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Archive: January, 2016

Where to eat during Winterlicious 2016: FRANK Restaurant

January 31st, 2016

Calling all #YYZ foodies in search of the perfect (and Instagrammable) Winterlicious meal: Our Frank Gehry-designed kitchen and restaurant is serving up a series of fresh, inventive and mouthwatering prix-fixe courses ($25 lunch and $35 dinner). And the food isn’t the only feast for the eyes. FRANK features Douglas fir wood-panelled walls, modern Danish furniture, changing artwork by contemporary artists, and an installation by another noteworthy Frank — Frank Stella.

Below: Toronto’s own @amazerall chowed down at FRANK this Winterlicious and shared shots of his delectable eats.

#LiciousTO is on now til February 11, 2016. Make your FRANK reservation online or by phone at 416.979.6688, and share your meals with @agotoronto @frank_AGO. (Also on the table for one night only: A Winterlicious Evening inspired by Beijing avant-garde artist Song Dong.) 

 

Beet carpaccio salad in a coriander emulsion, with blackened clementine and dehydrated yogurt

Beet carpaccio salad in a coriander emulsion, with blackened clementine and dehydrated yogurt

 

Maple duck ham with crackling, celeriac, pickled blueberries, and sunchoke

Maple duck ham with crackling, celeriac, pickled blueberries, and sunchoke

 

Sea bream with Creole shrimp, grits, and tomato verjus

Sea bream with Creole shrimp, grits, and tomato verjus

 

 

Open lasagna with smoked Sicilian eggplant, mushroom Pugliese, and grana padano

Open lasagna with smoked Sicilian eggplant, mushroom Pugliese, and grana padano

 

 

Stout-braised short-ribs, with pierogi, mustard, cider kraut

Stout-braised short-ribs, with pierogi, mustard, and cider kraut

 

 

Pear & Le Rassembleu in a walnut sable

Pear & Le Rassembleu with crumbled walnut sable cookie

 

Take me to FRANK’s online reservation

One minute in Song Dong’s Beijing

January 29th, 2016

Beijing-based artist Song Dong is transforming the AGO’s Signy Eaton Gallery into a series of snaking walkways and small rooms that recall the communal courtyards of his childhood — courtyards that have all but disappeared from the city. Take a one-minute tour of the changing landscape that inspired Song Dong’s Communal Courtyard, opening January 30.

Highway to Hell: Conservator Sherry Phillips revisits the Trans Am Apocalypse No. 3

January 22nd, 2016

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(John Scott, Trans Am Apocalypse No. 3, 1998–2000, incised text on acrylic paint on a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 1980, approx.: 129 x 184 x 504 cm (50 13/16 x 72 7/16 x 198 7/16 in.)3300 lb. (1496.9 kg). Art Gallery of Ontario, gift of Chris Poulsen, 2007.)


You may not see it on the Gallery floor all the time, but we’re the proud keepers of John Scott’s 3,300lb. doomsday vehicle: the Trans Am Apocalypse No. 3. The artwork will be on loan to the Art Gallery of Hamilton for the exhibition Fearful Symmetry: The Art of John Scott, February 6 to May 15, 2016, marking the third venue for the touring exhibition of Scott’s work (after stops at the McMaster Museum of Art and Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell, Iowa). AGO Conservator Sherry Phillips shares her thoughts on getting the Trans Am ready for its latest reveal.

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Get ready for #MuseumSelfie Day – January 20, 2016

January 19th, 2016

ago_MuseumSelfieDay-web

Selfie lovers, come one, come all. On January 20, 2016, we’re inviting you — museum fans, curators, artists and more — to share your best shots for #MuseumSelfie day, a global social media celebration founded by CultureThemes’ Mar Dixon to showcase some of the world’s greatest collections, and to encourage people to visit and interact with art in person. (Things we like very much.)

How you can join
Snap a photo of yourself in front of your favourite artwork or collection in the Gallery.

Share it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using two hashtags: #MuseumSelfie #AGOToronto

Visit the Atrium (past Walker Court) to see your selfie art on display—we’ll be broadcasting a livefeed of your photos on TV screens!

Selfie Spots
AGO landmarks and works where inspiration might strike:

Live Feed of your #MuseumSelfies!

Please note: The Gallery does not allow the use of selfie sticks. Backpacks and oversized bags are not permitted in the Gallery; coat check is complimentary for these items.

 

What it sounds like when 500+ voices of Choir! Choir! Choir! lift up David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” in Walker Court.

January 18th, 2016

On January 10, David Bowie passed away at the age of 69, just a few days after releasing a new album. We were shocked and saddened to lose an artist who inspired us all; and we were warmed by your Starman memories and David Bowie is exhibition tributes. So on January 16, we teamed up with drop-in choral group Choir! Choir! Choir! to honour Bowie’s legacy with a one-of-a-kind performance of his legendary cosmic opus, Space Oddity. More than 550 people took their protein pills, put on their helmets, and gathered in the Gallery’s Walker Court to belt out the classic song in three-part harmony. It was emotional, surreal, and uplifting, and we saw this in the expression of every singer.

What we didn’t know at the time: the world was also listening. Our live Periscope broadcast was made a featured video on the streaming site, shared hundreds of times, gathered 90,000 views and over 1,000,000 likes, and caught the attention of Twitter VP Kirstine Stewart and Twitter CEO and Co-founder Jack Dorsey (to name a few). We’re so glad we were able to share this not only with Bowie fans in Toronto, but with Bowie fans across the globe. And we think Major Tom heard us.

Exciting changes are happening in the Thomson Collection of Canadian Art

January 10th, 2016

Curator Andrew Hunter with (left) Paul Emile Borduas, Beating of Wings at Bonaventure, 1954, oil on canvas, 96.5 x 118.9 cm, The Thomson Collection © Art Gallery of Ontario. (right) Alex Colville, Soldier and Girl at Station, 1953, glazed tempera on board, 40.6 x 61 cm, The Thomson Collection © Art Gallery of Ontario

Over the past few months, we’ve been re-installing the renowned Thomson Collection of Canadian Art, located on the second floor of the AGO. You may have noticed this work going on, and special signs on easels explaining the temporary closures. Marking the first re-installation of the Collection since its debut in 2008, this ambitious project is reconfiguring gallery spaces in a thoughtful and exciting way, introducing previously unseen works, and launching a new gallery in celebration of visionary collector and philanthropist Ken Thomson. The re-installation will be completed in the spring of 2016, and is a collaboration of the Thomson family and the AGO, led by our Fredrik S. Eaton Curator of Canadian Art, Andrew Hunter.

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Turner

January 6th, 2016

Charles Martin (1820-1906), Joseph Mallord William Turner, R.A. (1755-1851), 1849, Pencil and watercolour heightened with gum arabic on paper, 33.5 x 22.9 cm, Private Collection, Photo © Christie’s Images/Bridgeman Images

Master painter, insatiable traveller and… owner of tailless cats? Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 – 1851) was a giant in the history of British art, and also a bit of an eccentric. Learn more about the man behind the paintings on view at J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free (on now until January 31).

 

1 – Turner’s father was heavily involved with his son’s paintings

Turner kept his very successful business in the family. His dad, a former barber and wigmaker, lived with and worked for him for over 30 years, performing the duties of an artist’s assistant: grinding pigments and preparing and varnishing canvases. Turner was motivated by the knowledge that his work gave his father pleasure and pride.

 

2 – He liked a hearty drink (or eight)

The artist enjoyed the simple pleasures in life—and lots of local brew. He drank up to eight pints of rum and milk a day.

 

<em>Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth</em>, Exhibited 1842, Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856. Photography © Tate, London 2015.

Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth, Exhibited 1842, Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856. Photography © Tate, London 2015.

3 – He lashed himself to the mast of a ship in the middle of a storm

Turner loved to be in nature and strove to capture nature’s elemental, destructive forces. According to legend, he had sailors tie him to the mast of a boat during a major winter storm so he could witness it first-hand. Turner recounted: “I got the sailors to lash me to the mast to observe it; I was lashed for four hours, and I did not expect to escape, but I felt bound to record it if I did.” Visitors can experience the drama of that moment in his masterpiece Snow Storm: Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth, on view now.

 

4 – He wanted to see honest reactions to his work

Turner had a peephole cut into the wall of his showroom so he could discreetly observe visitors’ reactions to his paintings.

 

<em>Peace – Burial at Sea</em>, Exhibited 1842, Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856. Photography © Tate, London 2015.

Peace – Burial at Sea, Exhibited 1842, Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856. Photography © Tate, London 2015.

5 – Turner wiped tobacco juice, stale beer, snuff and more on his canvases

He tested odd combinations of watercolour and oil as well as new products, which were not always beneficial to his work. Sometimes he even used unusual materials like tobacco juice and stale beer—or spit and rubbed snuff on his work. One collector saw a maid sweeping up lost bits of paint off the floor as canvases cracked and flaked in response to Turner’s ceaseless trials. His paintings required restoration even during his lifetime!

 

6 – He preferred cats to dogs

Turner liked tailless cats — a lot — and was thought to own 7 of them.

 

<em>Fire at the Grand Storehouse of the Tower of London</em>, 1841, Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856. Photography © Tate, London 2015

Fire at the Grand Storehouse of the Tower of London, 1841, Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856. Photography © Tate, London 2015

 

7 – He never stopped working

Turner was extremely hardworking and prolific, producing more than 30,000 oil paintings, sketches, drawings and watercolours from age 12 to age 76, almost the end of his life. While travelling, Turner drew constantly in his sketchbooks, leading his colleagues to remark on his diligence. One artist, idling with a cigar in a gondola in Venice one evening, said he felt ashamed to see Turner “hard at work.” Another watched him sketching “continuously and rapidly” in a tiny book while aboard a steamship on Lake Constance near the Alps.

 

8 – Sophia Booth was his (secret) longtime companion

He kept his love affair with the widow Sophia Booth a secret for 18 years, living at times under an assumed name. They met when the artist stayed at her boarding house in a picturesque port on the Thames River. Turner was inspired by the view of sky, water and boats from her property, and his time there proved highly productive. Booth and Turner never married, and no known portrait of Booth survives.

 

9 – Dressing was not his forte

Despite being famous and wealthy in his lifetime, Turner never lost his simple manners, simple dress, and brusque humour. Turner was so badly dressed that when visiting his friend Louis-Philippe, the King of France, at his château at Eu in 1845, the painter had to borrow a women’s stocking to use as a bowtie.

 

<em>Light and Colour (Goethe’s Theory) – the Morning after the Deluge – Moses Writing the Book of Genesis</em>, Exhibited 1843, Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856. Photography © Tate, London 2015.

Light and Colour (Goethe’s Theory) – the Morning after the Deluge – Moses Writing the Book of Genesis, Exhibited 1843, Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856. Photography © Tate, London 2015.

 

10 – He spoke to the light

His last words on his deathbed were “The sun is God.” Throughout his career, the artist made no secret of his love of light. For Turner, light produced colour, sculpted form, created mood and revealed the infinite beauties and horrors of nature. Capturing it in both watercolour and oil was a lifelong challenge for the artist. To bring intensity to his oil paintings, Turner pioneered the use of white undercoating, which lent new brilliance to his colours.

You Can (Sonic) Dance If You Want To

January 5th, 2016

Are you one of the many Torontonians who resolved to interact with more avant-garde art in 2016? Head to Walker Court this January 5 to 8, where you can take a spin around the dancefloor with Berlin-based artist Haegue Yang’s Sonic Dance – Twin Brother.

Covered entirely in bells, this sound sculpture is also completely mobile; and we want you to gently set the sculpture in motion by steering it — a kind of dance that causes the bells to ring.

With the assistance of AGO staff, you can join in Sonic Dance – Twin Brother on the following dates:
Tuesday, January 5: 11 am – 2 pm
Wednesday, January 6: 5 – 8 pm
Thursday, January 7: 11 am – 2 pm
Friday, January 8: 11 am – 2 pm

Share your photos on social by tagging us @agotoronto!

About Haegue Yang
Drawing on literary sources and other research, Yang creates elegant, abstract installations that combine sensorial light, sound and scent effects with everyday materials such as venetian blinds and household appliances. Referencing the forced and voluntary movements of people across the globe, many of her works move, either by themselves or with the help of gallery visitors.

Sonic Dance – Twin Brother is part of Many things brought from one climate to another, a selection of the AGO’s acquisitions of contemporary art currently on display on Level 5.