Check out these video clips of artist IAIN BAXTER& talking about some of the art that you will see when you visit IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. For 50 years BAXTER& has been radically redefining the role of the artist, integrating photography, installation, sculpture, painting, drawing and performative aspects into his work. This exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958–2011, invites visitors to become collaborators, by engaging with the artist and his work.
In 2005 BAXTER& legally added an “&” to his name, reflecting his collaborative approach to art and his fundamental belief that art requires a strong connection with the viewer. “Life,” says BAXTER&, “seems to be about ands. After we leave this life and this planet, only an & remains.”
Ecology and the environment are key themes in this exhibition.
NOW: A Collaborative Project with Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette as well as the ‘Gift Shop Gift Shop’ wrap up this Sunday, April 1st. Stop by the AGO’s Young Gallery and share your opinions on the comment wall and pass by GSGS to take home an art multiple as a gift or as an addition to your art collection.
Located at street level at the main entrance to shopAGO, the Gift Shop Gift Shop is a brilliantly coy and clever installation of a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs of your visit…to the shopAGO gift shop! Featuring limited edition, original artworks — see shop staff for more information.
This summer the most famous, influential, exhibited and discussed artist of the 20th Century arrives in Toronto. Featuring 147 works from the artist’s own collection, Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso is a chance to see Picasso as he wanted the world to see him. View the pieces he chose to keep for himself to define his artistic legacy by visiting us at the Art Gallery of Ontario from May 1 – August 26, 2012.
Save the date: Tickets on sale March 31
Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, touring internationally whilst the Musée National Picasso in Paris undergoes renovations. We are the only Canadian stop on a worldwide tour of the collection that also includes Madrid, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, Helsinki, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Richmond, Va., San Francisco and Sydney, Australia.
Exhibited chronologically and covering virtually every phase of the modern master’s unceasingly radical and diverse career, Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris features:
The Death of Casagemas, one of the first works he created in Paris in 1901;
Autoportrait (Self-Portrait), the iconic 1906 self-portrait;
the 1904 Blue-period masterpiece Celestina (The Woman with One-Eye), and The Two Brothers, a 1906 work from his Rose period;
landmark African-inspired artwork that led to the advent of Cubism, including studies for the 1907 masterpiece Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and Three Figures Beneath a Tree, 1907-08
examples of his genre-defining Analytic and Synthetic Cubism artworks, including the 1909-10 Sacré Coeur, 1911’s seminal Man with a Guitar and 1915’s Violin;
Two Women Running on the Beach (The Race), a 1922 masterwork from his Neoclassical period, and 1925’s The Kiss, from his Surrealist period;
a series of sculptures created during the Second World War, including 1942’s Bull’s Head, and two bronzes, 1943’s Death’s Head and 1950’s The Goat;
The Bathers, the 1956 life-sized, six-piece figurative sculpture series created during a summer in Cannes; and
The Matador, the famous self-portrait painted in 1970, three years before his death.
The exhibition also highlights Picasso’s depictions of his muses and mistresses, including 1918’s Portrait of Olga in an Armchair, which features the Russian ballerina and Picasso’s first wife seated on a Spanish tapestry, the background left purposefully unfinished. French surrealist photographer Dora Maar, who inspired his 1937 “Weeping Woman” series, is also prominently featured, as is Jacqueline Roque, Picasso’s second wife and most-painted muse, depicted in the 1954 work Jacqueline with Crossed Hands.
Tickets for this life-changing exhibition go on sale from March 31. Beat the box office lines and buy online.
To get tickets for your preferred time, buy online at www.ago.net/picasso and bypass the admissions line when you arrive. Print your tickets at home or flash them on your phone as you enter the Gallery. Tickets can also be picked up in person, should you run into problems printing at home. Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris is a timed-entry exhibition, which means you pick a time that suits you best and then enter the exhibition at any time during that designated hour. You can stay in the exhibition as long as you like. In fact, we encourage you to take your time!
Recorded: Wednesday, March 7, 7 – 8:30 pm in Jackman Hall
Join Christopher Dewdney for an evening of insights into the work of Jack Chambers along with personal, often humerous, anecdotes from Dewdney’s long familial acquaintance with the artist.
Christopher Dewdney has been writing art criticism for more than three decades. He is the author of four books of non-fiction as well as eleven books of poetry. His most recent non-fiction title is Soul of the World: Unlocking the Secrets of Time. Dewdney teaches creative writing and poetics at the Glendon Campus of York University in Toronto.
Recorded: Wednesday, February 29, 7 pm in Jackman Hall
Join Simon Stephens to hear about ships, ship models and Tintin.
Simon Stephens is curator of the Ship Model and Boat Collection at the National Maritime Museum, London. He curated the Thomson Collection of ship models installation at the AGO and co-curated the National Maritime Museum’s 2005 Tintin At Sea exhibition.
Elizabeth Rivasplata; photo courtesy of Top Chef Canada
Elizabeth Rivasplata, sous chef at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s FRANK Restaurant, was selected to compete on the Food Network’s reality cooking show TOP CHEF CANADA, which premiered on March 12 and airs every Monday at 10 p.m.
My name is Elizabeth Rivasplata. I am 32, and I have been working at the AGO for three and a half years – first as production chef and now as sous chef at FRANK, the restaurant at the Art Gallery of Ontario. I was born in Lima, Peru and I’ve been living in Canada for almost eight years. Recently I had the great privilege of being chosen as a contestant in the Food Network show TOP CHEF CANADA.
You can watch for me on TOP CHEF CANADA, Season 2, which premiered last night, every Monday at 10 p.m. on the Food Network. Follow me @rivasplata1 on Twitter for more updates from the show and my experiences as the season progresses. The challenge is on!!
Photo from the premiere; courtesy of Top Chef Canada
Participating on TOP CHEF CANADA has been an amazing experience. I’m so excited to be part of this season and to meet and work in the company of so many great people.
I truly respect and admire all of the contestants and the members of the production team. It’s so complicated to put the show together and there are many people involved in making it happen. I would never have believed it and could not understand the stress and the hard work if I had not been through it. There were very long days and nights; I was exhausted and pushed to the limits again and again, but I would do it all over without hesitation.
As for the question that most people ask me: “Why?”… Why did I apply to compete on the show? Well I guess I am just a born competitor. Watching past seasons, I used to dream about being on the show. I was a little bit scared (to be honest not a little… a lot), but I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, and that I am good enough. So after much thinking and deliberating, and urging from my boss Anne Yarymowich – who provided awesome support – I decided to apply. And the rest is history.
The main elimination challenge for the first episode was to cook something that represents you. I had given this some thought as it had been a challenge on other seasons. I knew that I wanted to represent a little of my native cuisine and showcase Peruvian ingredients. There are so many incredible ingredients that are native to Peru, and this one really came from the heart.
Photo of Elizabeth’s Peruvian dish from the elimination challenge; courtesy of Top Chef Canada
I made pan-seared fish with red quinoa (an ancient grain native to Peru) and roasted vegetable salad, a coulis of aji amarillo (hot yellow Peruvian peppers) and foam of purple corn (also native to Peru). That put me into the top four for the first episode. Way to go! I was soooo happy. One step closer to the TOP.
We will be featuring this dish that I created for the challenge at FRANK Restaurant for the rest of the week. Please come by and see me. I’ll be the one at the stoves, where I am happiest.
Elizabeth’s Peruvian dish from the premiere of TOP CHEF CANADA will be featured this week at the AGO’s FRANK Restaurant during lunch and dinner. Elizabeth will also be on hand to personally meet and greet diners. Join us for this special TOP CHEF CANADA inspired dish, for lunch Wednesday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., or for dinnerTuesday to Saturday, 5:30 – 10 p.m.
Recorded: Friday, February 24, 7 pm in the Weston Family Learning Centre
In the 1300s plague ravaged Europe and was called the Black Death. The horrors of this pervaded all aspects of medieval culture and especially art. What are today’s plagues and how do we cope with them physically, psychologically and spiritually?
Allan Peterkin will explore the topic of contemporary plagues, arts and medicine in conversation with Kate Rossiter and Robert Houle. Dr. Rossiter is Assistant Professor in Health Studies at the Brantford campus of Wilfrid Laurier University. Robert Houle is a Saulteaux First Nations artist, curator, critic and educator.
Presented in partnership with the Wilson Center, the Arts, Health and Humanities Program and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.
For The Grange Prize 2012, the AGO and Aeroplan are partnering with a European country for the first time: the United Kingdom.
Why the UK? The region has a long history of invention and innovation in photography that continues to this day. In the 19th century alone, the UK clocked in a dizzying number of accomplishments that shaped the field. Sir John Herschel coined the terms “photography” as well as “negative” and “positive” to describe William Henry Fox Talbot’s early discoveries. Talbot invented the calotype in 1840, a paper negative precursor to the negative / positive process used until the advent of digital technologies. This new process prompted the collaboration of Scottish duo, David Octavius Hill, a painter, and Robert Adamson, a photographer, whose moody portraits are often cited as the first artistic achievements in the medium. In 1843, the botanist Anna Atkins published a group of cyanotypes of algae, the first book illustrated with photographs. Frederick Scott Archer developed collodion in 1848, an emulsion that significantly reduced exposure times.
The 1851 Exhibition of Works of Industry of all Nations (also known as the Crystal Palace exhibition) debuted many photographic innovations, including stereographic photography, which with its illusion of three-dimensionality became an indispensable 19th century entertainment (the ancestor of the Viewmaster). Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were both huge photophiles, which assured the medium’s popular appeal in the UK. In 1860 they commissioned John Jabez Edwin Mayall to make portraits of the Royal Family and allowed them to be widely disseminated, which fuelled the interest in images of well-known figures.
Roger Fenton’s views of the Crimean War in 1855 have often been described as the first war photographs. The South Kensington Museum presented the first ever exhibition of photography in a museum, organized by the Photographic Society of London, in 1858. Francis Frith founded a photographic publishing firm in 1859 – F. Frith & Co. – that quickly became the world’s largest, with a stock of more than 1 million photographs. James Clerk Maxwell laid the foundations for colour photography in 1861. Peter Henry Emerson was one of the first to publicly champion photography’s artistic possibilities in the 1880s, and The Linked Ring was founded in 1892 to forward those aims. Julia Margaret Cameron – great aunt of Virginia Woolf – remains the most well-known woman photographing in the 19th century, though the dramatic tableaux of Lady Clementina Hawarden and the whimsical photocollages produced by many Victorian ladies can’t be overlooked. And in 1904, London’s Daily Mirror became the first newspaper in the world to be illustrated entirely by photographs.
From this photographic bedrock, things have only accelerated in the 20th and 21st centuries, aided by the robust network of photographic societies, arts institutions, academic programs, festivals, and publications have flourished to support this activity, like the Victoria & Albert Museum, the National Media Museum and the Brighton Photo Biennial. Not to mention publications like the British Journal of Photography (established in 1854!), illustrated weekly Picture Post (1938–1957) and Photoworks, a magazine and commissioning agency, which have provided and continue to provide a range of outlets for photographers, thinkers and enthusiasts.
The photographs of Bill Brandt, Bert Hardy, Ian Berry and Don McCullin have reflected social conditions, at home and abroad, at war and at peace. Figures like Cecil Beaton, David Bailey, and Corinne Day all captured the spirit of their time in portraits and fashion photographs – Beaton in the 1920s and 1930s with the “Bright Young People” and beyond; Bailey the “Swinging London” of the 1960s; and in the 1990s, Day’s photographs of a young Kate Moss launched two careers and a whole new look.
After more than 40 years, Gilbert & George continue to make their riotous compositions, paeans to life, love, death and desire. Martin Parr continues to affectionately critique the British middle classes. Gillian Wearing continues to explore the disjunction between how we look and what we think, in photographs and films that are charming as well as haunting. And just last week, Paul Graham was awarded the prestigious Hasselblad Award for a lifetime of work, the first UK photographer to be so honoured.
All of this makes for an ideal moment to take a look at what’s happening in photography now in the UK and to discover the next generation, in dialogue with artists from Canada. The contrasts and similarities promise to deliver a new view on our contemporary moment.
By Sophie Hackett, Assistant Curator, Photography at the AGO and Lead Juror of The Grange Prize 2012.
Canadian and U.K. photography experts form nominating jury
TheArt Gallery of Ontario and Aeroplan will collaborate with the United Kingdom for The Grange Prize 2012. The Prize will bring together artists and curators from both countries to form the nominating jury, who will each bring forth a selection of artists from their home country for consideration.
Four visionary photographers, two each from Canada and the United Kingdom, will be selected by the jury to enter in the running to win Canada’s largest cash award for photography and the only major Canadian art prize whose winner is chosen by the public. In addition to the $50,000 awarded to the winner, the three remaining shortlisted artists receive an international residency and $5,000 each toward the creation of new work, bringing the total amount of cash granted to photographic artists to $65,000.
This year’s jurors are:
Sophie Hackett, assistant curator of photography at the AGO; her projects have included Rhythm of a True Space (2008) and Songs of the Future: Canadian Industrial Photographs, 1858 to Today (2011). In partnership with the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival in 2010, she commissioned Barbara Kruger to create an untitled installation for the front façade of the AGO, marking the first time it had been used as a site for art.
Sara Knelman, a writer and curator based in London, U.K.; she is also a PhD candidate at the Courtauld Institute of Art, where she researches photographic exhibition in mainstream art institutions in recent decades. Between 2006 and 2009, she was curator of contemporary art at the Art Gallery of Hamilton.
Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, a U.K.-based artist duo whose work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at The Photographers’ Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery in London, among other prominent international institutions. They are the recipients of the Vic Odden Award from the Royal Photographic Society, and are trustees of the Photographers’ Gallery and Photoworks.
Charlotte Cotton, who has held the positions of curator and department head of photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, curator of photographs at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, and head of programming at The Photographers’ Gallery in London. She is the author and editor of several books, including Then Things Went Quiet (2003), Guy Bourdin (2003) and The Photograph as Contemporary Art (2004).
“The AGO strives to create opportunities for the public to engage with art in meaningful ways. The Grange Prize gives our visitors, members and the international public a chance to participate in a dialogue about contemporary photography, and have a stake in the process,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, the AGO’s Director, and CEO. “The U.K. is well-known for its renowned photographers and holds a reputation as a global centre for contemporary art, and we’re pleased to partner with Aeroplan for a fifth year to foster this essential cultural exchange and showcase the work of four fine artists.”
“We are pleased to work with the AGO again on The Grange Prize and to help promote contemporary photography in Canada and around the world,” said Vince Timpano, President and CEO, Canada, Aimia. “We look forward to celebrating the works of talented Canadian and British artists and we encourage the public to participate and vote for their favourite photographer.”
The Grange Prize 2012 shortlist will be announced and online public voting will commence on Aug. 21, 2012. The AGO’s exhibition of work by the shortlisted artists opens Sept. 5, 2012 with a public launch party that evening. Throughout the course of the exhibition, AGO visitors will also have the opportunity to vote in person at the Gallery. The winner will be announced at a gala reception at the AGO in November.
The Grange Prize, now in its fifth year, was awarded to Indian photographer Gauri Gill in 2011; Canadian artist Kristan Horton in 2010, when the partner country was the U.S.; Mexican photographer Marco Antonio Cruz in 2009; and Winnipeg-based artist Sarah Anne Johnson in 2008, when the partner country was China.
Contemporary programming at the AGO is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.
The AGO acknowledges the generous support of its Signature Partners: American Express, Signature Partner of the Conservation Program; and Aeroplan, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program.
Aeroplan, Canada’s premier coalition loyalty program, is owned by Groupe Aeroplan Inc., doing business as Aimia a global leader in loyalty management. Aeroplan is a long-standing patron of the arts, with a history of supporting artists and arts initiatives across Canada. Of particular significance is the company’s work, in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario, to develop The Grange Prize for contemporary photography. Aeroplan is committed to fostering a long-term, international dialogue about this important art form. Aeroplan has also joined the AGO in a partnership as the Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program, supporting planned AGO activities to engage visitors with photography, including special lectures and tours.
ABOUT THE AGO
With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2008 the AGO was redesigned by renowned architect Frank Gehry, resulting in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights of the transformed complex include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore the unique surroundings. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creativity programs for families, youth and adults. Visit to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.
The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.
For more images and more information, please contact:
Join the Art Gallery of Ontario on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 11 a.m. for an online discussion about contemporary art.
“Why is contemporary art important?” If you’ve been to see Watch This Space you might have already answered this question by using the #contemporaryTO hashtag and posting to our first ever in-gallery Twitter Wall. We’ve had some truly excellent responses so far, and with so many amazing contemporary artists on display at the AGO right now it was a natural choice for the theme of March’s #ArtHour.
What: #ArtHour is a Twitter chat with a new art topic each month. We invite you to spend one hour each month thinking about and sharing what art really means to you. When: Thursday, February 9, 11:00 – 12:00 EST and then every second Thursday of the month. Where: On Twitter – Follow @AGOToronto for more information or search for the hashtag #ArtHour. We’ll also be posting the questions here on the blog. Who: #ArtHour is for everyone – Galleries and museums, arts professionals, artists and anyone interested in learning more and meeting other passionate art fans. Why: It’s a great, free way of meeting art fans from across the world. How: Starting at 11am we’ll be asking a series of questions around the month’s topic for you to answer, debate and discuss.
From 11am until 12.00pm EST on Thursday, March 8 we will be tweeting a question every 10 minutes using the hastag #ArtHour. Anyone can respond, also using the #ArtHour hashtag. What is a hashtag?
For example, we would tweet:
Q1 Why is contemporary art important? #ArtHour
And you could tweet back:
A1 Contemporary art is a lens through which to see the world we live in #ArtHour
Our March topic is CONTEMPORARY ART. Your favourite artists, the coolest shows, what we can be doing to support our local art scene and more.
We hope that you’ll help spread the word and join us for this great online event. For more information about #ArtHour please email email@example.com.
See you on Twitter, Thursday February 9, 11:00 – 12:00 EST
AND Check out all the amazing contemporary exhibitions at the AGO this Spring!
Israeli filmmaker and artist Yael Bartana is a rising star in the international art scene. Her film trilogy…And Europe Will Be Stunned raises questions about ideas of homeland and a sense of belonging. In the films — Mary Koszmary(Nightmares), Mur i Wieża(Wall and Tower) and Zamach(Assassination) — Bartana tests reactions to the unexpected return of the “long-unseen neighbour,” telling a story of the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland. The trilogy also challenges the viewer’s readiness to accept the other and the complexities of cultural integration in a culturally and politically unstable world. Learn more.
Canadian artist IAIN BAXTER& has made a career out of breaking rules and keeping viewers on their toes, and the AGO is inviting visitors to experience his intriguing body of work. Featuring 100 works, the exhibition offers the most comprehensive survey of BAXTER&’s career to date, comprising pioneering works of appropriation art, gallery-transforming installations, environmental art, and conceptually based photography. Learn more.
Generously supported by:
Leslie Gales & Keith Ray
The Steven & Michael Latner Families
Philip B. Lind & Ellen Roland
An exhibition that invites visitors to consider how the universal concept of space has inspired artists.Watch this Space brings together compelling works in a variety of media. Canadian and international artists are included in this exploration of the issues and ideas related to space — be it physical locations, psychological realms or the places that exist somewhere between the real and the imagined. The installation includes new acquisitions and longtime collection favourites such as Gerhard Richter’sScheune/Barn No. 549/1 and Ellsworth Kelly’s Blue White. Learn more.
Toronto Now is an ongoing series of contemporary art projects that puts the focus on Toronto artists and displays their work in the free, street-facing Young Gallery. The current installation NOW: A Collaborative Project by Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquetteguest curated by Katherine Dennis, reflects the artists’ interest in pressing Toronto issues and the tension between the rush of the average Torontonian’s current lifestyle and the benefit of being mindful of environmental, political and cultural subjects. Learn More
The Toronto Now series is generously supported by The Contemporary Circle
An interactive installation by local art heroes Team Macho, have transformed the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre Community Gallery into a fully functioning art studio, inviting visitors to occupy the space alongside the artists. The installation draws on themes brought forth in writer Northrop Frye’s Words with Power, along with ideas related to the history of artists working in collaboration, referencing the practices of General Idea and the Group of Seven, among others. Learn more.