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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

BAXTER&BITE: ACT CERTIFICATE

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:

ACT Certificate by IAIN BAXTER&

ACT certificate -with ACTS (room 409) Baxter Archive/Sept 28/_MG_6547

In 1968 the N.E. Thing Co. developed a system of issuing aesthetic judgments on sundry items experienced throughout daily life: places, objects, and other artists’ work. They were classified as either ACTs, short for Aesthetically Claimed Things, or ARTs, short for Aesthetically Rejected Things. The N.E. Thing Co. photographed these items and then placed a seal of approval or disapproval on the printed image. An accompanying certificate was made for each claimed or rejected item, stating that it had or had not met “the stringent requirements of sensitivity information as set forth by the N.E. Thing Co.”

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

BAXTER&BITE: EARLY LIGHTBOX OF VACUUM-FORMED PAINTBRUSH

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:

Early Lightbox by IAIN BAXTER&

Early lightbox of vacuum formed paintbrush (installed in Beyond Regionalism), 1965, vacuum-formed plastic mounted to light box/exit sign -with lightboxes (room 410) Baxter Archive/Batch 1 Fonds 1-6, 38/Baxter130

Iain Baxter first exhibited light box works as early as 1965, but with vacuum formed plastic inserted into them instead of photographic transparencies, which he began doing in 1968. The light box housing was a re-purposed exit-sign box. Two of these were exhibited in the group exhibition Beyond Regionalism at the UBC Fine Arts Gallery in Vancouver in 1965.

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

Stunning film stills from Yael Bartana’s …And Europe Will Be Stunned

January 31st, 2012

 

Yael Bartana Mary Koszmary, 2007 one channel super 16mm film transferred to video Duration: 10.50 min. Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery Amsterdam and Foksal Gallery Foundation Warsaw. Produced with support from Hermès.

Yael Bartana Mary Koszmary, 2007 one channel super 16mm film transferred to video Duration: 10.50 min. Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery Amsterdam and Foksal Gallery Foundation Warsaw. Produced with support from Hermès.

Yael Bartana Mur i Wieża, 2009 shot on RED, HD video projection Duration: 15’00’’ Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery Amsterdam.

Yael Bartana Zamach (Assassination), 2011 RED transfered to HD Videostill Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery Amsterdam and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv. The film was commissioned by Artangel, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, The Netherlands Film Fund and Zachęta National Gallery of Art. Yael Bartana Zamach (Assassination), 2011 RED transfered to HD Videostill Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery Amsterdam and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv. The film was commissioned by Artangel, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, The Netherlands Film Fund and Zachęta National Gallery of Art.

Yael Bartana Zamach (Assassination), 2011 RED transfered to HD Videostill Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery Amsterdam and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv. The film was commissioned by Artangel, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, The Netherlands Film Fund and Zachęta National Gallery of Art.

Yael Bartana Zamach (Assassination), 2011 RED transfered to HD Videostill Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery Amsterdam and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv. The film was commissioned by Artangel, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, The Netherlands Film Fund and Zachęta National Gallery of Art.

Yael Bartana is an Israeli filmmaker and artist who is based in the Netherlands. Her latest project, …And Europe Will Be Stunned, is showing at the Art Gallery of Ontario until April 1, 2012. The trilogy of films took almost five years to complete, and tells the story of the fictional Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland. The result is a beautifully realized set of films that deal deftly with the complex dialogues that surround questions about national identity, homeland and what it means to belong.  The three parts of the trilogy are called Mary Koszmary (Nightmares), Mur i Wieża (Wall and Tower) and Zamach (Assassination). The films feature architecture and scenography by Oren Sagiv

The work was first shown at the the 2011 Venice Biennale, where Bartana became the first non-Polish artist to represent Poland at the major international art exhibition.
This is the first time the work has been shown in Canada. To find the films at the AGO, turn right immediately after entering the Gallery through the main entrance. Keep walking straight until you enter the Philip B. Lind Gallery,

“Interweaving past and present, reality and fiction, the conceptual and the emotional, and drawing on propaganda films of the 1930s and ’40s, as well as the visual language of advertising, Bartana’s films boldly traverse a landscape scarred by the histories of competing nationalisms and militarisms,” said Elizabeth Smith, AGO executive director of Curatorial Affairs and curator of the exhibition.

There are copies of the Manifesto of the fictional Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland available free for our visitors. A striking piece of graphic design, this is an amazing commemorative piece for people to be able to take with them. They’re already moving fast, so make sure you get down to the Gallery to grab yours soon!

                 Instagram Photo

…And Europe Will Be Stunned is accompanied by one of the artist’s earlier video works, Trembling Time (2001), from the AGO’s collection. For more information about this exhibition please visit the AGO website.  Contemporary programming at the AGO is supported the Canada Council for the Arts.


Image credits:
1 - 3 Yael Bartana, Mary Koszmary, 2007, one channel super 16mm film transferred to video. Duration: 10.50 min. Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery Amsterdam and Foksal Gallery Foundation Warsaw. Produced with support from Hermès
4, 5 Yael Bartana, Mur i Wieża, 2009, shot on RED, HD video projection, Duration: 15’00’. Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery Amsterdam. 
6-8 Yael Bartana, Zamach (Assassination), 2011, RED transfered to HD, Videostill, Courtesy Annet Gelink Gallery Amsterdam and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv. The film was commissioned by Artangel, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, The Netherlands Film Fund and Zachęta National Gallery of Art.

#ContemporaryTO: Celebrating Contemporary Art in 2012

January 19th, 2012

 We’re kicking off 2012 with five diverse exhibitions of contemporary art, celebrating the work of artists both established and emerging, local and international. Taking over various spaces within the Gallery, several separate installations beginning this month and continuing into the spring will offer something for every contemporary art lover. Each exhibition offers you an immersive experience, prompting you to reconsider your notions of time, space, and identity, or, in some cases, asking you to participate in the work directly.

Yael Bartana: …And Europe Will Be Stunned

Israeli filmmaker and artist Yael Bartana is a rising, and to some controversial, star in the international art scene, and soon AGO visitors will have a chance to get up close and personal with her work.

After winning the Artes Mundi prize for “work that stimulates thinking about the human condition” in 2010, Bartana presented her latest project at the 2011 Venice Biennale — the first non-Polish artist to represent Poland at the major international art exhibition.And Europe Will Be Stunned, her film trilogy made between 2007 and 2011, will be on view for the first time in Canada in the AGO’s Lind Gallery from Jan. 25 to April 1, 2012.

“Interweaving past and present, reality and fiction, the conceptual and the emotional, and drawing on propaganda films of the 1930s and ’40s, as well as the visual language of advertising, Bartana’s films boldly traverse a landscape scarred by the histories of competing nationalisms and militarisms,” said Elizabeth Smith, AGO executive director of Curatorial Affairs and curator of the exhibition.

Featuring architecture and scenography by Oren Sagiv, And Europe Will Be Stunned raises questions about ideas of homeland and a sense of belonging. In the films — Mary Koszmary (Nightmares), Mur i Wieza (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.

And Europe Will Be Stunned is accompanied by one of the artist’s earlier video works, Trembling Time (2001), from the AGO’s collection. Bartana will be present for a public Meet the Artist program on Jan. 26 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Jackman Hall at the AGO.

IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958–2011
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 in 2012.

The Gallery will present a major exhibition of more than 100 works by the preeminent Canadian artist from March 3 to Aug. 12, 2012. Including work produced both under his name and through the N.E. Thing Co.,IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958–2011 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. The exhibition affords a unique opportunity to recognize the artist’s defining contribution to Canadian contemporary art.

Co-curated by Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and David Moos, former curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the AGO, the exhibition travels directly to Toronto from Chicago, where it is currently on view at MCA. IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958–2011 is generously supported by Philip B. Lind and Ellen Roland.

Watch this Space: Contemporary Art from the AGO’s Collection
Marking the return of the AGO’s contemporary collection to the galleries for which it was intended, Watch this Space is an installation that re-imagines the collection and invites visitors to consider how the universal concept of space has inspired artists.

Compelling works in a variety of media by both Canadian and international artists explore issues and ideas related to space — be it physical locations, psychological realms or the places that exist somewhere between the real and the imagined. “In recasting our contemporary collection, this installation will introduce some visitors to the featured works for the first time and prompt others to see them in a whole new light,” said AGO acting curator of Canadian art and Watch this Space curator Michelle Jacques. The installation includes both new acquisitions and more than 40 longtime collection favourites, including Gerhard Richter’s Scheune/Barn No. 549/1 and Ellsworth Kelly’s Blue White.

Through these works and others, the installation explores how artists employ colour, shape, line and image to create spaces, both psychological and physical, and asks whether we can make clear distinctions between the realms of inner and outer space or if the majority of our reality exists somewhere in between. Watch this Space runs from Feb. 11 through summer 2012.

Celebrating Toronto Artists

The AGO extends contemporary programming into its community gallery spaces early this year with two exhibitions from Toronto artists that call on visitors to participate in the work and raise questions about the implications of collaboration and participation in a community.

Team Macho: Axis Mundi
Axis Mundi,
a playful and interactive installation by local art heroes Team Macho, will transform the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre Community Gallery into a fully functioning art studio on Jan. 23., inviting visitors to occupy the space alongside the artists

The installation, which will include a series of studio structures, 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. Axis Mundi examines the manner in which these artists collaborated and supported one another, while developing structures that were both physical and personal to propel their individual practices. Team Macho comprises members Nicholas Aoki, Stephen Appleby-Barr, Christopher Buchan and Lauchie Reid, who share a studio in Toronto, creating work in a wide variety of media, with a focus on illustration. They have shown their work with solo shows at Narwhal in Toronto and the Optica Centre for the Arts in Montreal, and internationally in Los Angeles, New York, Detroit and Amsterdam. Axis Mundi, organized by Ann Marie Pena, continues into April 2012.

NOW: A Collaborative Project by Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette
This do-it-yourself (or “DIY”) agency kicks off the Toronto Now series in 2012, challenging visitors to use the AGO’s fully accessible Young Gallery as a forum for pressing Toronto issues.

Pushing the idea of Toronto Now to its limits, Toronto artists Sean Martindale and Pascal Paquette appropriate the AGO logo and the NOW name in a creative space that encourages mindful action on local issues. The project, guest curated by Katherine Dennis and on display from Jan. 21 to April 1, reflects the artists’ interest in the tension between the rush and impatience of the average Torontonian’s current lifestyle and the benefit of slowing down and being mindful of environmental, political and cultural subjects. Running concurrently with NOW is the Martindale and Paquette’s Gift Shop Gift Shop, a store within a store featuring artworks for sale by local Toronto-based artists, designers and illustrators.

Toronto Now is a series of contemporary art projects that puts the focus on Toronto artists and displays their work in the free, street-facing Young Gallery. Artists previously featured in the series include Dean Baldwin, Will Munro, Allyson Mitchell, John Sasaki, Libby Hague, John Dickson and Paul Butler.

The Toronto Now series is generously supported by The Contemporary Circle.

All exhibitions are organized by the AGO. Contemporary programming at the AGO is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

The AGO acknowledges the generous support of its Signature Partners:
American Express, Signature Partner of the Conservation Program; and Aeroplan, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.

For more information on exhibitions and special programming, please visit www.ago.net.