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Archive: October, 2016

A man and his monsters

October 25th, 2016



A selection from Guillermo del Toro’s At Home with Monsters, courtesy the AGO and Ensight Editions. Photo: Josh White

For centuries, we have been fascinated with monsters, witchcraft and the occult. Do otherworldly creatures really exist?

For famed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, the answer is an emphatic yes. Del Toro not only believes in these creatures, he shares a special affinity for them. As he writes in the exhibition catalogue Guillermo del Toro, At Home with Monsters, “monsters are, to this day, true family to me.”

This Halloween, pick up a copy of del Toro’s fully illustrated catalogue online or at shopAGO. The book was created to accompany the highly anticipated exhibition Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters, coming to the AGO in September 2017.

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Mystical Landscapes gets the gala treatment

October 24th, 2016

Mystical Landscapes Gala

Mystical Landscapes Gala. Photo: AGO

On October 15, the AGO presented a dazzling opening gala in celebration of our latest ground-breaking exhibition Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh and more.

Guests got an exclusive sneak peek of the exhibition and experienced a custom menu, magical entertainment and unforgettable art all inspired by three key artists in the show Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and Emily Carr. The star of the night was a custom projection by Derooted creative technologies and FireDog Creative, which brought Walker Court alive with the magic of van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone at Arles.

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Choir! Choir! Choir! hits Art Toronto

October 17th, 2016



Photo by Joseph Fuda

Choir! Choir! Choir! has come a long way since its inception as a weekly drop-in, a no-commitment singing event, back in February, 2011. Founded by Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman, the group caught international attention last winter when it performed Space Oddity at the AGO in tribute to David Bowie – skyrocketing to the top of various social media trending lists and winning it a concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall alongside Debbie Harry, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Stipe, and The Flaming Lips.. C!C!C! brings its inimitable style to Art Toronto’s Opening Night Preview on October 27, so we caught up with Nobu for a quick chat.
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Meet Walter Scott, AGO Artist in Residence

October 17th, 2016



Walter Scott, courtesy the artist

Walter Scott, an interdisciplinary artist working with writing, illustration, performance and sculpture, is the AGO’s Artist in Residence until November 30.

Comics are a key element of his practice. In 2011 while living in Montreal, he began a comic book series, Wendy, exploring the story of a fictional young woman living in the city, who aspires to global success and art stardom but whose dreams are perpetually derailed.

Original drawings from Wendy are on display on Level 1 in the Walter Trier Gallery until December 12 (free with admission). Walter has also invited visitors to create their own comics in the AGO’s Community Gallery in the Concourse (Lower Level).

Based on research in the AGO’s archives, Walter is writing fictions around the works in the collection to create new performances and installations.

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Want to channel your inner Emily Carr? Join an AGO art class!

October 17th, 2016



Always wanted to learn how to take better photos? How about chilling out in shavasana in a beautiful and serene setting with your baby by your side? Secretly wonder if your child is the next van Gogh?

We have the answer: sign yourself or your kids up for an AGO art class or yoga workshop. You’ll be inspired and relaxed, and they’ll have beautiful new artwork to put on the fridge (or give to grandparents on their next visit).

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The unknown genius of Mystical Landscapes

October 17th, 2016


Charles-Marie Dulac, Auxilium Christianorum Jesu Refucium Nostrum, plate VIII from Le Cantique des Créatures, 1894, lithograph on wove paper, 50 x 64.8 cm, ©2016 Art Gallery of Ontario, Purchased as a Gift of the Marvin Gelber Fund, 1997 97/179.10.

Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh and more features iconic works by famous painters, from van Gogh to Munch. But how often do we get to encounter the work of completely unknown artists, interspersed amongst the stars? Frenchman Charles-Marie Dulac (1866-98), largely forgotten till recently, is one of those gifted artists about to experience a much-deserved revival, with more than 30 of his works about to go on display. Described in his own day as the most mystical artist of his generation, Dulac warrants a key place in an exhibition that explores the search for spiritual fulfillment in nature.

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Visitors get their dance on in Theaster Gates: How to Build a House Museum

October 17th, 2016


Theaster Gates: How to Build a House Museum, installation shot (detail) ©Theaster Gates, 2016

Alive with the sounds of house music, video, sculpture and painting, How to Build a House Museum proposes new ways of honouring and remembering Black experience and creativity. One of the most exciting aspects of this exhibition, open until October 30, has been the invitation extended to visitors to make the space come alive by dancing. “House music is about the body,” Gates explained to media back in July. “If you’re going to achieve ecstasy, you’ve got to do the work.”

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The making of an exhibition: a long mystical journey

October 10th, 2016

Monet Water Lillies

Claude Monet: detail of Water Lilies (Nymphéas), 1907. 80.98 x 92.07. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Gift of Mrs. Harry C. Hanszen. Courtesy Bridgeman Images

Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh and more is one of the AGO’s most ambitious projects to date. Ever wondered how an exhibition of this scale is put together?

For those on the outside of art museums, exhibitions may seem to materialize by magic, but the truth is they take the work of many people and years of research and planning. Here’s a bit of the back story to Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh and more, one of the AGO’s most ambitious projects ever.

Five years ago, Katharine Lochnan, the AGO’s Senior Curator of International Exhibitions, began to notice that many artists around 1900 were caught up in a quest for mystical experiences in nature, something that no one had previously explored. The more she looked, the more artists and paintings she encountered that supported her hunch. Read the rest of this entry »

More than just a party: Art Toronto’s Opening Night Preview

October 10th, 2016

What do you get when you mix amazing contemporary art, artists and art lovers in a cool, buzzy atmosphere? An opportunity for the AGO to acquire something special, like Seth’s Death of Jumbo.


Art Toronto 2015, courtesy the AGO

Every October AGO curators have the opportunity to add to the Gallery’s collection at Art Toronto, Canada’s international contemporary and modern art fair. The fair launches annually with an Opening Night Preview, the not-to-be-missed opening party in support of the AGO. Party guests are the first to find out (and check out) what the AGO has acquired.

This year’s event takes place on October 27, 2016 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The fair continues over the weekend from October 28-31.

What kind of art gets chosen? Read the rest of this entry »