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Archive: March, 2010

Dietmar Elger on Gerhard Richter: A Life in Painting (Audio)

March 31st, 2010

Gerhard Richter: A Life in Painting

Noted curator Dietmar Elger has written the first biography of Gerhard Richter – a foundational portrait of this artist and his profoundly influential oeuvre. With full access to Richter and his archives, Elger offers unprecedented insight into Richter’s life and work. Elger explores Richter’s childhood in Nazi Germany; his years as a student and mural painter in communist East Germany; his time in the West during the turbulent 1960s and ’70s, when student protests, political strife, and violence tore the Federal Republic of Germany apart; and, his rise to international acclaim during the 1980s and beyond. Richter has always been a difficult personality to parse, and the seemingly contradictory strands of his artistic practice have frustrated and sometimes confounded critics. In this talk Elger presents a Richter who is far more candid and vivid than ever before.

Dietmar Elger is the director of the Gerhard Richter Archive and chief curator at the Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. He is the former curator for painting and sculpture at the Sprengel Museum in Hannover. Between 1984 and 1985 he was the secretary in Gerhard Richter’s studio. He has organized numerous exhibitions on modern and contemporary art and has written and edited their accompanying catalogs.

Co-presented in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Toronto.

Recorded: March 24, 2010 @ Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 1:23:08

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Michelle Jacques discusses Toronto Now on CBC Radio’s Here and Now (Audio)

March 31st, 2010

AGO’s Michelle Jacques discusses the Toronto Now exhibition on CBC Radio’s Here and Now with Robin Brown.

Duration: 6:36

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AGO Participates in Earth Hour 2010 this Saturday

March 26th, 2010

Earth hour logo

The AGO will be participating in Earth Hour on Saturday, March 27. Earth Hour is a global lights-out event led by World Wildlife Fund to demonstrate that each of us can help fight climate change.

The AGO will be making a concerted effort to turn off or turn down lights wherever possible throughout the building between 8:30 and 9:30 pm. Interior & exterior building lighting will be dimmed to minimal emergency lighting only during the hour. 

The first earth hour was held on March 31, 2007, when 2.2 million people and 2100 Sydney (Australia) businesses turned off their lights for one hour. This massive collective effort reduced Sydney's energy consumption by 10.2% for one hour, which is the equivalent effect of taking 48,000 cars off the road for a year. For a taste of what is happening globally this year, check out

Sunday Concert: Valerie Gordon and Bijan Sepanji

March 26th, 2010

Valerie Gordon and Bijan Sepanji

This week's Royal Conservatory of Music concert in the AGO’s Walker Court features East/West violin duo Valerie Gordon and Bijan Sepanji.

The AGO is partnering with the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) to host Sunday afternoon concerts in Walker Court, where talented RCM students present these weekly performances.

The AGO is partnering with the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) to host Sunday afternoon concerts in Walker Court, where talented RCM students present these weekly performances.

Bijan Sepanji and Valerie Gordon have been playing together as a duet for three years, with numerous styles of music – from Persian improvisational to contemporary electro-acoustic to a wide range of classical. From Bach to Rosza, they have been had a chance to explore the unique and virtuosic timbre of a violin duet, and most recently played for the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Great Grants Award Ceremony.

Sunday concerts are held in Walker Court from 1:30 to 2:15 pm, and are free with admission.

Frank Restaurant’s Wine Club

March 24th, 2010

Updated 03/25: An earlier version of this post inaccurately indicated this event was free of charge. Price will vary for each seminar. Please call Courtney to inquire.

There’s art in wine and where better to explore this than Frank Restaurant at the AGO. Beginning in April, Frank will be holding a Wednesday Night Wine Club on the last Wednesday in each month in the Young Gallery. Hosted by celebrated sommelier Courtney Henderson, the evening will take you through a tasting adventure of wine and food. Seminars will cover topics such as matching local wines to local foods, blind tastings, regional comparisons, and the ‘must haves’ for your cellar.

Visit March Break camp exhibition this afternoon

March 19th, 2010

Happy Campers

You are invited to stop by the Gallery School today between 3:30 and 4 pm to see the exhibition of work by campers in our King Tut themed March Break camp.

March Break Camp has been underway for the past week, and campers are looking forward to showing their amazing creations. They have been working hard and having fun all week making art!

Our camps welcome young artists in March Break and all summer long. Kids as young as six and up to age 13 are having fun creating and exploring art. This year, the AGO has a record number of campers – more than 100 – who are supported by our fantastic staff and volunteers.

Come by and share the amazing energy of the AGO Art Camp – and see firsthand the pride the campers and staff take in their work.

Update on the Weston Family Learning Centre

March 18th, 2010

The pace is visibly quickening around the Art Gallery of Ontario’s much-anticipated Weston Family Learning Centre, with design development already underway.

The project was first announced in September 2008 following on a lead gift of $12 million from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. The gift included $10 million toward capital costs for the Learning Centre and $2 million toward an endowment to be named the Weston Family Teacher Training Fund – the AGO’s first education program endowment. The project received a second major boost last month when the Government of Canada announced a $7.5 million funding contribution from its Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.

To be completed within the existing footprint of the AGO, the Weston Family Learning Centre will enable the Gallery to increase participation in art education for all ages with dedicated spaces for art instruction, workshops and community-based exhibitions. It will be a fully wireless, networked facility with integrated technology throughout. State-of-the-art seminar rooms will feature broadcast and videoconferencing capabilities. The Learning Centre will reach out to students and teachers in their classrooms through online interactive technologies. The Weston Family Teacher Training Fund will support on-site and on-line workshops and professional development for teachers.

Demolition is expected to begin by late April, and construction begins in June. Substantial completion of Learning Centre is expected by mid-March 2011, with an anticipated official launch in fall 2011.

Despite the impact of the construction project, the Education department has been working hard to relocate or modify programming where possible. A large number of programs will continue:

  • Adult lectures, symposia and talks in various gallery locations;
  • Adult in-gallery courses;
  • Teacher events and professional development;
  • Public and private group tours;
  • Youth programs (Free after 3, Youth Council and Teens-Behind-the-Scenes programs);
  • School programs in gallery spaces;
  • Summer Camp 2010 (in partnership with OCAD);
  • Evening programming and public events;
  • Education outreach and partnerships; and
  • Travel AGO.

The following programs will be suspended for the duration of the project:

  • Gallery School winter session classes end this week and spring session classes will be cancelled. All registrants are eligible for full refunds.
  • School studio visits will run through the end of April, while schools booked for studio programs in May and June will be offered the opportunity to change their dates.
  • Off the Wall will close in July, with the anticipation that additional family-friendly activities will be developed for Gallery spaces for the duration of construction.

Feel free to contact the AGO’s Program Registration with any queries related to refunds or rescheduling of studio visits at 416.979.8806 (Monday to Fridays, 9 am to 5 pm) or via email at

Meet the Artist: Giuseppe Penone (Audio)

March 18th, 2010

Giuseppe Penone

Meet artist Giuseppe Penone and enjoy a captivating talk on how his artwork unsettles the boundaries between art and nature, and signals the interdependence of all organic life forms.

Giuseppe Penone was born in Garessio, Italy in 1947. He belonged to Italy’s Arte Povera movement of the 1960s. Like many in the group, Penone uses simple materials from daily life to point out the interdependence among all organic life forms. For his installation in Galleria Italia, Penone has carved out the wood to reveal its past, showing the tree that grew inside so that it may “live” in the present. Rather than imposing a form, the artist – in contrast to the architect of this space – draws out an existing form.

Recorded: March 3, 2010 @ Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 1:17:30

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Francoise Sullivan in conversation with Robert Enright (Audio)

March 18th, 2010

Join us for a lively conversation between artist Francoise Sullivan and writer and art critic Robert Enright, exploring the idea of inspiration. The exhibition celebrating the 2008 winner of the Gershon Iskowitz prize at the AGO, Francoise Sullivan, opened February 10, 2010.

Sullivan was a member of the avant-garde group the Automatistes, led by Paul-Émile Borduas, and was a signatory of the 1948 manifesto, Refus Global. Long recognized for her work as a dancer and choreographer, Sullivan’s practice has also embraced sculpture, conceptual work, and painting.

Recorded: February 11, 2010 @ Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 1:12:00

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