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Focus on photography

May 6th, 2019

Jaromir Funke. Abstraction, 1925-1930. Gelatin silver print, Sheet: 23.1 × 29.2 cm. Malcolmson Collection. Gift of Harry and Ann Malcolmson in partnership with a private donor, 2014. © Art Gallery of Ontario 2014/550

The largest annual photography festival in the world has returned! The annual Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival is back with amazing exhibitions and programs taking over the city, and the AGO is proud to be a partner once again.

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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!

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A closer look at Seven Sisters

May 6th, 2019

Mike MacDonald. Seven Sisters, 1989. 7 channel video installation with 7 monitors, . Purchased with financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Acquisition Assistance program and with the assistance of the E. Wallace Fund, 2000.  2000/145 © Estate of Mike MacDonald

Artist Mike MacDonald is often referred to as the grandfather of Indigenous media art. Of Mi’kmaq and European ancestry, the Nova Scotia-born video artist and photographer was one of the first Indigenous artists to use video in a fine art context. He began working with video in the 1970s and ‘80s and frequently used it to explore the natural world and his Indigenous heritage – much like what he created in his work Seven Sisters, currently on view on Level 2 in the J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art.

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Vija Celmins in her own words

May 6th, 2019

Vija Celmins, Untitled (Web #1), 1998. Charcoal on paper, 56.5 x 64.8 cm. Tate Modern, London, acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 © Vija Celmins. Photo courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

The wait is finally over! The celebrated retrospective Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory is now open on Level 5 in the Vivian & David Campbell Centre of Contemporary Art. Touring from SFMOMA to The MET, this stop at the AGO features over 110 mesmerizing drawings, paintings and sculptures, and marks Vija Celmins’s Canadian debut.

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Picasso on the road

April 26th, 2019

A Picasso painting with a small child and woman holding a bowl of soup
Pablo Picasso. La Soupe, 1902. Oil on canvas, Overall: 38.5 x 46 cm. Gift of Margaret Dunlap Crang, 1983. © Picasso Estate / SOCAN (2019)

Do you think a young and relatively unknown Picasso, struggling to pay for food, knew that the canvases he was painting and repainting would become some of the most celebrated works of twentieth-century modern art? Created at the beginning of his career, from 1901–1907, the works of the Blue and Rose periods offer a glimpse of the evolution of a young genius. Many of these masterpieces, including two outstanding works on loan from the AGO Collection, are currently on display at The Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland, as part of its landmark exhibition, The Young Picasso – Blue and Rose Periods.

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Last chance for Impressionism

April 25th, 2019

A Camille Pissarro painting of a factory in the countryside next to a river
Camille Pissarro. Factory Near Pontoise [Usine Près Pointoise], 1873. Oil on canvas, Unframed: 45.7 × 54.6 cm. Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts/ The James Philip Gray Collection. Photo: David Stansbury

Have you seen our major exhibition Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and more yet? It’s closing May 5, and trust us: you won’t want to miss the groundbreaking show the Toronto Star called a “phenomenal and enlightening exhibit that promises to change the way people see the Impressionists.”

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Arte Povera: A radical art movement

April 25th, 2019

A white walled gallery with a large sculptural work with burlap sacks a long pole and to steel outlines of Germany with a light at the end.
Luciano Fabro. La Germania, 1984. Steel, various metals, glass, plastic, electrical elements, sandbags, Overall (installed): 285 × 975 × 177 cm, Steel pole approx.weight: 170 lb. Light fixture: 16.3 lb. Combined weight of steel map: 202 lb. Purchase, 1985. 84/943 Courtesy of the Archivio Luciano e Carla Fabro

As you enter Signy Eaton Gallery on Level 2 at the AGO, you’ll see a long iron pole slanting upward from a pile of sandbags. Near the top of the pole, two steel slabs are bolted together with a streetlight shining a spotlight. On the other side of the room, burlap sacks and steel shelves are stacked with pieces of wood and plaster fragments of sculpture. These large sculptural installations are, respectively, La Germania by Luciano Fabro and Untitled by Jannis Kounellis. Together they make up Arte Povera, our latest and last installment of Look:Forward, a display that focuses on the Italian Arte Povera movement.

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A Q&A with Vija Celmins curator Gary Garrels

April 25th, 2019

A detailed black and white drawing of a spiderweb.
Vija Celmins, Untitled (Web #1), 1998. Charcoal on paper, 56.5 x 64.8 cm. Tate Modern, London, acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 © Vija Celmins. Photo courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

Vija Celmins is renowned for her fascinating and entrancing portrayals of natural imagery, ranging from ocean waves to the sky at night. With its exquisite detail, Celmins’s work encourages viewers to take a moment and look closer to consider the captivating beauty in both her work and the natural world around us. Ten years in the making, Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory is a comprehensive retrospective of more than five decades of the artist’s paintings, drawings and sculptures, and will open at the AGO on May 4.

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Free wheeling

April 25th, 2019

Photo by Ivona Novak

When Ivona Novak brought her three-year-old son Noah to the AGO for the first time, she wasn’t sure what to expect. Noah has been paralyzed since he was six months old as a result of pediatric cancer, and he and his family have been encountering accessibility challenges on a daily basis ever since.

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All that glitters

April 18th, 2019

Two silhouetted figures in front of an artwork
Party-goers stand in front of an artwork by Alexa DelSol at AGO Massive XV. Image courtesy of the AGO.

The crystal anniversary of AGO Massive brought good vibes to the museum. This important fundraiser celebrated 15 years of supporting the AGO’s mission to bring people together with art to see, experience and understand the world in new ways. And all with a good dose of glitter!

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