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Archive: May, 2010

AGO Youth Council 2010: Pedram & Lily

May 31st, 2010

It is our pleasure to introduce the members of the AGO Youth Council 2010. Find out about Youth Council projects and activities and how to get involved.

Pedram Sazesh

Pedram Sazesh

Hello my name is Pedram Sazesh, I was born in Rome in 1993, my family and I immigrated to Canada when I was four. I speak English and Farsi. I enjoy drawing/ painting and understanding art history. I feel most comfortable being outdoors in nature. I love to take walks at sunrise (when I can wake up) or go for a bike ride around the city. I enjoy playing ping pong and soccer. I am interested in activities that involve admiring the outdoors like hiking. I am mostly interested in visual arts and I am hoping to be going into a career that would involve that. I love to go to galleries and I enjoy working in a group that shares similar interests, that why I love being part of the Youth council.

Lily Kao

Lily Kao

I’m Lily Kao! Being a grade 12 high school student who wants to pursue a future career in arts and design, the opportunity to be part of the AGO’s Youth Council allows me to become more sensible to different art forms around the world. It’s been amazing to participate in various art shows, workshops, performances and moreover, meeting new people who also have the same passion. I hope the Youth Council will continue to grow and spread the awesomeness of art to all the people.

Behind the scenes of Drama and Desire: Artists and the Theatre

May 27th, 2010

Set painting for Drama and Desire

Set painters preparing galleries for the Drama and Desire exhibition.

It’s a busy time at the AGO! Staff are putting the finishing touches to plans for our summer exhibition, Drama and Desire: Artists and the Theatre. The planning team has conceived a whole range of new and exciting ways of bringing the show to life.

The AGO has hired Opera Atelier’s acclaimed set designer Gerard Gauci to design the exhibition. Visitors will feel themselves transported back to the 18th century as they enter the exhibition through elaborately painted trompe l’oeil draperies and arches. Gerard has also recreated an intimate corner of the Paris Opera to house a dazzling selection of Degas’s ballet paintings. The room will feature red velvet drapes, crystal chandeliers and a plush Victorian banquette. You’ll want to relax, settle in and enjoy French ballet music, typical of the period, piped into the space.

Set painting for Drama and Desire

Designs are overlaid with a grid, which is then replicated at full-size. The artwork is first drawn-in with chalk, then painted.

Installation plans for the ten Drama and Desire galleries have been finalized. New walls are being built; colours have been chosen for the walls; shipping arrangements for the works of art (mostly coming from Europe) are being negotiated; and posters are going up.

Over the next three weeks visit the Gelber Gallery on the AGO’s main floor and check out progress on Gerard Gauci’s stage flats for the show. Four painters – Richard Mongiat, Benjamin Oakley, Elizabeth Bailey and Karol Antkowiak are applying their talents to transforming particleboard into elaborate red velvet drapes and stone columns. It’s a magical moment.

Stay tuned. There’s more to come!

We are proud to announce The Grange Prize shortlist for 2010!

May 27th, 2010

Today, we’re proud to announce the shortlist for the 2010 Grange Prize. Selected by an esteemed curatorial panel comprising AGO assistant curator of photography Sophie Hackett; Toronto-based art collector and curator Dr. Kenneth Montague; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, associate curator Dominic Molon; and MoCP curator Karen Irvine, the four finalists are:

Joshua Brand, American. Untitled 2008. Unique chromogenic print. © 2010 Joshua Brand

Josh Brand, an American photographer based in Brooklyn, New York, who creates unique photographic objects, or photograms, through darkroom experimentation, often without the use of a camera or film, rendering subtle gestures and effects in works, and suggesting representational elements while remaining emphatically abstract. Full bio.

Moyra Davey, Canadian. Shure, 2003, chromogenic print. © 2010 Moyra Davey

Moyra Davey, a Canadian photographer, writer, and filmmaker living and working in New York City, whose intimate, poetic, and modestly scaled visual essays – documenting domestic objects, studio ephemera, and books – stand in contrast to the driving trends of contemporary photography. Full bio.

Leslie Hewitt, American. Riffs in Real Time (10 of 10), chromogenic print. © 2010 Leslie Hewitt

Leslie Hewitt, an American photographer living and working in Houston and New York City, who uses photography, sculpture, and site-specific installations to create photographic arrangements that address notions of time and space, culture and representation. Full bio.

Kristan Horton, Canadian, Orbit: Dorknob, 2009. chromogenic print © 2010 Kristan Horton

Kristan Horton, a Canadian photographer living and working in Toronto, whose multi-disciplinary works incorporate sculpture, drawing, photography, and video. His practice involves extensive research and inventive, experimental uses of digital technology, often utilizing humour and repetition in novel ways. Full bio.

This year, the jury focused on artists who challenge us to think about what a photograph can be. The four artists create works that engage science, sculpture, cinema, and literature, all the while addressing photography’s rich history. To read the full release, click here.

Mark your calendars now, as public voting begins September 22nd. In the meantime, keep checking over the summer because we’ll be introducing you to each of the artists, telling you more about the prize, and continuing the conversation about photography today with photographers, critics, curators, thinkers, and you.

Residency Update: Marco Cruz

May 26th, 2010

As part of The Grange Prize 2009, Marco Cruz spent 14 days in Toronto and Southern Ontario, exploring the First Nations groups in Canada. He traveled to Woodland Cultural Centre and attended a Powwow in Hamilton, Ontario.

Image by Marco Cruz

“The encounter with Six Nations is a lesson for the comprehension of the current situation of the First Nations’ descendants in Canada”

Cruz created a website showcasing his the photographs taken during this time. Click here to check it out!

The making of a show – Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts

May 25th, 2010

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes to bring a new exhibition to the AGO? Is it an exact copy of the original show? Do some pieces get left behind? Who decides what changes are made? How do visitors get to have their say before the show opens?

A royal procession

Image: Procession of Raja Ram Singh II of Kota and his son at Kota, c. 1850, © V&A Images/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Welcome to a new blog series dedicated to answering such questions for the upcoming November exhibition, Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts.  This is the North American debut of a show that first opened at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London last year.

I will be your blogger-in-residence (the palace blogger, perhaps?), your personal guide to the process of putting this exhibit together. In weekly posts, I’ll cover community consultations and meetings with the design team, look at some of the region’s history, and elaborate on a few of the 200 plus extraordinary works of art – paintings, photography, armour and jewellery – that will be on display.

We’ll have the chance to consider what these beautiful objects, which range from the beginning of the eighteenth century onwards, reveal about the role of kings whose powers were severely limited by the British colonial rule over India.

But most importantly, this blog is where you can start a conversation with us. What are your questions for the AGO team? What sort of programming to accompany the exhibit excites you? Perhaps you have a story about a personal link to a princely state or you have photos of the great palaces that can be uploaded to a Flickr stream that you can share with us.

I look forward to having you join me on a new way to experience an AGO exhibition!

Piali Roy is a Toronto freelance writer with a long-held interest in South Asian culture and history.

Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Court runs from November 20, 2010 until February 27, 2011.

Residency Update: Lynne Cohen

May 20th, 2010

As part of The Grange Prize 2009, Lynne Cohen spent 12 days in Cancun. Click to hear a bit more about the experience:

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Lynne Cohen, Untitled (Column), 2009

Lynne Cohen, Untitled, 2009

Lynne Cohen, Untitled (Stocky chair), 2009

Image: Lynne Cohen, Untitled (Column), 2009. Untitled, 2009. Untitled (Stocky chair), 2009. All photographs © Lynne Cohen, 2010.

Residency Update: Federico Gama

May 19th, 2010

As part of The Grange Prize 2009, Federico Gama spent 14 days in Toronto examining Mexicans who have immigrated to Canada. His study began as a broad look at a variety of Mexican immigrants across various sectors but in the end he chose to focus this first exploration on those who have found work in the cultural sector. Gama hopes to return to complete the portraits.

Images by Federico Gama

“David Dorenbaum. Médico psiquiatra. Fue director del Hospital for sick children. Actualmente es profesor de la Universidad de Toronto y tiene un consultorio privado. Es un amante de la cultura mexicana. Lleva 27 años viviendo en Canadá.”

© All photographs Federico Gama, 2010

Residency Update: Jin me Yoon (Video)

May 18th, 2010

One of best parts of The Grange Prize is that each of the nominated artists participates in a residency in the partner country and receives an honorarium of $5,000 towards the production of work. Over the next few days we’ll catch up with the artists of The Grange Prize 2009 and the work they’re creating.

Jin me Yoon traveled to Mexico City and spent 12 days there “laterally exploring” the city. At the time of the residency, in December 2009, she wrote “my body has become a plastic sculpture memorializing the outer edges (NSEW) of this sprawling hypercity” . Here’s a segment of her work in progress, As it is becoming (Mexico City) (working title).

© Jin me Yoon, 2010.

AGO Hosts Citizenship Ceremony Today

May 18th, 2010

Forty new Canadians will receive their citizenships in a ceremony to be held at the AGO today, which is International Museums Day.

This special community ceremony is a partnership between Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, and the AGO. The event will run from 9:30 to noon in Baillie Court, and includes a roundtable discussion at which several AGO staff are participating, a performance by the Central Commerce Collegiate choir, and the ceremony.

“New citizens are eager to learn more about their adopted country through its art,” says Bev Carret, the AGO’s manager of Government and Community Relations. “It is an honor for the AGO to host this event on International Museums Day.”

All new Canadian citizens are eligible to apply to the ICC for a Museum Access Pass, which provides free admission to more than 20 local museums for a one-year period.

Here’s a video of a citizenship ceremony held at the AGO in 2009: