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Kitty Scott on Betty Goodwin (Audio)

February 8th, 2011

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Recorded: Wednesday, November 17, 2010. Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 1:06:45

Betty Goodwin (1923-2008) explored collage, sculpture, printmaking, painting, assemblage and etching, but continually returned to drawing, and gained widespread recognition with her celebrated Swimmers series. Truly an ambassador for art, she represented Canada at the leading international events—Tokyo International Print Biennial, 1974; Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, 1975; São Paulo Biennial, 1989; and Venice Biennale, 1995. Goodwin’s works may be found in major public and private collections across the country.

Kitty Scott is director of Visual Arts and the Walter Phillips Gallery at The Banff Centre. Scott was curator of contemporary art at the National Gallery of Canada from 2000 to 2006. In August 2006 she was appointed chief curator of the Serpentine Gallery.  She has curated exhibitions across Canada in Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Toronto, and internationally in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. She currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia, University of Ottawa, and York University, and as visiting faculty at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

Generously supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
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Richard Tuttle on Agnes Martin (Audio)

October 15th, 2010

Richard Tuttle in conversation with Michelle Jacques, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art, and Georgiana Uhlyarik, Assistant Curator, Canadian Art.

Richard Tuttle was born in Rahway, New Jersey in 1941, and lives and works in New Mexico and New York. Although most of Tuttle’s prolific artistic output since he began his career in the 1960s has taken the form of three-dimensional objects, he commonly refers to his work as drawing rather than sculpture, emphasizing the diminutive scale and idea-based nature of his practice. He has had one-person exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; ICA Philadelphia; Kunsthaus Zug, Switzerland; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela; and the Museu Serralvesin, Porto, Portugal, and a 2005 retrospective at SFMoMA. Richard Tuttle was a close friend of Agnes Martin until her death in 2004.

Agnes Martin was born March 22, 1912, in Maklin, Saskatchewan, Canada, and grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia. She came to the United States in 1932 and lived in Washington and Oregon until 1940. Martin lived and taught periodically in New York in the 1940s and early 1950s. In 1957, she settled in Coenties Slip in lower Manhattan, where her friends and neighbors included Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, and Jack Youngerman. In 1958, her first solo show took place at Section Eleven of the Betty Parsons Gallery, New York. By the late 1950s, Martin’s landscape and figurative watercolors, surrealistic oils, and three-dimensional sculptural objects were supplanted by her highly simplified abstractions. These mature works, distinguished by square formats, grids, or lines drawn on canvas and monochromatic color with subtle variations in hue, have been an important influence on younger artists.

This talk is presented in association with the exhibition, At Work: Hesse, Goodwin, Martin and is generously supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Recorded: October 13, 2010 @ Baillie Court, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 1:34:52

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Eva Hesse: Studiowork (Video)

October 14th, 2010

Eva Hesse: Studiowork, a solo presentation of the work of German-born American artist Eva Hesse, a major figure in post-war art, is on display at the AGO for a limited time. It is the result of new research by renowned Hesse scholar Professor Briony Fer and is curated by Fer and Barry Rosen, Director of The Estate of Eva Hesse.

Throughout her career, Eva Hesse produced a large number of small, experimental works alongside her large-scale sculpture. These objects, the so-called test pieces, were made in a wide range of materials, including latex, wire-mesh, sculp-metal, wax and cheesecloth. This exhibition proposes that rather than simply technical explorations, these small objects radically put into question conventional notions of what sculpture is. Re-naming them studioworks rather than test pieces, the exhibition and the accompanying major publication offer a timely new interpretation of Hesses historical position, as well as highlighting her relevance for contemporary art now.

This short film, created by the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, is an introduction to the exhibition by curator Briony Fer.

Lucy Lippard on Eva Hesse (Audio)

October 5th, 2010

"even if you didn’t know Eva, you’d know more about her than you realized from looking at her work. Because you’ve been connected somehow. That’s one of the beautiful things about her work is that it does really reach out and make a connection." – Lucy Lippard

Lucy R. Lippard is a writer, activist, and curator, and early champion of feminist art. A friend to Eva Hesse, Lippard wrote a monograph on the artist in 1976 that remains an essential text.

Lippard is the author of more than twenty books on contemporary art and culture, including The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicultural Society (1997) and On the Beaten Track: Tourism, Art and Place (1999). Her anthology of texts documenting the early years of Conceptual Art, Six Years: The Dematerialisation of the Art Object, was published in 1973 and is required reading for any student of contemporary art.

Recorded: Tuesday, September 28, Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 1:06:17

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Generously supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
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At Work: Hesse.Martin.Goodwin

September 22nd, 2010

The fourth floor of the AGO is complete.  The Gallery is proud to present At Work, three linked yet unique exhibitions shown under one title.

Just to recap, the exhibtion explores very particular aspects of the remarkable work of three major international artists: Eva Hesse (1936–1970), Agnes Martin (1912–2004) and Betty Goodwin (1923–2008). 

While their artistic vocabularies are diverse, presented together, the installation tells the compelling story of the labour of art and provides new insights into these artists’ dedicated and focused work in the studio.

Eva Hesse Studiowork, 1969

Courtesy of The Estate of Eva Hesse. Photograph by Abby Robinson, New York

Eva Hesse: Studiowork is a rare opportunity for the city of Toronto to see fifty of the artist’s small “test” pieces, and to examine how the artists working method in the studio informed her larger, finished sculptures.  

Bent Figure with Megaphone, 1988

Gift of Ron Kaplansky, 1996 © 1996 ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO

Betty Goodwin: Work Notes features nearly 100 of the artist’s sketchbooks alongside archival objects and finished works from the AGO’s permanent collection.  The exhibtion explores Goodwin’s approach to working through ideas and imagery in the studio.

The Rose, 1964

Purchased with assistance from Wintario © Art Gallery of Ontario

The 3rd and final piece of At Work, and an incredible opportunity for the AGO, is Agnes Martin: Work Ethic.  Featuring The Islands, a monumental painting in twelve parts created in 1979 in the artist’s studio in New Mexico, this remarkable work allows an unprecedented opportunity to explore the subtleties of Martin’s artistic vocabulary and her remarkable commitment to the work of painting. Also included are works from the AGO’s permanent collection.

At Work is on view from September 22, 2010 to January 2, 2011. 

Eva Hesse: Studiowork is organized by The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, in collaboration with Camden Arts Centre, London; Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Agnes Martin: Work Ethic is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, with work on loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Betty Goodwin: Work Notes is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario. Generously supported by smART women

Sneak-Peak: Eva Hesse.Studiowork

September 10th, 2010

Courtesy of University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, gift of Helen Hesse Charash, 1979. Photograph by Abby Robinson, New York

We’re one step closer! September 22nd is fast approaching and we can’t wait to unveil the entire At Work show. In the mean time, we’ve installed Eva Hesse: Studiowork, the 2nd of 3 shows in this unique, three-part exhibtion. 

Organized by The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, and curated by Briony Fer and Barry Rosen, this show brings together fifty of the artist’s small “test” pieces to examine, for the first time, how Hesse’s working method in the studio informed her larger sculptures.

This is a rare and remarkable opportunity for Toronto audiences to examine a newly discovered aspect of Hesse’s work, and to consider her ongoing relevance to current issues in contemporary art practice. 

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Eva Hesse: Studiowork is organized by The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, in collaboration with Camden Arts Centre, London; Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

 

Sneak-Peak: Betty Goodwin.Work Notes

September 3rd, 2010

Promised gift of the artist to the Art Gallery of Ontario. Courtesy of Craig Boyko, Art Gallery of Ontario. © 2010 Gaétan Charbonneau

As you know, this fall the fourth floor of the AGO will feature three linked yet unique exhibitions presented under one title: At Work , showcasing the works of renowned artists Eva Hesse, Betty Goodwin and Agnes Martin.

The installation is underway and coming along great!  While the Gallery anxiously awaits September 22, to unveil the entire exhibtion, visitors are invited to experience the 1st of the 3 show – Betty Goodwin: Work Notes

Curated by Georgiana Uhlyarik, the show features nearly 100 of the artist’s sketchbooks — a promised gift to the AGO’s special collections. These documents are shown alongside archival objects and finished works by the artist, in an exploration of  her approach to working through ideas and imagery in the studio.

Check out the sneak-peak and let us know what you think!

 Betty Goodwin: Work Notes is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario. Generously supported by smART women

Work in Progress: See you at the show!

August 27th, 2010

Kendra Ainsworth is a Masters candidate in Museum Studies at the University of Toronto, and is an Interpretive Planning intern at the AGO.

Well, the time has come for my internship here at the AGO to draw to a close, which unfortunately means that my blog posts about the upcoming exhibition At Work: Hesse Goodwin, Martin will have to end also. But don’t worry, you’ll only have to wait a few short weeks before the exhibit opens, and you can see first hand everything I have been writing about!

With this blog, and with the show, we wanted to focus on the hard work that is involved in any artistic endeavour, whether it is painting, sculpting, writing, or creating an exhibit. I hope you have enjoyed hearing about the amazing work of Eva Hesse, Betty Goodwin and Agnes Martin, and about what goes on behind the scenes here at the AGO. I know I have had a great time learning about, working on, and writing about this exhibition, and I hope I have been able to communicate some of that excitement to you! I look forward to seeing you all when the exhibition opens on September 22nd.

Work in Progress: Getting to know Agnes Martin

August 20th, 2010

Agnes Martin was another prolific and dedicated artist whose work will be featured alongside Eva Hesse and Betty Goodwin’s in the upcoming exhibition At Work. Although born in Saskatchewan in 1912, Martin spent most of her life in the US after moving there as a teenager. Her time studying, living and working in the American Southwest greatly influenced her as a person and as an artist.

A deeply spiritual artist influenced by the Eastern philosophical traditions of Taoism and Buddhism, Martin wanted her work to represent the sublime. For her, art was about happiness, a happiness that comes from the perception of universal beauty in the world. Believing that this beauty existed in the mind, rather than in the physical world of objects, Martin renounced explicit connections to the material world in her painting by using simple lines and grids, and limiting her use of colour. While her paintings can be seen to refer to the natural world in their titles (The Rose, The Islands) and in their forms (lines perhaps representing the horizon, grids the division of farmers fields) Martin did not wish to dictate the interpretation of her work, instead wanting the viewer to come to terms with their own impressions of and feelings about her paintings. In keeping with that thought, listen to her speak for herself in this great interview:

Kendra Ainsworth is a Masters student in Museum Studies at the University of Toronto, and an Interpretive Planning intern at the AGO.

Work in Progress: Getting to know Betty Goodwin

August 13th, 2010

I introduced you to some of the reading and research I have been doing on the life and art of Eva Hesse, and this week I ‘d like to do the same for Betty Goodwin. Goodwin is one of Canada’s most acclaimed artists of this past century, and for good reason. In her five decade long career, she worked and experimented with a variety of media (drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture) with remarkable determination and dedication.

Born in Montreal in 1923, Betty Goodwin had a talent and passion for art at a young age. Her early work consisted of still life and landscapes paintings, but in the sixties she focused more on portraits and figures. However, one of the major developments in her career came in the late sixties when she began to study etching, and eventually created her own innovation on the etching process. This resulted in some of her most well-known works, namely her ‘vest’ series.

Goodwin is known for creating series of works that have recurring images and motifs, and in At Work, you will get to see the process of how she developed and reworked these ideas and themes through the juxtaposition of her notebooks with her finished pieces. Both the themes and images Goodwin used in her work, and the fact that they are continually reiterated, suggest a focus on ideas of memorialization and mourning. Goodwin herself wrote that “there is something else, something more remote than the memory of objects, that I wish to attain. I mean a record of feelings and sensations. Everybody has histories of this kind, whether they know it or not. But I don’t want to relate my history through words.”

If you’re interested in finding out a bit more about Betty Goodwin, I would recommend taking a look at this catalogue.

Kendra Ainsworth is a Masters student in Museum Studies at the University of Toronto, and an Interpretive Planning intern at the AGO.