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Archive: May, 2011

Luc Sante on Robert Frank

May 16th, 2011

Robert Frank: Both Sides Now
A Public talk by Luc Sante
7:00pm Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario

Photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank is still best known for The Americans, his 1958 book of 83 black-and-white photographs, selected from the thousands that he took  during two years of travel across the country. The Americans is a foundational work in American photography and art history, both an homage to Walker Evans’ American Photographs and a loose, cinematic revisioning of post-war America.

Cultural critic, writer, historian Luc Sante maintains that there isn’t a documentary photographer who came of age in the 1970s and ’80s who didn’t absorb the book and reflect its lessons in some way. In his talk, Sante will consider Frank’s work and its enduring appeal.   

Several of Robert Frank’s photographs are included in the upcoming exhibition Abstract Expressionist New York and display the intense originality that energized the avant-garde of the late 1950s.

AGO Launches AbEx with Two Show-Stopping Events

May 11th, 2011

(TORONTO – May 11, 2011) The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will celebrate the arrival of the exhibition Abstract Expressionist New York: Masterpieces from The Museum of Modern Art with two major public events. The first is a public party featuring some of Toronto’s hottest DJs and an exclusive exhibition preview. The AbEx Opening Party, with DJ sets by Egyptrixx, The Makeover, Luis Jacob, and Jaime Sin, will take over the AGO’s Walker Court on May 27 from 9 pm to midnight. The exhibition opens to the public the next day at 10 am.

Two weeks later, on June 13, the AGO will host an all-star performance presented in partnership with the Luminato Festival that celebrates the explosion of creativity that rocked New York in the 1950s. Spontaneity: A New York State of Mind features some of Toronto’s most talented musicians and writers performing landmark works from the era in which the Abstract Expressionists dominated the international art world, including:

  • acclaimed jazz trumpetist Nick “Brownman” Ali, leading a jazz ensemble that will play works by New York jazz giants Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and others;
  • dancer and choreographer Peggy Baker, performing choreography inspired by Merce Cunningham;
  • pianist Eve Egoyan and musician Paul McCulloch performing the music of John Cage and Morton Feldman; and
  • writers Lynn Crosbie and Stuart Ross reading poetry and prose by the New York School and the Beats.

Misha Glouberman, host of the Trampoline Hall lecture series, will host the evening, which will include screenings of films by Hans Namuth and Shirley Clarke. The event begins at
8 pm and ticketholders will have exclusive access to the exhibition from 6 pm.

Tickets to the AbEx Opening Party are $25 for the public and $20 for AGO members; tickets to Spontaneity are $30 for the public and $15 for AGO members. Tickets to both events are on sale now and can be purchased online at and by phone at 416-979-6655.

Click here to read the rest of the press release.

Three story house: Toronto premiere

May 9th, 2011

three story house (2009)
dancer: Jacqueline Ethier | music: Björk | set: Larry Hahn

Peggy Baker Dance Projects: interior with moving figures
Wednesday May 11, 7:00pm
Saturday May 14, 2:00pm
Sunday May 15, 2:00pm
Wednesday May 18, 7:00pm

In his book The Poetics of Space, the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard writes about miniatures as “false objects that possess a true psychological objectivity.” That notion, along with Bachelard’s ideas about how the spaces we inhabit both reflect and shape us, inspired the images that set this choreography in motion. Created by Peggy Baker for Jacqueline Ethier in 2009, three story house will be performed in the AGO’s Carol and Morton Rapp Gallery, on the 5th floor.

three story house is one of four works that make up interior with moving figures. Performed in four different galleries throughout the AGO on May 11 and 18 at 7pm and on May 14 and 15 at 2pm, each will run for 70 minutes and will continue in an uninterrupted cycle for the length of the show. We encourage visitors to wander between the galleries and discover the next dance.

Peggy Baker Dance Projects: move

May 8th, 2011

interior with moving figures

Wednesday May 11, 7:00pm

Saturday May 14, 2:00pm

Sunday May 15, 2:00pm

Wednesday May 18, 7:00pm

A dance inspired by Zen dry gardens and the paintings of George Tooker, move (2009) is Peggy Baker Dance Projects’ first major ensemble work, and one of four dances in interior with moving figures.  Performed by 16 dancers in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Walker Court,  with music by Debashis Sinha  move distills and illuminates fundamental dualities of dance practice: touching and being touched; watching and being witnessed; and movement through the body and that same body’s movement through space.  Walker Court is at the centre of the AGO, and audiences will be able to gaze down upon the dance from staircases and balconies.

move is one of four works that will be performed in four different galleries throughout the AGO on May 11 and 18 at 7pm and on May 14 and 15 at 2pm.  For each performance, all four works will run for 70 minutes and will continue in an uninterrupted cycle for the length of the show, allowing patrons to wander between the galleries to discover the next dance. Admission is included with the price of entry to the AGO. The performance schedule includes two Wednesday nights, when the AGO is free after 6pm.

Art/Work: A Symposium (Audio)

May 7th, 2011

9 to 5: Canadian Artists at Work
Session 1:

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Session 2:

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Recorded: Satuday, April 30 @ Jackman Hall
Duration: 01:27:57 (pt 1), 01:28:37 (pt2)

9 to 5 was an exhibition that let visitors experience art in an unexpected way: by interacting with the artists while they make it! Running from April 27th to the 29th, 9 to 5 transformed one gallery at the Art Gallery of Ontario(AGO) into a live office space. For three days, contemporary Canadian artists Anitra Hamilton, Graeme Patterson and Ed Pien welcomed AGO visitors to meet with them and enjoy a conversation about their artistic practice. Using the familiar setting of the office, 9 to 5 attempted to create a space for collaboration, inspiration and a forum for new knowledge and understanding about the artistic process.

The first half of the symposium featured 9 to 5 artists Anitra Hamilton, Graeme Patterson, and Ed Pien and curators Katherine Dennis, Mary MacDonald and Zach Pearl reflecting on the project. Following this discussion, curator, artist and educator Rebecca Duclos expanded on the burgeoning topic of artists’ research. Duclos’ current work includes The Compulsive Browse, a two-year research project that investigates what research means for contemporary Canadian cultural practitioners.


Anitra Hamilton is a mid-career Toronto artist whose work juxtaposes political subject matter with fragile materials. In a recent series of collages, Humpty Dumpty (2009), Hamilton mixes folklore and militarism. Her work is thoughtfully fearless and ranges from intimate watercolours to spectacular performances as in Beater (2007) where Hamilton invited guests to take their best shot, armed with sledge hammer on a car pinata.

Graeme Patterson is an emerging artist, born in Saskatchewan and currently based out of Sackville, NB. Most notably known for recreating his hometown of Woodrow, Saskatchewan in miniature, Patterson was a finalist for the Sobey Art Award in 2009. Patterson’s stop-animation videos draw upon personal histories and are infused with his DIY style and heroic nostalgia. His most recent work restages a number of epic sport matches (according to the artist), including Grudge Match (2009) between himself and long lost childhood friend Yuki.

Ed Pien’s intricate and immersive cut-paper installations create otherworldly environments that both haunt and delight the senses, as in Memento (2009). An artist with an established career, Pien’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout Canada and abroad. Along with being a practicing artist, Pien has been an art educator for over twenty years, and revels in the opportunity to share his process and discuss issues around contemporary art.

Rex Murphy and David Blackwood in Conversation (Audio)

May 6th, 2011

David Blackwood's Sick Captain Returning
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Recorded: Wednesday, April 27, 7 pm @ Baillie Court
Duration: 01:23:26

David Blackwood, one of Canada’s leading printmakers and most popular artists, was born in 1941 in the outport town of Wesleyville to a family with a long seafaring history. He has been telling stories about Newfoundland in the form of epic visual narratives for 30 years. He will be joined in conversation by fellow Newfoundlander, writer, broadcaster and teacher Rex Murphy. Murphy is a regular contributor to CBC’s The National, writes a weekly column for The National Post and is the author of the book, Points of View, a collection of his columns and commentaries.

David Blackwood (Canadian, b.1941), Sick Captain Returning, 1973, etching, aquatint and drypoint on wove paper, 92.2 x 61.9 cm (imp.). Gift of David and Anita Blackwood, Port Hope, Ontario, 1999, © 2010 David Blackwood.

AGO Unveils New Graphic Identity for Weston Family Learning Centre

May 6th, 2011

The Art Gallery of Ontario has unveiled a dynamic logo to represent its new Weston Family Learning Centre, which opens in July for summer camp and officially launches to the public in September 2011.

The identity and its guiding principles are the culmination of a six-month process whereby the AGO worked with Gottschalk + Ash, an award-winning branding and communications company, to develop the final product. The logo will appear on a range of marketing and support materials.

Weston Family Learning Centre

“The Learning Centre’s identity reflects the creative process that is inherent to the AGO’s vision,” says Kelly McKinley, the AGO’s director of Education and Public Programs. “It represents a dramatic renewal of the AGO’s enduring commitment to lifelong learning and creativity.”

The graphic identity encompasses two typefaces, and acknowledges the lead funder for this visionary project. The logo will first appear in the upcoming issue of Art Matters, which lands in members’ homes this week.

“Part of the new logo is placed within three abstract lines that represent the act of creating and creative possibilities,” said Bernita Kiefte, AGO executive director, Marketing and Communications.

Watch for these day dates coming up at the Learning Centre:

  • July 4 – Summer camp begins
  • July 15 – Registration begins for fall courses
  • September 30 – Youth Centre Opening Party
  • October 1 & 2 – Members’ Open House
  • October 1 – Nuit Blanche at the Learning Centre

A beautiful and inviting space comprising approximately 35,000 square feet, the Weston Family Learning Centre is directly linked to the AGO’s extraordinary galleries and offers a fully integrated learning experience through innovative hands-on, online, and distance learning programs.

Among the first of its kind in North American art museums, the multi-purpose and multi-media facility combines teaching, social gathering and community activities. It enables the AGO to significantly extend the range and reach of art programs which include studio and gallery courses, workshops, lectures, talks and symposia. This new space serves as a catalyst for learning and creativity, and welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds to engage in art and with each other.

Funding for the Weston Family Learning Centre was made possible by a landmark donation from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, which committed the largest single gift in support of art education in the Gallery’s 111-year history, and the Government of Canada’s Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.