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Archive: December, 2016

Pick up a paintbrush

December 12th, 2016

A study of a Lawren Harris painting by Hans Pellikaan.

Though the pull of Netflix and hibernation can be strong in January, don’t forget there are lots of indoor activities that can get your creative juices flowing. Don’t take our word for it though; we spoke to avid adult art class-goer Hans Pellikaan on why he’s become addicted to our courses.

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Commitment issues?

December 12th, 2016

Holiday party at your house? Want to wow with contemporary art, but don’t know where to start? Try before you buy with AGO Art Rental & Sales.

If you’ve considered purchasing artwork in the past, but don’t know where to start or are scared to invest in a piece that maybe you won’t adore in six months, AGO Art Rental & Sales is the perfect solution. With its curated selection of Canadian contemporary works, there is something to suit every taste and price range, with some of the best access to established and emerging artists in the country. Check out some of the newest selections in our collection below.
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Behind the scenes with the Sugar Plum Fairy

December 12th, 2016

Jillian Vanstone in The Nutcracker. Photo by Karolina Kuras

Remember when we worked with our friends at The National Ballet of Canada last summer?  The Dreamers Ever Leave You was an immersive ballet inspired by the works in our hit exhibition The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris. Performed in a gallery space here at the AGO, it was a pioneering mix of visual art and dance – and it was a hit!

Summer’s long gone, but now we have the magic of holiday season to get us feeling festive – and the Ballet has just the ticket. Its annual production of The Nutcracker opened at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts this past weekend, and it’s a feast for the senses.

We were lucky enough to sit down with one of the stars of the show, Principal Dancer Jillian Vanstone – otherwise known as the Sugar Plum Fairy – to hear what it’s like being the de facto queen of holiday spirit.

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Choir! Choir! Choir! is returning to the AGO!

December 6th, 2016

Choir!Choir!Choir! - David Bowie

Choir!Choir!Choir! salute to David Bowie at the AGO

Please note that this event is now sold out

Remember that spine-tingling rendition of David Bowie’s Space Oddity performed at the AGO last January that made headlines around the world?  Well, great news: C!C!C! is bookending 2016 by returning to the Gallery to create another unmatchable moment.

On Sunday, December 11 at 7 pm, C!C!C! invites you to raise your voice in support of 25 Days of Charity, its ambitious holiday campaign to fundraise for 25 vital organizations in Toronto and beyond – including the AGO.

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And the winner is…

December 5th, 2016

Aimia AGO Photography Prize

(L-R: Stephan Jost, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Vince Timpano, Adelina Vlas. Photo: AGO)

German artist Ursula Schulz-Dornburg is the winner of the 2016 AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize, the internationally renowned award for contemporary photography that recognizes Canadian and international artists. Chosen by public vote, she receives $50,000. Other artists on this year’s shortlist included Talia Chetrit (USA), Jimmy Robert (France) and Elizabeth Zvonar (Canada).

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Ready, set, SKETCH!

December 5th, 2016

‘Tis the season for giving! AGO staff and volunteers are collecting art supplies in support of SKETCH, just in time for the organization’s 20th anniversary.


Image Courtesy SKETCH

What better way to help a local organization celebrate its 20th anniversary than with an art supply drive? For the third year in a row, AGO staff and volunteers are reaching out into the community to share their holiday spirit during the annual AGO Gives Back holiday campaign. This year’s partner is SKETCH.

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Art! Camera! Action!

December 5th, 2016

Ready to be amazed?  The AGO is using new, state-of-the-art technology designed to show great art in a new light.

Film stills

Francis Alÿs In collaboration with Julien Devaux and Ajmal Maiwandi ‘REEL-UNREEL’ 2011 Kabul, Afghanistan Single-channel video projection 19:28 min, colour, sound Collection Art Gallery of Ontario Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner, New York/London, 2013. 2013/96 © 2016 Francis Alÿs. Photo: Arash Boostani

When the AGO decided to host Belgian-Mexican artist Francis Alÿs’ solo exhibition, A Story of Negotiation, we knew our decade-old audio/visual technology wouldn’t do his acclaimed video works justice. So, we turned to Panasonic Canada for expertise and the latest state-of-the-art visual projection and display equipment.

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“He was always Tony to us”

December 5th, 2016

A former studio assistant shares behind-the-scenes stories from the workshop of British sculptor Sir Anthony Caro


Anthony Caro in his studio © Barford Sculptures Limited Photo John Hammond. Courtesy Gagosian

In 1968, Patrick Cunningham was an Irish engineer, living and working in London for a small firm. That is, until the day Anthony Caro walked into his office carrying a sculpture. Six months later Patrick was working full time at Caro’s studio, a job he’s had ever since, even after Caro’s death in 2013 (he now helps install exhibitions of Caro’s work around the world). During his recent visit to Toronto to oversee the installation of the AGO’s upcoming exhibition Anthony Caro: Sculpture Laid Bare, we caught up with Patrick to get the inside scoop on Caro’s artistic process.

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