to each others shows, whatever they may be. This is hospitable to acts of self-creation, invention and insertion.’
19.07 ‘GI are a standard bearer for this kind of self-mythologisation.’
19.08 ‘GI has been explicit in calling Toronto an outright vacuum. It’s not literally true but GI refused the status quo by devaluing its validity. By devaluing that validity they created for themselves an open field of limitless possibility. The mail & correspondence work set the groundword for this self-invention – in it you see the creation of persona, avatars, and characters. Each name is followed by a request for images – both a name, a taste and a persona is declared.’
19.10 ‘To build an art career you can be a farmer or an alchemist. A farmer assembles a body of work and you gain notoriety through the advancement of work. GI were alchemists – as soon as they announced a fixed entity comprised of three identities they began the alchemist moment that defined themselves. They said they were a corporation, great artists whose work needed to be housed in a pavilion, and it was so.’
19.11 ‘Form follows fiction – the utterance was followed by work. Every subsequent work following this utterance fleshed out the self-proclaimed legend and fuelled the Promethiun flame(r).
19.12 ‘GI created self advertisements as their art. The work spawned out of the legend.’
19.14 ‘The myth of queercore/homocore was disseminated by zines, mixtapes and networks. It was a function of and affirmed by a network of zines. There are other tactics of queercore shared with GI – a knack for polemics and for media manipulation.’
19.16 ‘Bruce LeBruce enacts various versions of himself – the blurring of fiction/reality and identity as a front. This is very much inherited and can be critically linked to the General Idea project.’
19.17 ‘The Punk Til You Puke issue of FILE Magazine announced queercore to Toronto – ‘it’s cheap, it’s easy, go do it.’ GI laid the groundwork for an alternative scene in Toronto and Queercore furthered that legend, bringing the Queer West scene into bringing.’
‘Queer West has become this strangely efficient marketing handle. But it’s geographically diffuse, unlike the Village, it’s harder to locate and has no central strip. Vaseline happened at Lee’s Palace, Club V happened in Kensington. It’s more of a persona than anything else and it’s indebted to the lineage of homocore – finding a space outside of the gay village. Will Monroe was the great avatar, the torchbearer for this and he was kind of a social shaman. His parties weren’t just parties – they can be interpreted as rituals that birthed a persona. He brings queercore and GI together.’
19.23 SK is introducing the next speaker – Luis Jacob.
19.25 LJ ‘I’ll be showing the work of General Idea, Image Bank and my own work. This talk emerges from many discussion I had with Barbara Fisher – I want to acknowledge her.’
‘Historical continuity is the achilles heel of Toronto artmaking. It renders the act of making art into a poignant but self-defeating project. Exhibition follows exhibition and quickly sinks into the black hole of collective amnesia and cultural disregard. Without a public or a language, how can we be an artist? In the absence of history, people turn to myth and begin to gossip. More than 2o years ago AA Bronson curated an exhibition in the Power Plant – it functioned as a kind of manifesto about what artistic culture can mean here in Canada. Bronson’s vision of culture was a network one – culture wasn’t based on individual figures or on institutions but on what happens when one connects the dots.’
19.29 ‘What is striking in AA’s writing is its tentative tone. This network is a dream of community, Canadians want an art scene but are unable to picture the reality except as a dream projected on the national landscape. It appears as an absence and something to desire and project.’
19.30 ‘Without real artists, galleries or magazines, we forget that we were artists ourselves.’
19.31 ‘The artists of Bronson’s generation were informed by McLuhan. When Bronson refers to media however he is pointing so something broader than new media. It is anything that stands between, mediates a network culture as a means of fabricating a tissue.’
19.35 ‘The network has a connect the dots impulse that is overtly transactional.’
19.37 ‘A move away from immediacy is a move towards the media as a mode of mediation. Including the old media of the postal system.’
‘For an artist who works in a community that is a network of communities, a village that is global, ‘here’ becomes very tricky. I might feel totally up to date with art happenings, but how do I relate to people here, in Toronto. This is precisely the question of audience. What’s the relationship between culture by mouth and culture by media? General Idea’s answer is ambivalent.’
19.39 ‘General Idea can dream the audience if it is an un-organic audience. It emerges artificially, theatrically, out of its own lack of artistic culture. The contradiction between artwork and network is the ground from which their production emerged, instructing us about the genius of this artists whose three heads are better than one.’
19.42 ‘The artist is a figure that embodies the impossible idea that the energies of network culture can survive in the form of the autonomous artist. It can be preserved in the artistic canon and reconciled with a history not whispered. For artists to be artists here in Canada we must remain poised between public and publicity.’
19.45 Third speaker, VS, is being introduced.
19.46 VS ‘I’m writing a dissertation about GI re-articulated politics to include the self in everyday social life.’
‘Where does this sexuality come from? My work talks about how sexuality structures the group…How sexuality can a collaborative, iterative identifcation rather than just about smooshing…’
19.48 ‘For GI politics can be about making space for ourselves and our social groups. This is fundamentally political and not about our institutionalised power structures. They replaced cultural terrorism with viral methods. In the context of Occupy, there is a history of politics without specific goals.’
‘Part of GI’s portrait comes through self portraits. Practices were about creating identities and personas that were in flux. GI did lots of mail art and correspondence – Canadada was about using the postal system as a way of creating personas that lived in people’s everyday lives. Mail was part of larger projects.’
19.52 ‘Artist were able to play each others personas – not about acting but inhabiting. Circulation of emblems were free game.’
19.57 ‘GI didn’t have a lot to do with the body politic for various reasons. Body Politic was a collective publication which grew to national significance – a gay liberation paper that articulated a different kind of social order. It critiqued the building of a narrow definition of what gay life was. Homosexuality breaks the rules of distinct sexes and appropriate performances – GI wasn’t as much gay as it was anti-patriarchal, says a label upstairs.’
20.02 ‘The video Test Tube, in the colour lounge, is a soap opera, telling the story of painty Mary-Anne. It set out the possible political stances the group could take – fascism, communism, capitalism – they ultimately present as the solution to the problem of what stance an artist should take. It’s a hybrid, an opportunistic, navigational kind of politics depending on what systems and structures are available to you. Embedded into a social scene and a social life, hybridity and flexibility.’
20.06 It’s now time for the panel talk portion of the evening. SK, LJ and VS are talking about General Idea and camp.
20.07 SK ‘The stealing in and out of meaning is an astute shorthand for the mechanism of camp. The colour bar for instance is the camping of TV, the Decadance is the camping of the Oscars… absorption, subversion and inserting meaning.’
20.09 VS ‘Camp offers a way to be funny but still be taken seriously. It gives ‘silly’ work meaning and consequence. It shows camp as not just being about accident but a deliberate and conscious choice to appropriate and inhabit.’
LJ ‘Queer people have had to develop strategies of codifying messages for multiple audiences. I liked the idea of fiction following form and these different moments in recent history where people are performing something they wished existed – an art scene, a punk music scene that includes queerness in it, creating a community that didn’t already exist. I don’t know if it’s a camp strategy but this process of behaving as if what you want is real and attracts people to it, making it real.’
20:13 SK ‘Using what’s around you to elevate your persona is a camp strategy. ‘I am legend’ is a very camp utterance – GI are absorbing the corporation and the pavilion into themselves.’
20.15 VS ‘It’s about speech that means one thing in one context and TWO things in another context.’
LJ ‘That’s where GI’s humour comes from, when you can see the two things at the same time. In the early work there are references to Humpty Dumpty – when something cracks, new space happens and also you get the joke when you crack up.’
Question from the audience: ‘I was exposed to GI as part of the aids movement in the early 90s in NYC – how do you talk about the virus in that context, how did it present challenges to the strategies of General Idea?”
SK ‘I feel with GI that metaphor and reality become these cruel echoes of each other. It’s a devastating irony that their career was premised on the idea of viruses in the media and then had to cope with the reality of aids. It’s almost alarming – a slippage of metaphor into reality. It’s cruelly poetic – the initial reception to the image virus campaign was total hostility. GI’s mode of codes and sly subversions were not enough in the moment – this was a terrible moral crisis that demanded more than image play. When GI died I was 15 and being taught that sex would kill me – to me, the image virus stuff narrates beautifully this seismic cultural shift – the end of free love, hedonism and the beginning of a darker age. It narrates a shift into how we conceive of sex, love and politics.’
20.27: LJ ‘I find it uncanny how the metaphor of the virus was there from the very beginning and then took a whole other dimension in the 80s. It’s almost supernatural – form follows fiction. One easy way to interpret irony is as ‘above it all glibness’ – but I detect other emotions in irony. There’s a deep poignancy in irony sometimes. The AIDS logo pieces have a sort of blankness, the colours are jaunty and vibrant but there’s all these other emotions there too. I came of age sexually in the 80s – I never lived sexually pre-aids. It was very important to give a face to the diseases then. Artists made it human – a person and a community dealing with an illness.’
20:31 VS ‘Reagan didn’t say the word until 1987. So it was almost a branding campaign.’
Thank you to all the speakers and to everyone who’s been following on at home. If you’ve enjoyed reading please leave us a comment and let us know! Back for more liveblogging soon – HK
Recorded: Friday, October 21, 12 – 1pm in the Weston Family Learning Centre
Join Todd Eberle for the first in a series of brown-bag lunch-time talks. Born in Cleveland, OH, in 1963, Todd Eberle is a professional photographer and artist based in New York City. He is currently photographer-at-large for Vanity Fair. First celebrated for his photographs of Donald Judd’s works and architecture, Eberle is best known for his interpretive work comprising of iconic subject matter such as art, architecture, interiors, design, and portraits. Turning his lens on these subjects, Eberle presents the disparate images that make up international architecture, landscapes, and society. His vision is united by a minimalist aesthetic; a potent mix of control, symmetry and proportion. A book signing for Todd Eberle: Empire of Space will follow from 1 – 2:00 p.m. in shopAGO.
The Brown Bag Lunch & Talk series is generously supported by
Canadian fashion icon shares personal collection of artwork
(TORONTO – Nov. 15, 2011) The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) launches the second annual Art Rental + Sales Gallery Collector’s Series exhibition in collaboration with one of Canada’s top fashion influencers, and host of CTV’s FashionTelevision, Jeanne Beker. Launched in 2010, this year’s exhibition in the series offers a rare glimpse into Beker’s private art collection including paintings, photography, and sculptures. Opening Tuesday, Nov. 29, the Collector’s Series runs until Friday, Dec. 16, 2011 at the AGO’s Art Rental + Sales Gallery, located on the ground floor of 481 University Ave.
Opening night reception, hosted by AGO and featuring an appearance by Beker, takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. at the Art Rental + Sales Gallery. The event offers performances by Juno Award-winning jazz artist Richard Underhill as well as Beker’s daughter, musician Joey O’Neil.
The Collector’s Series shines a spotlight on the personal art collections of notable Canadians, offering rare opportunities to share their own treasured pieces, as well as to select favourite pieces from the holdings of the Art Rental + Sales Gallery to be featured in the space. These selected works are available to the public for purchase or for rent.