April slipped right by us, but we’ve finally caught up with our incredible visitor submissions and compiled another edition of AGOxInstagram. We’re lucky: Our visitors are some of the best photographers in the city, and we are constantly marveling at your views of the AGO. Inspired by you, we’ve created a monthly round-up of favourite AGOxInstagram shots. Want to take part? Keep sharing your Instagram and Twitter photos with us by tagging @agotoronto or #agotoronto.
Photos (by row, left to right): @jesssymw, @tulipslalaland, @siungtjia, @therealskipmccoy, @tassellate, @lyndsaygutsch, @sysneye, @brain.vision, @artmoi
Sunbeams falling in through paned windows, women in quiet rooms, and empty streets with façades executed in melancholy greys. The great Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi is often described as “the painter of quiet rooms”—a name that aptly describes his unique, poetic style. Can you capture a sense of Hammershøian serenity on your smartphone?
(Vilhelm Hammershøi, Interior in Strandgade, Sunlight on the Floor, 1901, Oil on canvas, 46.5 x 52 cm, National Gallery of Denmark)
(Vilhelm Hammershøi, Near Fortunen, Jagersborg Deer Park, North of Copenhagen, 1901, Oil on canvas, 55 x 66.5 cm, National Gallery of Denmark)
Currently on view and free with general admission, the exhibition Painting Tranquility: Masterworks by Vilhelm Hammershøi features twenty-four masterpieces from the SMK – The National Gallery of Denmark. And together with the SMK, we’re launching a photo competition that invites you — and your smartphone — to take pictures of grey-hued, atmospheric interiors in true Hammershøi fashion.
How can I take part?
Take photos inspired by Hammershøi’s aesthetic and share them on Instagram using the hashtag #HammershoiAGO. Or, visit the exhibition in person and take a seat at our very own Hammershøi “selfie spot”: set recreation of Strandgade 25, where the artist lived with his wife Ida for four very productive years between 1912 and 1916.
Many photographers have already been inspired by Hammershøi in various ways, and this competition isn’t about copying a specific work, but rather about capturing the distinctive look and feel of his art. Many of Hammershøi’s own works are reminiscent of photography and have obvious parallels to Instagram filters and aesthetics.
Characteristic elements of Hammershøi’s work that you might find inspirational:
• Light falling in through windows
• A play of light and shadow
• Restricted colour palette and saturation
• Female figure with her back turned to the viewer
• Solitary female figure
• Figures absorbed in quiet pursuits
• Rooms arranged in a sequential layout
• Empty rooms
The writer Poul Vad studied Hammershøi in great detail, and he describes the relationship between the Danish painter and photography as follows:
Photography is one of the phenomena that defines modernity. The ‘photographic’ aspect of Hammershøi’s paintings is undoubtedly part of the reason why this painter’s art falls within the heading of ‘modernity’ in spite of his traditional approach to his craft. They still seem modern to us today.
You can take your photographs anywhere at all, including at our Hammershøi selfie wall. And remember: a friend’s livingroom can be every bit as Hammershøian as a deserted street in downtown Toronto. So grab your smartphone and start capturing scenes full of greys, light, and tranquillity.
Last night, April 21, close to 1,900 guests helped us raise $313,000 at “Midnight Massive Party,” a magic-and-masquerade-themed fundraiser. Now in its 12th year, Massive Party featured works from Toronto’s top artists and musicians, with Artistic Directors the Broadbent Sisters providing the magic.
Guests explored three unique spaces themed after natural elements and transformation: Concourse Level_Fire: Where guests found the dance party, set to the sounds of DJ Sophie Jones, and a live performance by RALPH and a swinging midnight-samba band. Installations included “The Infinite Selfie” by Robin Clason, a MAC Cosmetics #FutureMac station, “Poorly Potted Plants” by Tau Lewis, Soderberg Mills’ anaglyphic mirror, and The New Beat + Menalon Music’s “Lazer Harp.” Level 1_Earth: A moonlit masquerade with mythical installations by the Broadbent Sisters and music by J.u.D. Level 3_Air: An ethereal, dreamlike space where guests took in “Pseudo Specter” by Michael Vicks and Randall Okita, “The Clearing” by the Broadbent Sisters, and Okita’s “Be Here Now,” with DJ Humble Mike setting a relaxed vibe all night.
Outsiders: American Photography and Film, 1950s–1980s
The first exhibition of photography and film of this scope and size in the AGO’s history, Outsiders celebrates the iconoclastic mid-20th century American artists—like Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, Nan Goldin, Danny Lyon, Kenneth Anger and Gordon Parks—who captured a changing America and life on the fringes.
It’s time for another edition of AGOxInstagram! We’re lucky: Our visitors are some of the best photographers in the city, and we are constantly marveling at your views of the AGO. Inspired by you, we’ve created a monthly round-up of favourite AGOxInstagram shots (See January 2016’s selection here). Want to take part? Keep sharing your Instagram and Twitter photos with us by tagging @agotoronto or #agotoronto.
Photos (by row, left to right): @zachbalbino, @cecilymy, @kandisebrown, @alyssayuhas, @bofajardo, @danielakonishi, @epiiffany, @mandclu, @_ktrinac
It’s the end of February, which means it’s time for another edition of AGOxInstagram. We’re lucky: Our visitors are some of the best photographers in the city, and we are constantly marveling at your views of the AGO. Inspired by you, and our friends at the Hammer Museum, we’ve created a monthly round-up of favourite AGOxInstagram shots (See January 2016’s selection here). Want to take part? Keep sharing your Instagram and Twitter photos with us by tagging @agotoronto or #agotoronto.
What did you get up to last Thursday? On February 4, 2016, we were kicking off a new season of Toronto’s biggest art party with an evening of artful programming devoted to Beijing avant-garde artist Song Dong and the theme “There’s No Place Like Home.” Over 2,500 #AGO1st guests took in musical headliner Casey Mecija (formely of Toronto band Ohbijou), who performed against stunning GIF visuals by filmmaker Sammy Rawal; pop-up talks from the Syrian Film Festival and AGO Artist-in-Residence Jérôme Havre; artists Alvis Choi (a.k.a Alvis Parsley), Andil Gosine with Matthew Ryan Smith; and music by DJ Stunts (of Yes Yes Y’All) and Cam Lee (Feministry).
Toronto is loaded with options for Valentine’s Day — spas, restaurants, bars — but if you’re looking for something unique (or some art to get you through the day), make it a day and night at the gallery, in the company of Frank Stella, Helen Frankenthaler, Christi Belcourt and Henri Matisse.
1. Take the Valentine’s Tour (and the Not-so-Valentine’s Tour)
February 14, 2016, 11am–5:30pm
Artful discussion and themed tours of the AGO’s collection — what’s not to love? In the company of a knowledgeable and engaging AGO Gallery Guide, you’ll visit masterworks that explore themes of romantic love, love of celebrity, love of food, love of nature, break-ups/scorned love, and more. Highlights include works by Alex Colville, Rembrandt, Andy Warhol, and Emily Carr.
1-Hour Highlights Tours (every one is different!): 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm. Meet in Walker Court, Level 1 (If you need directions, head to the Info Kiosk at the entrance.)
On the Dot Tours: Quick, 10-minute art chats. Meet in front of the work On the Dot:
11:30am “Soldier and Girl at Station” by Alex Colville, Room 206
11:30am “The Death of Elaine” by Homer Watson, Room 125
1:30 PM “The Idea Lab,” Room 114
2:30 PM “The Marchesa Casati” by Augustus Edward John, Room 125
2. Give someone some AGO♥
(clockwise from top): Valentine’s Day cards ($4–$5). Umbra Pongo Table Tennis set ($40). Keith Haring box of chocolates ($26). Alessi AL13002 Red Leather Strap Watch ($200).
Finding a Valentine’s Day present may be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be bewildering. Here are few thoughtful and unconventional shopAGO gifts, from playful tokens of friendship for PAL-entine’s Day to over-the-moon romantic gestures for the more-than-just pals.
Where: Online or in person at The Membership Info Desk, Lobby
4. Tell them “I like you a latte”
When the way to their heart is through their coffee, head to the Galleria Italia Espresso Bar for European cappuccinos, lattes, gelato and treats, and a stellar view of Dundas Street West. Perfect to enjoy ensemble or solo.
Where: Level 2, Galleria Italia
5. Visit Drawing, Je t’aime
(Robert Motherwell, Je t’aime, 1955, Ink on paper, Overall: 38.1 x 27.3 cm (15 x 10 3/4 in.). Purchased with funds from an Anonymous Donor, with support from the Dedalus Foundation, 1998)
“Robert Motherwell, a self-admitted Francophile, used this romantic phrase to express his deeply felt passion for artmaking. The calligraphic elements and interplay of text and image produce, in the artist’s words, ‘a desperate cry for love.’”
–Brenda Rix, Manager, Print and Drawing Study Centre
Take in over 100 rarely seen drawings by Jacopo Tintoretto, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Robert Motherwell, Joyce Wieland and Annie Pootoogook, and draw your sweetheart’s self-portrait at our portraiture stations. Free with general admission. Share your #DrawingAGO photos with @agotoronto on Instagram and Twitter.
Where: Level 1, Eaton/Gelber/Elliot Galleries
6. Spiral up the stairway
According to some, architect Frank Gehry designed the Baroque spiral staircase narrower at some points so that “two people, one going up and the other going down, would pass each other closely and fall in love.” Share your #GehryStaircase photos with @agotoronto on Instagram and Twitter.
Curator’s Talk: After Abstract Expressionism: Making Sense of Painting in the 1960s
Everyone was at a loss after Abstract Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock (1912–56) famously flung and dripped paint onto the unstretched canvases he placed on the floor of his studio in 1948. To quote the American artist Allan Kaprow: “he destroyed painting.” If Pollock destroyed all the assumptions everyone had about painting in the late 1940s, he also created a generation of artists who were forced to contend with his innovation in the 1950s and 1960s. we will explore how artists made sense of painting in the wake of Jackson Pollock’s radical gesture.
We’re lucky: Our visitors are some of the best photographers in the city, and we are constantly marveling at your views of the AGO. Inspired by you, and our friends at the Hammer Museum, we’re creating a monthly round-up of favourite AGOxInstagram shots (starting right now!). Want to take part? Keep sharing your Instagram and Twitter photos with us by tagging @agotoronto or #agotoronto.