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We <3 moms: celebrate them 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:

Mother’s Day brunch
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 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.

Mark your calendar: Five AGO public openings in 2014

April 23rd, 2014

We’re pleased to announce a series of public openings to celebrate the exhibitions of Canadian and international contemporary artists taking place at the Gallery this year.

Please join us for the following public openings:

The events will take place in Walker Court from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday evenings, when general admission to the Gallery is free; a cash bar will be open from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Remarks start at 7:30 pm, and the artists will be in attendance. Feel free share this invitation with your friends and networks — everyone is welcome!

Conservation Notes: Simon Starling’s Infestation Piece: Musseled Moore

April 22nd, 2014

In this video AGO conservator of Contemporary and Inuit Art Sherry Phillips explains the work she’s doing with U.K. artist Simon Starling’s Infestation Piece: Musseled Moore, part of the AGO’s collection of contemporary art, and the artist discusses how it is aging. For background on Musseled Moore, watch the video below as Starling discusses the creation of this aquacultural work.


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


Scene and herd: Tracking bison with photographer Edgardo Aragón

April 9th, 2014

The latest video project by Edgardo Aragón – a finalist in the 2013 AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize – tracks bison across North American, in Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest Territories, in Yellowstone National Park and near Chihuahua in Mexico, his home country. We talked to him about the project, made possible by his AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize residency.

AGO: Of the three places you visited for your project, which was the most surprising, in terms of defying your expectations? Why?
Edgardo Aragón: I was very surprised and still I am about Fort Smith. Given the conditions under which people live in this place, it could seem impossible that there’s life there, but life exists, along with one of the strangest lights that I will ever see in my life.

Since going to these places, has your plan for the project changed?
Whenever I plan a new project, I always expect that the circumstances change the nature of the project itself. In this case the change happened, without a doubt. Natural conditions modify the project a great deal, complementing and giving body to it in a way that a sketch could not. I’m satisfied.

Many animal species migrate – why did you choose to focus on bison?
I chose the bison for two reasons. The first is that it had a natural frontier that would shift according to the climate conditions, modifying substantially the life of the First Nations people who depended on the bison to survive. They would conform to the bison’s behaviour. That’s why the project is not, in fact, trying to create a portrait of bison so much as one of the invisible men that has ceased to live in harmony with it.

The second reason is that this animal species does’t migrate. After nearly becoming extinct at the hands of the white man, it has endured some sort of domestication. Today it is a species in the process of recuperation in Mexico and Canada. It is curious to note that in the U.S., where there are more reserves, the bison is not a protected species and is limited to its territories. This domestication is an aspect of extermination as well, of the animal and its animal nature and, of course, of what little spirit of the First Nations people remains.

Why did you decide to use video for this project instead of still images?
Video is a more organic tool, more malleable. You can move it in many directions to generate a specific discourse or an open one. I think I choose video because I like having elements that are closer to a sense of physical presence, closer to the movement of the apparatus, to the presence of a witness and specifically to the manipulation of time. Duration plays a fundamental role in establishing the dimensions of the theme. The sounds of the places or the absence of such sounds plays a fundamental role in the atmospheres that I’m trying to convey and generate in the project.

When you gave an interview to the Northern Journal, you said, “In a way, the real subject of the video project does not exist…It’s an invisible phantom.” Can you elaborate on that? What is the real subject?
The subject I am portraying is the human who lived with the presence of the bison. That way of life is poorly understood by Eurocentric cultures. That was what I was interested in discovering or portraying. I followed the path of the bison because it represents the way First Nations people lived. All the vacant spaces left around the bison are the spaces left by earlier lives – lives lived within the cultural shock generated by contact with Europe – and the near-extermination of the bison. The creation of reserves for the native people of the Americas were really the extermination of a spirit that generated a sense of life.

With the westernisation of North America a philosophy of life was destroyed – a loss which we have not been able to fully understand yet. This is why I like to think about this video as a portrait of an invisible human being, a portrait of a philosophy of life inherent to the creative and cultural spirit of a human being that disappeared many years ago. The presence of reserves for human and animal species is only one of its forms of annihilation. This is the central objective of the project.

All photos courtesy of the artist. Keep up with this year’s Aimia | AGO Photography Prize on Twitter and Facebook.

Coming soon: Matthew Barney’s DRAWING RESTRAINT 2, 6 and 17

April 8th, 2014

We’re excited to announce that Matthew Barney’s DRAWING RESTRAINT 2, 6 and 17 from his acclaimed Drawing Restraint series will be on view at the AGO from May 31 to Sept. 28, 2014. Taking place on the fourth floor of the AGO’s contemporary tower, the exhibition of these videos is organized in conjunction with the Luminato Festival 2014. Barney is renowned internationally for his provocative and richly visual sequences of sculpture, video and performance. Elaborate and mysterious, projects such as The CREMASTER Cycle (1994-2001) – a series of five feature-length films – weave mythological narratives and art-historical references.

DRAWING RESTRAINT (1987-present) is a significant and long-term project for Barney in which he proposes art-making as parallel to athletic training: the development of form occurs through resistance. Begun while still a student at Yale, DRAWING RESTRAINT shows the influence of Barney’s background as an athlete and model and his intent to foreground the physical body and its tensions in a studio practice. The complete series, DRAWING RESTRAINT 1-17, now comprises drawings, sculpture, photographs and video works emerging from his self-imposed and increasingly complex obstacles and scenarios. Considered together, DRAWING RESTRAINT forms an ongoing proposition for the harnessing of human impulses and drives into a desired output, artistic or otherwise. It demonstrates the underpinnings of Barney’s work, in which the body plays a central role and ritualistic processes of creation are explored through manifold materials, settings and personas.

The earliest work in the series, DRAWING RESTRAINT 1-6 (1987-1989), shows simple studio experiments, where Barney attempts to mark the ceiling and the walls while bouncing on a tilted trampoline or tethered at the thighs with bungee cords. From the 1990s onwards, he began to introduce the spectacular cinematic narratives for which he is best known. DRAWING RESTRAINT 17 (2010), filmed in Switzerland, is a two-channel video bearing Barney’s signature high production value and allegorical storytelling. Usually, in this series, Barney subjects his own body to physical tests; here for the first time, the protagonist is an athletic young Swiss woman, while Barney now plays the removed role of the established artist.

About the artist
Matthew Barney was born in 1967 in San Francisco. Since 1991, his work has been presented worldwide. His most recent project, River of Fundament, is featured in a major new exhibition at Haus der Kunst, Munich, opening March 2014. Barney’s many notable solo exhibitions include: Prayer Sheet with the Wound and the Nail at Schaulager, Basel (2010); Drawing Restraint at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2008) and Serpentine Gallery, London (2007); and The CREMASTER Cycle at the Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; and Artangel, London (2002). Barney was the recipient of the Europa 2000 Prize at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993 and the Hugo Boss Prize in 1996. He lives and works in New York.


On June 7, 2014, join us for Meet the Artist: Matthew Barney, when he will be in conversation with Luminato Festival Artist Director Jorn Weisbrodt and our curator of modern and contemporary art, Kitty Scott.

The 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize: Meet the jury

March 31st, 2014

Voting won’t begin until late summer, but the 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is well underway. Over the past few months, individuals around the world have been researching and discussing exciting new ideas and directions in fine art photography and putting forward the names of artists whose recent work has shown extraordinary potential. The nominators — a group of 13 curators, critics and artists — submit two artists each for inclusion on the long list, and then a three-person jury selects a short list of four. Later this year, the shortlisted artists’ work will be exhibited at the AGO and online, and the public vote will decide who wins the $50,000 CAD prize.

We’re happy to introduce you to this year’s jury, led by the AGO’s associate curator of photography, Sophie Hackett, and we hope you’ll follow along as the Prize develops in 2014. Keep an eye out for long-list and short-list announcements in the coming months, and follow the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize on Facebook and Twitter for more news.

This year’s jury:

jurorSophie

Sophie Hackett is the Associate Curator, Photography, at the Art Gallery of Ontario and adjunct faculty in Ryerson University’s master’s program in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management. She has contributed to several Canadian art magazines, international journals and monographs, and she has curated or co-curated several exhibitions and public projects at the AGO, including Suzy Lake: Rhythm of a True Space (2008); Barbara Kruger: Untitled (It) (2010); “Where I was born…”: A Photograph, a Clue and the Discovery of Abel Boulineau (2011); Songs of the Future: Canadian Industrial Photographs, 1858 to Today (2011); Album: A Public Project (2012) and Light My Fire: Some Propositions about Portraits and Photography (2013-2014), a wide-ranging consideration of the photographic portrait, drawn from the AGO’s permanent collection. Upcoming projects include What It Means To be Seen: Photography and Queer Visibility and Fan the Flames: Queer Positions in Photography — both opening in June 2014. She is the lead juror for the 2014 AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize, a role she also held in 2010 and 2012.


Laurie Simmons

Laurie Simmons (b.1949, USA) stages photographs and films with paper dolls, finger puppets, ventriloquist dummies and costumed dancers as “living objects,” animating a dollhouse world suffused with nostalgia and colored by an adult’s memories, longings, and regrets. Simmons’ work blends psychological, political, and conceptual approaches to art-making, transforming photography’s propensity to objectify people, especially women, into a sustained critique of the medium. She has received many awards, including the Roy Lichtenstein Residency in the Visual Arts at the American Academy in Rome (2005), and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1997) and the National Endowment for the Arts (1984). She has had major exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Baltimore Museum of Art; San Jose Museum of Art, California; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and she has participated in two Whitney Biennial exhibitions (1985, 1991) and was included in the 2013 Venice Biennial. Her work is represented in many noted collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.


HDK-Enwezor-Photo-Jeff-Weiner

Okwui Enwezor is a Nigerian-born, German-based scholar, curator, and writer and has been director of Haus der Kunst since October 2011. He was adjunct curator at International Center of Photography, New York, and previously adjunct curator of Contemporary Art, at the Art Institute of Chicago. Enwezor has served as the artistic director of several leading biennials and international exhibitions and in December 2013 he was appointed as director of the Visual Arts Sector of the 56th Biennale di Venezia. Enwezor’s curatorial credits include exhibitions presented in museums and venues across the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, including Guggenheim Museum, Tate Modern, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, PS1 / MoMA, New York and the National Gallery of Canada. Enwezor has received numerous awards and honors for his work including an honourary fellowship from the Royal College of Art, London (2010) and an award for Curatorial Excellence from Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture, Bard College (2009). He lives in Munich and New York.


This year’s nominators were:

  • Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver
  • Veronica Cordeiro, curator, Centro de Fotografía de Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Moyra Davey, artist and nominee for the 2010 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize (then called the Grange Prize)
  • Jon Davies, associate curator, Oakville Galleries
  • Gary Dufour, adjunct associate professor, University of Western Australia and former chief curator/deputy director, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
  • Tamar Garb, Durning Lawrence Professor in the History of Art, University College, London, U.K.
  • Gauri Gill, artist and winner of the 2011 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize (then called the Grange Prize)
  • Marie-Josée Jean, head of the VOX Contemporary Image Centre, Montreal
  • Mami Kataoka, chief curator, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
  • Beatrix Ruf, director/curator, Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich
  • Jonathan Shaughnessy, associate curator, Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
  • Brian Sholis, associate curator of Photography at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati
  • Kim Simon, curator, Gallery TPW, Toronto

Time to party: MASSIVE 10 artist projects and entertainment

March 21st, 2014

On April 10, 2014, see artwork by Katie Bethune-Leamen, Bruno Billio, Jorden Blue Doody & David James Doody, Randy Grskovic, Sean Martindale, Hazel Meyer, Talwst and Artistic Director Justin Broadbent created exclusively for MASSIVE 10, the 10th anniversary of the AGO’s Massive Party fundraiser. In addition to these artists, we’re pleased to announce a musical lineup that will keep guests dancing all night long, including DJ Filthy Gorgeous, DJ Soundbwoy, Johnny Hockin and Joseph Of Mercury / Joseph & The Mercurials. Guests will also be treated to a birthday fête at the Aimia Photo Booth by Melanie Cantwell Designs where they will receive a memento of the evening. Guests will also be invited to interact with the Absolut Vodka installation by MAKELAB.

Massive Party tickets have sold out for the past four years running, so get your tickets now!

Artists and project details

Justin Broadbent
Justin Broadbent is back for his second year as Massive Party’s Artistic Director after the hugely successful Massive Party GOLD in 2013. He is an accomplished Toronto-based multi-disciplinary artist. His portfolio includes works in video performance, poems, funny ideas, illustration, design, shirt design, music video direction and installation. Justin is also a self-taught photographer. As a video director, Justin has worked with bands such as Shad, Metric, Serena Ryder and Classified. He has been nominated for five MuchMusic Video Awards, including Rock Video of the Year and Hip Hop Video of the Year. Justin’s other awards include a Juno for Record Package of the Year and a CBC Bucky Award for Music Video of the Year. Justin makes a point of choosing layered projects that challenge his expectations. His work often centres around meaning-of-life topics, which he delivers with a glimmer of charm and wit. Justin’s work is inspired by the impossibility of a seed becoming a tree, thrift stores, clever lyrics and human perseverance. He spends his spare time outdoors, looking at the world as if for the first time and adding to his collection of porcelain cat figurines that adorn the mantle of his Toronto home. Justin also likes rappers Creemore and David Shrigley.

Katie Bethune-Leamen
Katie Bethune-Leamen works in installation, sculpture, video and drawing. She received a BFA from Concordia University (Montreal) and a MFA from the University of Guelph. Katie has exhibited across Canada, in Iceland, Japan, France, Australia, the USA, the Netherlands, England, Australia and other countries. Recent solo exhibitions include Shiny Object Person (Young Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario). Recent residencies include Fogo Island Arts (Fogo Island, NL) and SIM (Reykjavik, IS), with ones upcoming at the Illulissat Art Museum (Ilulissat, GD) and The American Museum of Natural History (NYC). In 2012 Rick Rhodes, editor of Canadian Art magazine, listed her as one of the “Top 3 of 2012.” Katie is the recipient of numerous grants and awards. Her writing has appeared in Canadian Art, C Magazine, Border Crossings and others.

At MASSIVE 10 Katie will be bringing 10 artists into the Gallery to participate in art creation throughout the evening. Guests won’t want to miss the chance to watch creativity live as artists interpret the same reference image in 10 different ways.

Bruno Billio
Bruno Billio is a Canadian artist working from an interdisciplinary background. At once an installation artist, a sculptor and a designer, Bruno creates challenging works informed by his command of each of these practices. He is currently living and working in Toronto, and has been the resident artist at the Gladstone Hotel on Queen West, in the fashionable art gallery district in Toronto, for the past few years. Bruno Billio’s artistic practice is informed by the active displacement and staging of the found object, a contemporary art strategy with a historically established lineage. The everyday is reinterpreted through its spatial and contextual re-appropriation by the artist, who presents himself by proxy as both an interventionist and an inventor. Bruno has exhibited internationally in Milan, London, Miami, New York and Los Angeles. Bruno was also Massive Party’s Artistic Director from 2010-12 – shaping the vision for Massive Party Speakeasy, Marchesa Luisa Casati’s Massive Party and #thefutureofartis.

Jorden Blue Doody & David James Doody
Jorden Blue & David James Doody are both graduates from the University of British Columbia in Critical and Creative Studies. Although each artist offers a uniquely individual approach to the discourse of visual arts, they share a common focus on the materialism of cultural codification. Their combined individual practices have been heavily influenced by world travel and the cross pollination of mass media, ritual and fetishistic cultures. Their practice moves freely between new media, sculpture, and painting.

“As a collaborative team for the past seven years, we believe that communication has been the foundation of our artistic relationship. A common thread that can be traced throughout our work is that of collage. By sampling freely from a multitude of different sources, we are able to access unlimited individual histories, societal contexts and cultural symbols. For us, collage is more than just cut and paste, it is an immediate sense of being; it is our way of participating in the re-contextualization of our unfolding culture.” Through their open processes of art-making they allow happenstance to regurgitate cultural intuition in an act of artistic survival.

Randy Grskovic
Randy Grskovic is an artist and curator living in Toronto, Ontario. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, in Advanced Media communication, from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. Randy has shown his artwork and curated others in exhibitions across Canada at galleries including Equinox and Centre A in Vancouver, V-Tape in Toronto, L’oeil de Poison in Quebec City and Eastern Edge in St. John’s, NL. Randy is the former owner of experimental short-term galleries including The Age of Info(rmation), Cutty Contemporary and Good Luck Art Gallery.

For MASSIVE 10, Randy will be honouring the AGO on a milestone event, congratulating all the Massive Party attendees who help make programming at the gallery possible, as well as cheering on the artists who helped create MASSIVE 10. His piece will provide encouragement to all involved while highlighting the spectacle inherent in the event. Don’t miss out on receiving the recognition you deserve as a Massive Party attendee.

Sean Martindale
Sean Martindale is an emerging and internationally recognized interdisciplinary artist and designer currently based in Toronto, Canada. His interventions activate public and semi-public spaces to encourage engagement, often focused on ecological and social issues. Sean’s playful works question and suggest alternate possibilities for existing spaces, infrastructures and materials found in the urban environment. Frequently, Sean uses salvaged goods and live plants in unexpected ways that prompt conversations and interaction.

Sean’s projects have been featured on countless prominent sites online, as well as in traditional media such as print, radio, broadcast television and film. His practice has a global following and has been written about in countries all around the world, and in multiple languages. Sean was profiled for the first episode of the CBC’s Great Minds of Design, one of his lectures was filmed by TVO for their Big Ideas series, and his work was also included in the feature-length documentary This Space Available, released in 2011.

Hazel Meyer
Hazel Meyer is a visual artist and sports enthusiast based in Toronto. She draws pictures, text and comics, makes letterpress prints, screen-printed multiples, broadcasts and constructs physical environments that are used for performance, collaboration, workshops and amateur athletics. From the monumental to the modest her projects range from immersive installations, to small woven tags meant for an audience of one. Much like the tag line of The Litter Game, a collaborative project she started with Lucy Pawlak and Jim Skuldt in 2013, her practice is devoted to a forever shifting ratio of endurance, transgression and laughs, as ways of being in one’s body and the world. She holds an MFA from OCAD University (Toronto), a BFA from Concordia University (Montréal) and shows her work in galleries, artist-run centers and festivals inter/nationally.

Keep an eye out throughout MASSIVE 10 for Hazel’s presentation of NADIA! NADIA! The piece centres around the 1976 Montréal Olympic Games and 14 year old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci who received what was then the first ever 10 to be awarded at the Olympics. The scoreboard used at the time had not been engineered for the four numbers that make up an Olympic 10 (10.00), so it was displayed as 1.00. This moment of utter physical prowess and domination is made even more radical by the inability of the technology to be able to represent it. This discord is the starting point for NADIA! NADIA!.

TALWST
His practice is a study in extremes. As a musical performer, TALWST (né Curtis Santiago) is larger-than-life. As a visual artist, he has spent the better part of six years building miniature dioramas, entire worlds that fit in the palm of your hand. TALWST creates exquisite landscapes inhabited by vivid characters—hand-painted and reconstructed Preiser’s figurines—freezing memories and moments inside reclaimed ring boxes. From 2007 to 2010, he apprenticed under Aboriginal artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. In the past six years, TALWST has had six solo exhibitions in Toronto, New York, Edmonton and Vancouver. As a recording artist, he’s collaborated with Grammy-winning producer Illangelo to release his fourth solo album, Alien Tentacle Sex, to international acclaim in 2012.

For MASSIVE 10, TALWST is scaling up and exploring interactivity and spectatorship in a one-night-only piece. Dynasty 10-0 plays off the Massive party theme, 10, and builds on previous artwork examining Canadiana, race and identity construction. For Dynasty 10-0, TALWST is incorporating new media, textiles and performance. Influenced more by Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival than participatory art, TALWST seeks to create the same spirit of role-play, interaction and fete. Instead of traditional Carnival characters he has cast actors to portray hockey players and coach dressing for the fictional team the Massives. The participation of event attendees will play a pivotal part in how this happening unfolds.

Melanie Cantwell
Melanie Cantwell is an interior decorator, stylist and set designer. Originally from Prince Edward Island, Melanie now resides in downtown Toronto and has a number of art and interior design-based projects on her list of accomplishments, ranging from residential clients and styling for a variety of design-based photo shoots. Melanie is currently the set decorator on the Steven and Chris show on CBC where she oversees the set styling and manages the look and aesthetic of each individual segment. Melanie studied fine arts and graduated with accreditations in advertising and marketing from Sheridan College and interior decorating from George Brown College.

At MASSIVE 10, see Melanie’s set design at the Aimia photo booth. Guests will be able to have their photos taken while wishing the AGO’s Massive Party a “Happy 10th Birthday” surrounded by sweet confections, balloons and other special touches befitting of this milestone celebration.

Filthy Gorgeous
Filthy Gorgeous is the seductive alias of Toronto born DJ, Kristin Leeder. After bursting onto the scene in 2007, Filthy Gorgeous forged an identity with sensual, rhythmic styles that immediately set her apart from her peers. With sets that draw on cutting edge dance music Filthy Gorgeous has become known for a sound that is both rich and complex. She has performed with and received praise from the world’s top international superstar musician/DJs such as Skrillex, Drake, Disclosure, Annie Mac, Nero, Flight Facilities, The Twelves, Tensnake, Theophiles London, Fred Falk and Alvin Risk.

From playing at local Toronto hot spot, The Hoxton, to sold out shows at The Fillmore Miami Beach, New York’s Webster Hall, a regular at various SOHO House locations and special events during Winter Music Conference (WMC), Filthy Gorgeous always leaves the crowd wanting more. A favourite amongst the fashion crowd she has developed long-lasting relationships and played events for some of the world’s leading Fashion and Lifestyle brands. Filthy Gorgeous continues to win fans by building her reputation as an exciting international DJ talent. Constantly evolving and never afraid to take risks, she has made it clear that Filthy Gorgeous is one to watch out for.

Johnny Hockin
Johnny Hockin is a Canadian DJ, musician and multimedia producer. He is a local Toronto fixture, using his wide-ranging taste and an eclectic repertoire to link classic soul, disco, rock, hip hop and electronic music into a sound uniquely his own. He consistently plays for high-end corporate clients and some of the city’s favourite rooms (from Soho House to Thomson to the Drake Hotel to L’Oreal Fashion Week).

He is also known to many Canadians as the former face of movies on MTV Canada, interviewing hundreds of filmmakers and stars. Over the course of 5 years, Ryan Gosling brooded with him, Nic Cage looked at him funny, George Clooney charmed him, Jason Bateman made fun of his name and Justin Timberlake sang to him. Werner Herzog follows him on twitter.

DJ Soundbwoy
Wake up world. Wake up to the aural mindtrip that is the Soundbwoy experience. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada – the city that comes alive when everyone else is asleep – Soundbwoy is the embodiment of what is needed to lead the next generation of music connoisseurs into a new dimension of existence. Unbound by convention, Soundbwoy offers those in attendance the ability to transcend the dance floor and travel on paths only found in dream sequences. He is far from mash up yet incapable of being categorized by any one genre; a musical everyman blessed with the gift of virtuosity behind the turntables. From soulful gems found through countless hours of crate digging to the most ominous of house anthems from the sun swept beaches of Ibiza, a Soundbwoy party is like travelling with a master storyteller crafting his latest fairytale while touching the deepest parts of your imagination. Feel the party transform into your personal looking glass and let Soundbwoy guide you through his universe like no one else can.
Wake up world.

Joseph & The Mercurials / Joseph Of Mercury
Born to the dying synthesized bells of the 80s. Reincarnated from the velvet gentleman of the 50s. Stark Dark & Echo Heavy. Influenced more by the haunting sounds of nature & cinema than by music itself, Joseph spins cavernous worlds of light & ocean, longing & romance… all with nothing more than his voice & the mournful call of a swooning guitar. Seduced by the beauty of fashion & design, enraptured in its drama & detail, Joseph cloaks himself in the colours of their world, as they are enveloped by the echoes of his sound. Each song has found its rightful place among the works of Victoria’s Secret, RW&Co., Members Only, Stockholm S/S/A/W, Fashion Magazine, & V Spain. As if by desire & fate. Desire is everything.

For more information about MASSIVE 10, visit massiveparty.ca.

Remembering Itee Pootoogook

March 21st, 2014

Itee Pootoogook, Fuel Tank,  2011. Pencil crayon and ink on paper , 121.9 x 121.9 cm.  Purchased with the assistance of the Joan Chalmers Inuit Art Purchase Fund, 2012. Copyright Art Gallery of Ontario  .

Itee Pootoogook, Fuel Tank, 2011. Pencil crayon and ink on paper , 121.9 x 121.9 cm. Purchased with the assistance of the Joan Chalmers Inuit Art Purchase Fund, 2012.

We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of leading contemporary Inuit artist Itee Pootoogook (born 1951) following a battle with cancer. Itee created distinct and powerful images of life in the north and was best known in recent years for his large format drawings. His works have the haunting simplicity of Alex Colville’s paintings, while bringing a scale and monumentality to the details and daily rituals of contemporary Inuit life. Along with fellow Inuit artists Shuvinai Ashoona, Tim Pitsiuolak and Jutai Toonoo, Itee brought international and critical attention to an important and bold new approach to art in the north and inspired an emerging generation of artists. He will be missed and has left us too soon.

The AGO has been committed to Itee Pootoogook through the acquisition of a dozen works including Fuel Tank (above), acquired in 2012.

—Andrew Hunter, Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art

Saying goodbye to The Great Upheaval (and thanks to our visitors)

March 20th, 2014

More than 140,000 people visited The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918 at the Art Gallery of Ontario between November 30, 2013, and March 2, 2014. The exhibition was a rare opportunity to see works by a large group of outstanding artists — including Chagall, Kandinsky, Matisse, Modigliani, Mondrian and Picasso — from the collection of the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

The exhibition’s attendance ranks it close to other recent popular exhibitions at the Gallery: Ai Weiwei: According to What? and David Bowie is both drew crowds of about 145,000 each.

Thanks to everyone who helped bring it together, inside and outside the Gallery, especially to our friends at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, lead sponsor BMO Financial Group, generous supporters Gail & Mark Appel and Joan & Jerry Lozinski and hotel partner Eaton Chelsea Toronto. And to all 142,360 of you who visited the exhibition: we hope you’ll be back. Keep sharing your thoughts with us on Facebeook and at @agotoronto on Twitter and Instagram.

The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918 was made possible by lead sponsor BMO Financial Group, generous supporters Gail & Mark Appel and Joan & Jerry Lozinski and hotel partner Eaton Chelsea Toronto.

Conservation Notes: Kress Fellow Tessa Thomas and posters of the Belle Époque

March 19th, 2014

Tessa Thomas and a Toulouse-Lautrec poster.

Tessa Thomas and a Toulouse-Lautrec poster.

The Samuel H. Kress Foundation provides yearly grants to cultural heritage institutions to support a conservation training fellowship; only nine awards for Kress Conservation Fellowships were presented for the 2013/2014 year and the AGO is pleased that the foundation selected us to receive a grant. Maria Sullivan, manager of Conservation at the AGO, calls the fellowship for emerging conservators — administered by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation — “a unique opportunity for the AGO and for conservation training in Canada.”

“Having a Kress Fellow here in the AGO Paper Conservation Lab is such a wonderful way to engage with our fabulous collection, with dynamic discussion and sharing of conservation principles and techniques within a large collecting institution,” says Joan Weir, the AGO’s conservator, Works on Paper. Read the rest of this entry »