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Coming soon: Matthew Barney’s DRAWING RESTRAINT 2, 6 and 17

April 8th, 2014

We’re excited to announce that Matthew Barney’s DRAWING RESTRAINT 2, 6 and 17 from his acclaimed Drawing Restraint series will be on view at the AGO from May 31 to Sept. 28, 2014. Taking place on the fourth floor of the AGO’s contemporary tower, the exhibition of these videos is organized in conjunction with the Luminato Festival 2014. Barney is renowned internationally for his provocative and richly visual sequences of sculpture, video and performance. Elaborate and mysterious, projects such as The CREMASTER Cycle (1994-2001) – a series of five feature-length films – weave mythological narratives and art-historical references.

DRAWING RESTRAINT (1987-present) is a significant and long-term project for Barney in which he proposes art-making as parallel to athletic training: the development of form occurs through resistance. Begun while still a student at Yale, DRAWING RESTRAINT shows the influence of Barney’s background as an athlete and model and his intent to foreground the physical body and its tensions in a studio practice. The complete series, DRAWING RESTRAINT 1-17, now comprises drawings, sculpture, photographs and video works emerging from his self-imposed and increasingly complex obstacles and scenarios. Considered together, DRAWING RESTRAINT forms an ongoing proposition for the harnessing of human impulses and drives into a desired output, artistic or otherwise. It demonstrates the underpinnings of Barney’s work, in which the body plays a central role and ritualistic processes of creation are explored through manifold materials, settings and personas.

The earliest work in the series, DRAWING RESTRAINT 1-6 (1987-1989), shows simple studio experiments, where Barney attempts to mark the ceiling and the walls while bouncing on a tilted trampoline or tethered at the thighs with bungee cords. From the 1990s onwards, he began to introduce the spectacular cinematic narratives for which he is best known. DRAWING RESTRAINT 17 (2010), filmed in Switzerland, is a two-channel video bearing Barney’s signature high production value and allegorical storytelling. Usually, in this series, Barney subjects his own body to physical tests; here for the first time, the protagonist is an athletic young Swiss woman, while Barney now plays the removed role of the established artist.

About the artist
Matthew Barney was born in 1967 in San Francisco. Since 1991, his work has been presented worldwide. His most recent project, River of Fundament, is featured in a major new exhibition at Haus der Kunst, Munich, opening March 2014. Barney’s many notable solo exhibitions include: Prayer Sheet with the Wound and the Nail at Schaulager, Basel (2010); Drawing Restraint at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2008) and Serpentine Gallery, London (2007); and The CREMASTER Cycle at the Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; and Artangel, London (2002). Barney was the recipient of the Europa 2000 Prize at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993 and the Hugo Boss Prize in 1996. He lives and works in New York.


On June 7, 2014, join us for Meet the Artist: Matthew Barney, when he will be in conversation with Luminato Festival Artist Director Jorn Weisbrodt and our curator of modern and contemporary art, Kitty Scott.

Have Your Say about Public Art: April #ArtHour with co-host Hyperallergic

April 2nd, 2012

Public Art outside the AGO: Moore, Henry, British, Large Two Forms,1966 - 1969, bronze, 386.0 x 610.0cm, purchase from the artist, 1973 Photo by Matthew Plexman

Join the Art Gallery of Ontario and New York art blog Hyperallergic on Thursday,  April 12, 2012 at 11 a.m.  for an hour-long online discussion about public art. 

Art in public spaces affects all of us. From huge government-mandated art installations to politically-charged intervention art, work that appears in public spaces has the power to jolt us from our daily routine and ask us to see the world differently.  What is public art?

We’ll be joined on Twitter by co-host Hyperallergic to ask a series of questions related to the theme of public art. We can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this subject.

The person who contributes the most to the conversation will win a night for two at a luxury Toronto hotel and a pair of tickets to visit the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.  

Nice To Tweet You

HOW TO TAKE PART

What: #ArtHour is a Twitter chat with a new art topic each month. We invite you to spend one hour each month thinking about and sharing what art really means to you.
When: Thursday April 12, 11:00 – 12:00 EST and then every second Thursday of the month.
Where: On Twitter – Follow @AGOToronto and @hyperallergic  for more information or search for the hashtag #ArtHour. We’ll also be posting the questions here on the blog. You can follow along using Tweetchat by using the #ArtHour hashtag.
Who: #ArtHour is for everyone –  Galleries and museums, arts professionals, artists and anyone interested in learning more and meeting other passionate art fans.
Why: It’s a great, free way of meeting art fans from across the world.
How: Starting at 11am we’ll be asking a series of questions around the month’s topic for you to answer, debate and discuss.

From 11am until 12.00pm EST on Thursday, April 12 @agotoronto and @hyperallergic will be tweeting a question every 10 minutes using the hastag #ArtHour. Anyone can respond, also using the #ArtHour hashtag. What is a hashtag?

For example, we would tweet:

Q1 What was the last piece of public art you saw that made you stop and think? #ArtHour

And you could tweet back:

A1 I loved John Locke’s phone booth hack http://ow.ly/a1Scc #ArtHour

Our April topic is PUBLIC ART.

We hope that you’ll help spread the word and join us for this great online event. For more information about #ArtHour please email holly_knowlman@ago.net.

See you on Twitter,  Thursday April 12,  11:00 – 12:00 EST 

 

Artist IAIN BAXTER& talks about key works in new exhibition (videos)

March 31st, 2012

Check out these video clips of artist IAIN BAXTER& talking about some of the art that you will see when you visit IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. For 50 years BAXTER& has been radically redefining the role of the artist, integrating photography, installation, sculpture, painting, drawing and performative aspects into his work. This exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958–2011, invites visitors to become collaborators, by engaging with the artist and his work.

In 2005 BAXTER& legally added an “&” to his name, reflecting his collaborative approach to art and his fundamental belief that art requires a strong connection with the viewer. “Life,” says BAXTER&, “seems to be about ands. After we leave this life and this planet, only an & remains.”

Ecology and the environment are key themes in this exhibition.

1. Zero Emissions


IAIN BAXTER& (Canadian, born 1936) Zero Emissions, 2008 taxidermied animals, car exhaust pipes, and painted metal C-clamps dimensions variable Collection of the artist Photo: Art Gallery of Ontario ©2012 IAIN BAXTER&

IAIN BAXTER& (Canadian, born 1936) Zero Emissions, 2008 taxidermied animals, car exhaust pipes, and painted metal C-clamps dimensions variable Collection of the artist Photo: Art Gallery of Ontario ©2012 IAIN BAXTER&

2. Paris Beauty Spots

Iain Baxter (Canadian, born 1936) Reflected Paris Beauty Spots (Louvre), 1980 14 large-format Polaroid photographs 77.5 x 55.9 cm each Purchased 1985 with funds provided by the Alberta 1980’s Endowment Fund From the University of Lethbridge Art Collection Photo: Jane Edmundson, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery ©2012 IAIN BAXTER&

Iain Baxter (Canadian, born 1936) Reflected Paris Beauty Spots (Louvre), 1980 14 large-format Polaroid photographs 77.5 x 55.9 cm each Purchased 1985 with funds provided by the Alberta 1980’s Endowment Fund From the University of Lethbridge Art Collection Photo: Jane Edmundson, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery ©2012 IAIN BAXTER&

3. Vacuum form works

Iain Baxter (Canadian, born 1936) Landscape with One Tree and Three Clouds, 1965 acrylic paint on vacuum-formed plastic 81.3 x 95.9 x 6.5 cm Gift of David P. Silcox and Linda Intaschi, 1990 Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto Photo: Art Gallery of Ontario ©2012 IAIN BAXTER&

Iain Baxter (Canadian, born 1936) Landscape with One Tree and Three Clouds, 1965 acrylic paint on vacuum-formed plastic 81.3 x 95.9 x 6.5 cm Gift of David P. Silcox and Linda Intaschi, 1990 Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto Photo: Art Gallery of Ontario ©2012 IAIN BAXTER&

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 is open at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 03 – August 12, 2012
Take the Ampersand Challenge on Flickr and win tickets to see IAIN Baxter& every week until the show closes

 

Why is contemporary art important? Join us on Twitter and let us know!

March 7th, 2012

Nice To Tweet You

Join the Art Gallery of Ontario on Thursday,  March 8, 2012 at 11 a.m.  for an online discussion about contemporary art.

“Why is contemporary art important?” If you’ve been to see Watch This Space you might have already answered this question by using the #contemporaryTO hashtag and posting to our first ever in-gallery Twitter Wall. We’ve had some truly excellent responses so far, and with so many amazing contemporary artists on display at the AGO right now it was a natural choice for the theme of March’s #ArtHour.

What: #ArtHour is a Twitter chat with a new art topic each month. We invite you to spend one hour each month thinking about and sharing what art really means to you.
When: Thursday, February 9, 11:00 – 12:00 EST and then every second Thursday of the month.
Where: On Twitter – Follow @AGOToronto for more information or search for the hashtag #ArtHour. We’ll also be posting the questions here on the blog.
Who: #ArtHour is for everyone –  Galleries and museums, arts professionals, artists and anyone interested in learning more and meeting other passionate art fans.
Why: It’s a great, free way of meeting art fans from across the world.
How: Starting at 11am we’ll be asking a series of questions around the month’s topic for you to answer, debate and discuss.

From 11am until 12.00pm EST on Thursday, March 8 we will be tweeting a question every 10 minutes using the hastag #ArtHour. Anyone can respond, also using the #ArtHour hashtag. What is a hashtag?

For example, we would tweet:

Q1 Why is contemporary art important? #ArtHour

And you could tweet back:

A1 Contemporary art is a lens through which to see the world we live in #ArtHour

Our March topic is CONTEMPORARY ART. Your favourite artists, the coolest shows, what we can be doing to support our local art scene and more.

We hope that you’ll help spread the word and join us for this great online event. For more information about #ArtHour please email holly_knowlman@ago.net.

See you on Twitter,  Thursday February 9,  11:00 – 12:00 EST 

 

AND Check out all the amazing contemporary exhibitions at the AGO this Spring!

 

Yael Bartana: …And Europe Will Be Stunned

Israeli filmmaker and artist Yael Bartana is a rising star in the international art scene. Her film trilogy…And Europe Will Be Stunned raises questions about ideas of homeland and a sense of belonging. In the films – Mary Koszmary (Nightmares), Mur i Wieża (Wall and Tower) and Zamach (Assassination) — Bartana tests reactions to the unexpected return of the “long-unseen neighbour,” telling a story of the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland. The trilogy also challenges the viewer’s readiness to accept the other and the complexities of cultural integration in a culturally and politically unstable world. Learn more.

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958–2011

Canadian artist IAIN BAXTER& has made a career out of breaking rules and keeping viewers on their toes, and the AGO is inviting visitors to experience his intriguing body of work. Featuring 100 works, the exhibition offers the most comprehensive survey of BAXTER&’s career to date, comprising pioneering works of appropriation art, gallery-transforming installations, environmental art, and conceptually based photography. Learn more.

Generously supported by:
Leslie Gales & Keith Ray
Rosamond Ivey
The Steven & Michael Latner Families
Philip B. Lind & Ellen Roland

Watch this Space: Contemporary Art from the AGO Collection

An exhibition that invites visitors to consider how the universal concept of space has inspired artists.Watch this Space brings together compelling works in a variety of media. Canadian and international artists are included in this exploration of the  issues and ideas related to space — be it physical locations, psychological realms or the places that exist somewhere between the real and the imagined. The installation includes new acquisitions and longtime collection favourites such as Gerhard Richter’sScheune/Barn No. 549/1 and Ellsworth Kelly’s Blue WhiteLearn more.

Toronto Now

Toronto Now is an ongoing series of contemporary art projects that puts the focus on Toronto artists and displays their work in the free, street-facing Young Gallery. The current installation NOW: A Collaborative Project by Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette guest curated by Katherine Dennis, reflects the artists’ interest in pressing Toronto issues and the tension between the rush of the average Torontonian’s current lifestyle and the benefit of being mindful of environmental, political and cultural subjects. Learn More

The Toronto Now series is generously supported by The Contemporary Circle

Team Macho: Axis Mundi

An interactive installation by local art heroes Team Macho, have transformed the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre Community Gallery into a fully functioning art studio, inviting visitors to occupy the space alongside the artists. The installation draws on themes brought forth in writer Northrop Frye’s Words with Power, along with ideas related to the history of artists working in collaboration, referencing the practices of General Idea and the Group of Seven, among others. Learn more.

NOW: A Collaborative Project by Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette

March 7th, 2012

By Beth Corbett, Communications Intern

“Come on in, you’re open,” reads the cheery welcome at the front desk of the NOW Service Bureau, part of the AGO’s current Toronto Now exhibition NOW: A Collaborative Project by Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette. Enter the Service Bureau and experience Martindale and Paquette’s Do It Yourself agency, meant to challenge the hurried pace of life and encourage meaningful thought on pressing Toronto issues. The Post NOW wall provides a forum for sharing ideas, asking questions such as “How can you affect change in your city?”

The artists were brought together by guest curator Katherine Dennis, and the exhibition incorporates elements from their design, graphic arts, graffiti and street art backgrounds. Sean Martindale, who has an MFA from OCAD University and graduated from Emily Carr University’s design program, is known for his street art interventions such as his “poster planters” in Kensington Market and sidewalk planter interventions. Pascal Paquette practices graffiti writing under the pseudonym Mon Petit Chou and graduated from La Cite Collegiale in Ottawa in graphic arts.

The NOW Service Bureau is housed in the street-facing Young Gallery beside FRANK, the AGO’s restaurant. Home to all of the AGO’s Toronto Now exhibitions, the Young Gallery is free to visit and does not require a ticket.

The other part of NOW is Gift Shop Gift Shop, located inside the AGO Gift Shop. Gift Shop Gift Shop expands on the self-reflective themes of NOW with a variety of items from Toronto artists, leading a tongue-in-cheek exploration of consumerism and commercialization.

Visitors can get their picture taken as an “AGO Shopper” with Tongue & Groove’s Your Face Here, or buy a set of 25 postcards with images of the AGO Gift Shop, modeled after the Frank Gehry transformation postcard set. It’s also possible to pick up an exclusive dematerialized, cubed souvenir balloon from General Idea’s Magic Bullet, or to take home a water bottle personalized with an artist’s name – water included!

NOW: A Collaborative Project by Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette kicks off the AGO’s 2012 Toronto Now series, running January 21 – April 1, 2012. Toronto Now is a series of contemporary art projects that puts the focus on Toronto artists and displays their work in the AGO’s free, street-facing Young Gallery.

For more photos from the exhibition, visit the NOW Facebook Page.

Image Credits:
  1. Young Gallery; photo courtesy of Katherine Dennis.
  2. Graffiti wall art by Posterchild, completed as part of the
     Martindale/Paquette Whitewash (2011-ongoing) video project;
    photo courtesy of Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette.
  3. Name Dripping Water, Keith Cole; individual 
    branded water bottle, water included; photo courtesy of Keith Cole.
  4. Your Face Here, Tongue & Groove collective;
    photo courtesy of Katherine Dennis.
  5. Infinite NOW (2012), Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette (installation photo);
    photo courtesy of Katherine Dennis.

Custom QR codes in IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011

February 23rd, 2012

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958-2011
March 3 – August 12, 2012

If you visit IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011, on the 4th floor of the AGO, you’ll notice a series of small square green and grey squares sprinkled liberally throughout the exhibition. These stickers are QR codes – scannable objects that will take you to a website or other piece of online content.  Eighteen custom-designed QR codes populate the exhibition in total, letting smartphone users watch, share and comment on videos, audio and behind-the-scenes content in the Wi-Fi enabled Gallery.

Around 45% of Canadian mobile users now have smartphones. This means that nearly half of you are coming to the Gallery with a huge amount of technology sitting in your pocket that you can use to learn more about the art you see on display. Scan a code and you will be able to learn more about the piece of art next to it. From archival photos to videos of IAIN BAXTER&’s eco art van, each code is an opportunity to get under the skin of this fascinating and prolific Canadian contemporary artist.

This blog post also contains a complete list of the codes found in the exhibition and the URLs so you can continue to explore and learn once you get home.

For scanning QR codes we recommend Qrafter for iPhone and Barcode Scanner for Android. For all other cellphones please visit your app store.


Some things you can see when you scan a QR code in IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011

A video of N.E. Thing Co.’s inflated works (a cloud and a flower) in the group exhibition Sculpture ’67 outside Toronto City Hall in 1967. http://j.mp/zGoA09

A video of vacuum formed and bagged works in the exhibition “Gas, Plastic & Bagged Works” at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in 1966. http://j.mp/x9VpHe

A video of Iain Baxter using food items to create sculptural art works in the exhibition Food for Thought at the Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff in 1987.  http://j.mp/xipBQf

A video of Monopoly with Real Money performed in the Toronto-Dominion Bank branch at York University in 1973. http://j.mp/wSbJhT

A series of N.E. Thing Co. advertisements broadcasted over the radio in 1970. http://j.mp/Afw2M5

A photograph of Iain Baxter conducting field studies in the Raft River Range, Idaho in 1958. http://j.mp/ynvys7

A page from Iain Baxter’s notebook outlining how to make byobu screens. http://j.mp/xDej8K

Pages from a photo book Iain Baxter published in 1979 titled “Vancouver Beauty Spots.” http://j.mp/yWpB35

A photograph of the interior of Eye Scream. http://j.mp/yzfZXq\

A photograph of the exterior of the N.E. Professional Photographic Display Lab and the site where Eye Scream was later built http://j.mp/xCyOXn

A video about the IAIN BAXTER& ECOARTVAN, which travelled to elementary schools and libraries in Toronto in 2010 to raise awareness about environmental issues. http://j.mp/y4qfxs

A photograph of Iain Baxter’s first light box work from 1965. http://j.mp/wrJUGG

A photograph of an ACT certificate. http://j.mp/AybO7K

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 is open at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 03 – August 12, 2012

BAXTER&BITE: REFLECTED PARIS BEAUTY SPOTS

February 5th, 2012

This blog post is part of an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario entitled IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011. Visitors can scan QR codes in the exhibition space to see additional content relating to specific works in the show such as this image below:

Baxter with model shooting Reflected Paris Beauty Spots -with Paris Beauty Spots (room 411, east wall) Baxter Studio/Set 2-June 21/_MG_1064

Baxter with model shooting Reflected Paris Beauty Spots -with Paris Beauty Spots (room 411, east wall) Baxter Studio/Set 2-June 21/_MG_1064

 

While living in Paris in 1980, Baxter completed a series titled Paris Beauty Spots, applying the phrase “beauty spots”¬–generally used to describe birth marks on humans–to architectural landmarks in a city. He photographed the reflection of fourteen iconic sites using a round handheld mirror and a Polaroid SX-70 camera. Later that year Baxter worked with a large-format Polaroid 20 x 24 camera in Amsterdam, one of three in the world, which printed instant images measuring seventy-eight by sixty centimeters. He used the special camera to shoots details of a female model’s naked body, each time with a different Polaroid from the Paris Beauty Spots series placed beside a real beauty mark on her body. He titled this complementary work Reflected Paris Beauty Spots.

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 is open at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 03 – August 12, 2012

BAXTER&BITE: WELDING

February 5th, 2012

This blog post is part of an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario entitled IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011. Visitors can scan QR codes in the exhibition space to see additional content relating to specific works in the show such as this image below:

Hand Welder -with bagged works (room 402, north wall) Baxter Studio/Set 2-June 21/_MG_1027

Hand Welder -with bagged works (room 402, north wall) Baxter Studio/Set 2-June 21/_MG_1027

Baxter began bagging objects in plastic in 1966. At first, he used a heat sealer to form clear plastic bags around assorted objects such as rocks, goldfish and moldy sliced bread. He then progressed to using a hand-operated high frequency welding machine. He used an old machine at Arrow Tent and Awning Company after hours, which he later was able to purchase with funds from the Canada Council. With this tool, he constructed more advanced bagged works using clear plastic bags with landscape motifs made of coloured vinyl stitched to it. Concurrently, he constructed three-dimensional sculptures using welded vinyl filled with air.

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 is open at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 03 – August 12, 2012

BAXTER&BITE: DPMA

February 5th, 2012

This blog post is part of an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario entitled IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011. Visitors can scan QR codes in the exhibition space to see additional content relating to specific works in the show such as this image below:

N.E. Thing Co. booth at DPMA conference -archival room (407) Baxter Studio/Batch 1/X-03456

N.E. Thing Co. booth at DPMA conference -archival room (407) Baxter Studio/Batch 1/X-03456

In 1970 the N.E. Thing Co. participated in a series of professional conferences. It rented a booth in the Data Processing Managers Association International Conference and Business Exposition at the Seattle Trade Center, exhibiting alongside the likes of established technology companies AT&T, Eastman Kodak, General Electric, IBM and Xerox. The N.E. Thing Co. marketed its consultancy services at a booth populated with the artwork Go (in the shape of a stop sign) and a giant, inflated banner shaped like a computer punch card. It also dispensed branded manila folders, ingeniously sized to store other companies’ brochures.

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 is open at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 03 – August 12, 2012


BAXTER&BITE: FENCE

February 5th, 2012

This blog post is part of an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario entitled IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011. Visitors can scan QR codes in the exhibition space to see additional content relating to specific works in the show such as this image below:

Exhibition at the Douglas Gallery

Exhibition at the Douglas Gallery (installation view), 1967, photograph -with Fence (room 403)

 

The Douglas Gallery, located in Vancouver, hosted an exhibition N.E. Thing Co., Centennial Project in 1967 to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the nation. Working with the theme of a camping trip, the N.E. Thing Co. displayed many different kinds of three-dimensional landscapes, including store-bought chain-link aluminum fencing and custom-designed tents. This turned the gallery into a mock-up landscape, collapsing the distinction between art and life.

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958 – 2011 is open at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 03 – August 12, 2012