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Conservation Notes: Artist Betty Goodwin’s thoughts on paper

July 28th, 2014

Marianne at work in the studio

Marianne at work in the studio

As Digital Special Collections Assistant in the AGO Library and Archives this summer, Marianne Williams is building new enclosures to preserve decades’ worth of sketchbooks and notebooks of the late Montreal-based artist Betty Goodwin.

Goodwin bequeathed more than 100 sketchbooks, notebooks, agendas and diaries to the AGO. Many of them were featured in the Gallery’s 2010/2011 exhibition Work Notes, which showcased Goodwin’s artistic practice and process. Once off display, the books were wrapped in acid-free tissue as a temporary storage measure, as seen above.

Click through slideshow to see all the steps

The first step in creating a new enclosure is measuring the dimensions of the notebook to the millimetre and then creating a custom-made box from archival-quality materials to house the book. Using these materials protects the notebook from acid normally found in paper materials that can yellow and deteriorate over time, causing brittleness and increased risk of damage.

The customized box, called an enclosure, is then labelled and tied together with cotton tape in order to secure all of the flaps. This protects the books from shifting around when being handled, prevents scratches or rips and ensures that any loose materials, like pressed flowers or loose leaves of paper, stay snug in their original places.

The individual book enclosures are then placed in larger boxes for storage in the AGO Library and Archives vault.

The re-housed notebooks will be kept in the AGO’s Edward P. Taylor Library and Archives, where curators and other researchers will have access to them to study and examine in the future.

Curious about Conservation?
If you have a burning question about Conservation, leave a comment below. We’ll do our best to give you an answer in an upcoming Conservation Notes post.

Signature Partner of the AGO’s Conservation Program

Contest: Connect with your inner critic and tweet your #BaconMoore reviews

July 7th, 2014


UPDATE, July 21, 2014: This contest is now closed, and we will be contacting winners through their Twitter accounts. Thank you to all who participated!

Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty is closing July 20 and we hope you’ve had a chance to see the exhibition or, if not, that you plan to visit before it closes. We’ve heard from visitors who provided feedback, in words and images, at our in-exhibition response stations; now we’re inviting you to share your review of Terror and Beauty on Twitter before July 18, with the hashtag #BaconMoore and tagging us, @agotoronto. Everyone who submits a review of 140 characters or fewer (emoji allowed) will be entered into a draw to win one of five pairs of tickets to see Alex Colville, opening Aug. 23 and running to Jan. 4, 2015. AGO members, who see both exhibitions for free, will be able to transfer the prize to friends if they are selected as winners.

Have questions about the contest? Ask us in the comments.

Canadian migrant-rights activist Pablo Muñoz wins WorldPride 2014 National Youth Solidarity art contest

June 26th, 2014

The Michaëlle Jean Foundation, the AGO and WorldPride Toronto 2014 are delighted to announce the winner of the 4th Wall Youth Solidarity Project online vote.

Selected as winner by more than a thousand Canadians of all ages from across the country, Vancouver-based artist and rights activist Pablo Muñoz receives $1,000 and will work with a seasoned public art practitioner to see his art mounted on the western wall of the AGO.

His work, No Walls Between Us, highlights the unique experiences of migrant and racialized LGBT youth. It was one of six pieces of art chosen by a jury to represent the theme of “Solidarity with Canada’s Two-Spirited and LGBTTIQQ Communities,” in an unprecedented exhibition celebrating WorldPride Toronto 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

This month in Prints and Drawings: Date with James Tissot

June 9th, 2014

James Tissot, October, 1878. Etching on laid paper, 55 x 28 cm. Purchased as a Gift of The Marvin Gelber Fund from the Collection of Allan and Sondra Gotlieb, 1994.

James Tissot, October, 1878. Etching on laid paper, 55 x 28 cm. Purchased as a Gift of The Marvin Gelber Fund from the Collection of Allan and Sondra Gotlieb, 1994.

For the month of June, Prints and Drawings is taking AGO visitors on a Date with James Tissot, the newest edition of its monthly Date with [Art] series.

Each Wednesday throughout the month, stop by the Marvin Gelber Print & Drawing Study Centre for the Open Door program, running from 1 to 8 p.m. Enjoy tours of the Study Centre and see original works by Tissot. Before 4:30 p.m., you can even ask staff members to bring specific works out from storage for viewing. Read the rest of this entry »

Listen: Jim Munroe, Mark Connery and Jonathan Mak talk video games and comics

June 4th, 2014

Click to play:

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Recorded: March 26, 2014, at the Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 01:29:05

In this podcast, hear AGO artist-in-residence Jim Munroe in conversation with artists Mark Connery, a Toronto-based comic and zine artist, and Jonathan Mak, a Toronto-based game developer, about their work, indie culture and how playfulness factors into their practices. Read the rest of this entry »

In memoriam: A tribute to the memory of Lynne Cohen

May 15th, 2014

The Art Gallery of Ontario shares in the loss of Lynne Cohen, one of Canada’s finest visual artists. Lynne’s remarkable body of work took us to extraordinary, often-foreboding places — places we would be unlikely to encounter in our daily lives, except through her compelling photographs. Her enigmatic, real-world photographs of interior environments, uninhabited by humans, alluded to her sense of wit and irony.

Lynne Cohen, Untitled (Column), 2009. © Lynne Cohen, 2010.

Lynne Cohen, Untitled (Column), 2009. © Lynne Cohen, 2010.

An internationally collected artist, Lynne was nominated for the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize (then called the Grange Prize) in 2009, and the AGO is proud to have exhibited her work alongside the nominees from Canada and Mexico. Lynne spent her Prize-sponsored residency in Mexico, inspired by interior spaces that became new installations of extraordinary photographs.

Lynne’s legacy will be remembered by all who admired her vision, dedication to students, loyalty to those who knew her and her incredible strength the past three years. Our deepest condolences to Andrews Lugg, her partner of 50 years, who was closest to Lynne in every way.

— Maia Sutnik, Curator, Special Photography Projects at the AGO

“Inspiring, fearsome, transcendent”: Visitors respond to Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty

May 12th, 2014

By Gillian McIntyre, Interpretive Planner, AGO

“If I go to the National Gallery and I look at one of the great paintings that excite me there, it’s not so much the painting that excites me as that the painting unlocks all kinds of valves of sensation in me which return me to life more violently”
—Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon and Henry Moore both used the human form to express violence and trauma in their art as well as the resilience of the human spirit. When we were planning Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty we knew visitors would probably have a strong reaction to the work, one way or another, and we wanted to gather and share these responses. Bacon particularly wanted people to feel something when they saw his art.

In the last room of the exhibition we set up iPads with digital pens and invited people to express their thoughts by drawing and writing, the results of which we are projecting on the wall of the room. The questions were intentionally quite general: “What is your response?” and “What role do the arts play in your life?”

The results have been staggering. So far we have received more than 3,500 responses, many of them, as predicted, very strong (see a selection below). It is obvious from them that people have understood what is hard to put into words. Quoting Bacon again: “If you can say it, why paint it?” Writing about art — essentially a visual communication — can be reductive, so it is interesting to see that visitors are able to read the art so well. One of the surprises is how closely people have looked at the Bacon paintings — his compositional space construct appears often in their drawings. Read the rest of this entry »

Drawn to comics? Join the AGO at TCAF for a special panel this Saturday

May 9th, 2014

Comics Curation
Saturday, May 10, 2014
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel, 90 Bloor St. E., Toronto (map)

Comics are having a moment here at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Together with the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, we invite you to join Andrew Hunter, the AGO’s Frederik S. Eaton Curator of Canadian Art, as he discusses the AGO’s inclusion of cartoonists and their work in programming and exhibitions. Joining him will be two lauded Canadian cartoonists who have recently collaborated with the Gallery: Chester Brown, currently featured in Chester Brown and Louis Riel, and David Collier, who has produced an eight-page comic that will accompany our upcoming exhibition Alex Colville. Finally, the panel will touch on our just-announced Art Spiegelman’s CO-MIX: A Retrospective.

Art Spiegelman, Self-Portrait with Maus Mask, The Village Voice, cover, June 6, 1989. Ink and correction fluid on paper. Copyright © 1989 by Art Spiegelman. Used by permission of the artist and The Wylie Agency LLC.  Courtesy Drawn + Quarterly.

Art Spiegelman, Self-Portrait with Maus Mask, The Village Voice, cover, June 6, 1989. Ink and correction fluid on paper. Copyright © 1989 by Art Spiegelman. Used by permission of the artist and The Wylie Agency LLC.
Courtesy Drawn + Quarterly.

About Art Spiegelman’s CO-MIX: A Retrospective
Art Spiegelman’s comics have been redefining a genre for more than 50 years, and this December the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will pay homage to the Pulitzer Prize–winning artist with an exhibition highlighting the breadth of his career. Art Spiegelman’s CO-MIX: A Retrospective opens on Dec. 20, 2014, and runs to March 14, 2015. A tireless innovator who is unafraid to tackle difficult subject matter, Spiegelman has drawn inspiration from a wide range of sources in his work including politics, the Holocaust, Cubism and hard-boiled detective fiction. Maus, a two-volume graphic novel that recounts his parents’ life in Nazi-occupied Poland and later at Auschwitz, was the first and only work of its genre to win the Pulitzer Prize, in 1992. The exhibition also features 300 works on paper ranging from trading cards to magazine covers.

Chester Brown, Portrait of Louis Riel (2003), ink on paper, collection of the artist.

Chester Brown, Portrait of Louis Riel (2003), ink on paper, collection of the artist.

About Chester Brown and Louis Riel
For more than two decades, Chester Brown has been one of Canada’s leading cartoonists. His innovative and influential Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography, which expanded the audience for Canadian cartooning, celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013. A selection of original drawings from the publication is now on view at the AGO. The works feature the Manitoba politician and Métis leader Louis David Riel fleeing from Fort Garry (now Winnipeg), and his subsequent hanging for treason. Brown’s work combines bold imagery, stark compositions and simple texts to convey a complex Canadian tragedy that remains, for many, controversial and unresolved.

About Alex Colville
More than 100 works by Canadian icon Alex Colville (1920-2013) will be presented at the Art Gallery of Ontario starting in summer 2014, marking the largest exhibition of the late artist’s work to date. Curated by Andrew Hunter, the AGO’s curator of Canadian art, the exhibition will honour Colville’s legacy and explore the continuing impact of his work from the perspectives of several prominent popular culture figures from film, literature and music.

Friday with Francis Bacon, Henry Moore and friends

May 6th, 2014


UPDATED May 23, 2014: Responding to visitor feedback, extended Friday night hours at the AGO on June 6 and July 11 will not go ahead as planned. Visitors continue to take advantage of the AGO’s Wednesday evenings, when the AGO is open till 8:30 p.m., and weekends hours. Tickets for Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty can be booked online now for both Wednesday evenings and weekend hours.

This Friday, May 9, after work, we’re extending Gallery hours until 8:30 p.m. The full Gallery plus special exhibitionFrancis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty will be open, and visitors are invited to relax in Galleria Italia and start the weekend off right with friends, food and tunes. We’re offering the same extended hours on two additional Fridays, June 6 and July 11. Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrate moms with us this May

April 24th, 2014

This year the AGO celebrates moms with special programming all over the Gallery. Here’s what’s on:

Maternité au lit jaune, or Madame Fontaine et le petit Noël, 1896. Denis, Maurice. Oil and graphite on canvas. 44.6 x 50.9 cm. Framed: 64.8 x 70 cm. Gift of Mrs. Judy Simmonds, 2008. © 2014 Art Gallery of Ontario.

Maternité au lit jaune, or Madame Fontaine et le petit Noël, 1896. Denis, Maurice. Oil and graphite on canvas. 44.6 x 50.9 cm. Framed: 64.8 x 70 cm. Gift of Mrs. Judy Simmonds, 2008. © 2014 Art Gallery of Ontario.

Mother’s Day brunch
Edit, May 9, 4 p.m. SOLD OUT
On Sunday, May 11, FRANK restaurant celebrates moms with a special Mother’s Day brunch buffet. The menu features an enormous selection of offerings including traditional breakfast fare, a seafood station, a carving station featuring roasted AAA tenderloin, a la carte [check accents] menus, kid-friendly options and more. Brunch will be served from 11 a.m to 3:30 p.m. at a cost of $75 per adult. Children ages 6-10 can dine for $20 and children under 5 eat for $12. Reservations are encouraged as space is limited. Please call 416-979-6688 or visit FRANK online for more information.

Mother’s Day tea at The Grange (members only)
Enjoy Mother’s Day with a deliciously modern version of a Victorian tea on May 11 (seatings at 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 and 3:15 p.m.). Members are invited to enjoy a wide variety of tea along with delicious scones, croissants, sandwiches, assorted desserts and a few surprises. Book tickets for this exclusive Mother’s Day event and spend the rest of the day exploring the Collection at the Gallery.

Mother’s Day card-making at AGO Family Sundays
Part of our Family Sunday programming on Sunday, May 4, includes card-making! Get ready to cut, paste and draw something special for Mom.

Mother’s Day gift ideas

Our shopAGO team has selected a range of items perfect for Mom. See some of them below and visit the shop’s special Mother’s Day display for more options.