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The unsung heroes of the AGO

August 1st, 2017

Video still: AGO.

Anyone who has been to the AGO since we began Look:Forward, a major reinstallation of the AGO Collection (meant to showcase more of the AGO’s works, including some that have not been shown since the Gallery acquired them) have noticed the busy hands working in cordoned-off areas. Those are the members of the AGO’s installation teams, and they are superstars.

Sometimes completely out of sight, sometimes behind thin veils of plastic, and sometimes operating in full view of onlookers, the conservators, curators and installers that make Look:Forward possible are in full force during Gallery hours (and closed hours too). They’re the ones making sure AGO Members and visitors are getting the best art experience possible—and it’s no easy feat.

Don’t take our word for it. Watch these time-lapse videos taken during the reinstallation of three major spaces in the AGO: the E.R. Wood Gallery (featuring European art), the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Sculpture Atrium (featuring the stunning Rodin sculptures) and the Richard Barry Fudger Memorial Gallery (featuring 19th century European artwork).

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Insider alert: As If Sand Were Stone

August 1st, 2017

Time is running out to see the AGO’s stunning exhibition of Latin American art in As If Sand Were Stone: Contemporary Latin American Art from the AGO Collection. It closes on August 7, and this is one you don’t want to miss.

The exhibition showcases the AGO’s significant collection of Latin American contemporary art and features works from 25 artists in various media, ranging from works on paper, paintings and sculptures to large-scale installations

The AGO’s collection of Latin American art has evolved dramatically thanks to a 10-year partnership between the AGO and Sherritt International Corporation, which began in 2006. Through this partnership, the AGO was able to purchase contemporary art from the growing scene in Cuba – some of these acquisitions are included in the exhibition. Stephan Jost (the AGO’s Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO) took us on a tour of some of his favourite pieces, including Wilfredo Pieto’s One, a Sherritt partnership purchase, now on view on Level 5 of our Contemporary Tower.

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The beating heart of Toronto

August 1st, 2017

Toronto is no slouch when it comes to arts and culture, but it’s always good to get the word out! That’s why we joined our friends from the Canadian Opera Company, Harbourfront Centre, the Royal Ontario Museum, Soulpepper Theatre Company, the National Ballet of Canada, Toronto International Film Festival and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to put together a video that celebrates who we are and what we offer.

The video was fun to make, and a great reminder that we are committed to supporting each other’s work and making art and culture the vital heartbeat of Toronto. Watch the video below to see what we mean:

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AGO + Civic Holiday = the perfect day

August 1st, 2017

Photo courtesy of the AGO.

If you work a typical Monday-to-Friday, nine-to-five job in Toronto—with weekends jammed with chores, errands and, gasp, maybe even a sleep-in—it can be hard to squeeze in cultural outings. We get it – sometimes it’s hard to spend time in the Gallery even when you work here every day!

Luckily, we have the perfect solution. The AGO is here for you to explore on the upcoming holiday Monday (open from 10:30 am to 4 pm on August 7) and every holiday Monday for the rest of the year. Read the rest of this entry »

Painting in the park

July 25th, 2017

Arthur Lismer conducting a children’s outdoor sketching class in Grange Park in 1934. Photo courtesy of the AGO.

This is a guest post by Judy Koke, Richard and Elizabeth Currie Chief, Public Programming and Learning.

Does the name Arthur Lismer ring a bell? Best known as an artist and a founder of the Group of Seven, Arthur Lismer has another important connection to the AGO – and Grange Park, the wonderful green space behind the AGO that recently re-opened to the public. A respected art educator, and the former principal of what is now the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax, Lismer was invited to establish an art school at the AGO in 1928 – an opportunity he gladly accepted as it allowed him to explore new approaches in art education and to spread the ideals of a new “Canadian” art. Read the rest of this entry »

And the finalists are…

July 25th, 2017

Top Left to Bottom Right: (1)Raymond Boisjoly, Station to Station (Image Detail, 1 of 5 Prints), 2014, 5 screen resolution LightJet prints mounted on dibond. Each 45.75 x 61 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver, BC. (2) Liz Johnson Artur, Unititled, 1986 to 2010, Black Balloon Archive, Courtesy of the artist. (3) Taisuke Koyama, Untitled (Melting Rainbows 103), 2010 Archival Pigment Print, 111 x 74 cm / 60 x 40 cm, Courtesy of the artist. (4) Hank Willis Thomas, Crossroads, 2012. Digital c-print Variable sizes. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery.

Big news! Four outstanding international artists have been shortlisted for the 10th annual Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, which will award $50,000 to a winner decided entirely by public vote. Without further ado, they are… Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t miss it! Last week of Georgia O’Keeffe

July 25th, 2017

Georgia O’Keeffe, American, 1887 – 1986. Painting. Black Door with Red, 1954 oil paint on canvas. Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA, Bequest of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.

Flowers come and go with the seasons – and the same goes for Georgia O’Keeffe’s beautiful blooms on canvas. Georgia O’Keeffe, the AGO’s ambitious and career-spanning retrospective on one of America’s most beloved painters, must close its run on Sunday, July 30. Read the rest of this entry »

Getting better with age

July 25th, 2017

Photo courtesy of the AGO.

Do you remember Transformation AGO? Back in 2008, the AGO reopened its doors after a major expansion and renovation project designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. It was a huge moment for the Gallery (and Toronto), as the new façade with its distinctive bowed Galleria Italia added a whole new dimension to the cityscape.

One person who clearly remembers the preparation, the process and the result is Roman Baron, a long-time AGO security guard. Roman has been working at the Gallery for 28 years, and has seen it all – celebrities, renovations and all the moments in between. Read the rest of this entry »

Travel back in time

July 17th, 2017

Jean-Baptiste Armand Guillaumin. Chaumière à Damiette, c. 1885. Oil on canvas, 54.2 x 69.8 cm. Gift from the Estate of R. Fraser Elliott, 2005. (2005/172) © 2017 Art Gallery of Ontario.

The AGO’s Look:Forward reinstallation project is marching forward! The latest gallery to get a facelift is the Richard Barry Fudger Memorial Gallery on Level 1. It’s now home to some of the AGO’s most outstanding pieces of European art from the 1800s, an exciting time for artists across the continent, as our Assistant Curator of European Art, Caroline Shields, explains in the video below:

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