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Praise for the gritty side of Impressionism

May 6th, 2019

Claude Monet, Les déchargeurs de charbon, 1875. Oil on canvas, 55 x 66 cm. Musée d’Orsay, Paris. © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY. Photo: Patrice Schmidt

The train has officially left the station. This past weekend saw the final days of the AGO’s groundbreaking exhibition Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and more. With the doors now closed and the masterpieces on their way back to lending museums and collections around the world, the praise for Impressionism is still buzzing!

After seeing the exhibition, critics at the Toronto Star called Impressionism in the Age of Industry “a hit” and a “phenomenal and enlightening exhibit that promises to change the way people see the Impressionists.” High praise for the first major AGO exhibition curated by Dr. Caroline Shields, the AGO’s Assistant Curator of European Art.

Dr. Shields was also recognized in The Globe and Mail, which called the exhibition “enticing…” “fabulous…” and a “fine curatorial achievement.”

Looking at the parallels the exhibition draws between Paris in the 1870s and Toronto today, Artsy called the show “a product of its time” noting that it “adds a complexity to a major art movement… that resonates with our own age of industry and global warming.” Echoing these thoughts, Toronto Star columnist Shawn Micallef wrote about the similarities between Toronto and Paris, saying “this exhibition shows that we’re not the first city to deal with rapid change.”

Taking a lighter view of the Parisian connection, Fashion Magazine asks “Who among us would refuse a quick time-travelling vacation to turn-of-the-century Paris?” (We sure wouldn’t). While Nuvo Magazine mentions the “sense of movement, motion, anxiety, and exhilaration” captured throughout the exhibition.

Visitors to the exhibition had their own thoughts, sharing some of their best selfies on Instagram using #ImpressionismAGO. Take a look at some of our favourites.

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