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Kusama and cake – a perfect match(a)

April 27th, 2018

AGO Executive Chef Renee Bellefeuille prepares a matcha cake at a table with a pile of citrus fruit, tea, and a cake.

AGO Executive Chef Renée Bellefeuille. Still image courtesy of the AGO.

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors hasn’t just taken over Levels 4 and 5 of the AGO, it’s also inspired the AGO’s Executive Chef Renée Bellefeuille. The result is a limited edition Kusama-inspired AGO Matcha Cake, available for sale at shopAGO until May 27.

Watch the video below where Chef Renée explains more about what matcha is and how to assemble this artful cake yourself. Read the rest of this entry »

More chances to experience Infinity!

April 27th, 2018

An up-close view of Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirror Room "Love Forever."

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room – Love Forever, 1966/1994. Installation view at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 2018. Wood, mirrors, metal, and lightbulbs. Installed: 210.2 x 240.2 x 205.2 cm. Collection of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai. Photo by Christina Gapic. © Yayoi Kusama.

Demand for Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors at the AGO has been unprecedented. With over 150,000 advance tickets booked, it’s no wonder the exhibition has been heralded by Maclean’s as Toronto’s “hottest ticket.”

We’ve heard you loud and clear! More people want to see this fantastic exhibition from one of our greatest living contemporary artists. It’s why we have decided to extend our hours during the exhibition’s final two weekends (Thursday – Saturday) until midnight! On May 17, 18 and 19, and May 24, 25 and 26, you’ll have another chance to experience Kusama’s immersive Infinity Rooms, mesmerizing paintings and playful sculptures. Read the rest of this entry »

Images of war

April 27th, 2018

A photo from between 1914 and 1918 of a plane in flight, silhouetted against the sky.

Unknown Photographer, German. Silhouette of airplane in flight, around 1914–1918. Gelatin silver print, 13 x 18 cm. Anonymous Gift, 2004. 2004/303.2 © 2018 Art Gallery of Ontario.

The First World War was a time of violence and destruction. It was also a time of rapid changes in technology for the military and aviation. Photography’s technology also evolved. A new AGO exhibition, Photography: First World War, 1914–1918, on now as part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, highlights the fascinating role photography played in the war.   Read the rest of this entry »

#RetroAGO: Our first building in 1918

April 24th, 2018

People laying bricks in 1916 Toronto.

Construction of the 1918 addition. Exterior view looking north-west (probably from NW bedroom in the Grange) toward the stables over the floor of the octagon Gallery. Image courtesy of the AGO.

This month we’re going back – back to the AGO’s beginning. April’s Library & Archives Unshelved series – the monthly drop-in at the AGO’s Edward P. Taylor Library & Archives that explores our extensive art research resources – will showcase photographs from the AGO’s history on Wednesday, April 25.

AGO archivist Marilyn Nazar unearthed the 100-year-old photographs that show when construction finished on the first AGO building, which added new gallery spaces to the beloved Grange. The Grange became the property of the Art Museum of Toronto (as the AGO was known then) following the death of Goldwin Smith on June 7, 1910. After years of temporary exhibitions at the Ontario Society of Artists’ museum and the Toronto Reference Library, The Grange became the first home for the Art Gallery of Toronto. Read the rest of this entry »

Seeing Impressionists in a new light

April 23rd, 2018

Claude Monet's rendering of a 19th Century train station.

Claude Monet, Arrival of the Normandy Train, Gare Saint-Lazare, 1877. Oil on canvas, 60.3 x 80.2 cm. Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1158.  Image © Art Institute of Chicago/ Art Resource, NY.

Roads, trains, bridges and workers – these help a growing city thrive. And that’s as true for Toronto’s evolution as it was for Paris in the late 1800s. An exciting new exhibition will explore how Impressionist artists reflected their changing city.

Beginning with the Impressionists, around 1870, and ending at the turn of the 20th century, this new exhibition will bring masterpieces from around the world to the AGO in February 2019, including key works by Monet from the Musée d’Orsay and the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition will present highlights from the AGO’s Collection in a new light, including Camille Pissarro’s Pont Boieldieu in Rouen, Damp Weather and James Tissot’s The Shop Girl. This groundbreaking exhibition will be the first-ever dedicated to exploring Impressionist and Post-Impressionist representations of industry and labour. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s complicated

April 23rd, 2018

Performer Dainty Smith looking through a sheer veil, with one hand up against it.

Toronto actor, burlesque performer, playwright and producer Dainty Smith will perform at AGO First Thursday on May 3. Photo by Sly Feiticeira.

Relationships can be complicated. The ways we impact each other – in our personal and our professional lives – can be layered. This ebb and flow plays a key role in our exhibition Mitchell/Riopelle: Nothing in Moderation, and it inspired our First Thursday on May 3. With or without you boasts an exciting line-up of performers, including headliner Prince Innocence, DJ duo LUXURY ’66 and KTANA, DJ New Chance, and a project by Toronto artist William Ellis.

Making her AGO debut is Toronto-based actor, burlesque performer, playwright and producer Dainty Smith. In collaboration with artist and anti-oppression activist Rania El Mugammar, Smith will perform a specially commissioned work entitled Hunger. We caught up with Dainty to find out more. Read the rest of this entry »

Picturing the life of Yayoi Kusama

April 23rd, 2018

An illustration by Ellen Weinstein of Yayoi Kusama painting at a table in a room covered in red and white polka dots.

Image courtesy of Ellen Weinstein and the Museum of Modern Art.

One product flying off the shelves at shopAGO is the children’s book Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity. A bright and beautiful look at the life of Yayoi Kusama, the book teaches kids about the power of creative expression and the courage to pursue your passions. Less than six months after being published, the book has already gone through a second print run.

New York-based illustrator Ellen Weinstein worked with Museum of Modern Art curator Sarah Suzuki on the book, and Weinstein will be at the AGO from 2–4 pm on Sunday, April 29 for a book signing.

We spoke with the illustrator about why she loves Kusama’s work, and why Kusama’s story appeals to kids. Read the rest of this entry »

Hooray for volunteers!

April 16th, 2018

A photo of the AGO reading room outside of the Library and Archives.

The reading nook outside of the AGO Library & Archives. Image by the AGO.

At the AGO, we work with many wonderful, hardworking volunteers who are dedicated to engaging our visitors in all aspects of our museum. The Edward P. Taylor Library & Archives, located on the south side of the building on the Lower Level (Concourse), relies heavily on volunteers. A centre for art history research, the library is also responsible for programs like the Truth & Reconciliation Commission Report Reading Group, Wikipedia Edit-A-Thons, and more.

In honour of National Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 15-21), we are shining the spotlight on volunteer extraordinaire Ruth Kenins, who has volunteered at the library for 10 years. We spoke to Ruth to learn more about her passion for the library:

Read the rest of this entry »

Exploring THE RIVERBED

April 16th, 2018

A close up of a piece of Yoko Ono's "Mend Piece."

Yoko Ono, Mend Piece (detail), 1966 / 2018 © Yoko Ono. Photo: Tara Fillion.

In 2002, the AGO held the first ever large-scale multimedia retrospective of Yoko Ono’s work to be mounted in North America, Y E S YOKO ONO. Once again, Torontonians are clamouring to see this artist’s work. On view at the Gardiner Museum now until June 3, YOKO ONO: THE RIVERBED is a series of three installations, each with a specific purpose.

Since the 1950s, audience participation has been a key aspect of Ono’s practice, and it is at the heart of this exhibition. Into the serene whiteness of the Gardiner’s third floor, you’re greeted with a hum of activity as visitors use the provided hammers, nails, assorted stones and meditation pillows to fulfill instructions set out by Ono in three different sections. Read the rest of this entry »