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Archive: October, 2012

designTALK: Judith Miller and Mid-Century Modern book signing in shopAGO

October 30th, 2012

Join us Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. for an hour of fascinating conversation about Judith Miller’s life with antiques and a glimpse into her latest book heralding design from the 1940s to 1960s.

Miller’s Mid-Century Modern is a comprehensive and critical guide to one of the most exciting periods in design history and one of the hottest design trends of the moment. This invaluable book covers all of the most iconic designs and designers emanating from the 1940s to 1960s and explores the most desirable furniture, ceramics, glass, metalware, interiors and textiles from the period.

Judith Miller began collecting in the 1960s while a student at Edinburgh University in Scotland. She has since extended and reinforced her knowledge of antiques through international research, becoming one of the world’s leading experts in the field. In 1979 she co-founded the international best-seller Miller’s Antiques Price Guide and has since written more than 100 books, which are held in high regard by collectors and dealers. Miller appears regularly on TV and radio. She is an expert on the Antiques Roadshow and co-hosts the popular BBC TV series The House Detectives, ITV’s Antiques Trail, and UK Discovery Channel’s It’s Your Bid.

AGO history: The controversial arrival of Claes Oldenburg’s Floor Burger

October 22nd, 2012

An early photo of Floor Burger from the Sidney Janis Gallery.

In a previous post, we told you that over the coming months AGO conservator Sherry Phillips will work to restore Claes Oldenburg’s Floor Burger (1962). In upcoming Conservation Notes stories we will be following Sherry’s progress, but before that we’re looking back at the sculpture’s history. Below, AGO interpretive planner Shiralee Hudson Hill describes Floor Burger‘s dramatic arrival at the Gallery more than 45 years ago. Read the rest of this entry »

Frida and Diego press preview: social media highlights

October 17th, 2012

The Art Gallery of Ontario welcomed nearly 100 guests to our media preview of Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting on Oct. 16, 2012. Amid the interviews, filming, note-taking and photo snapping, there was a lot of tweeting going on (and a bit of Instagramming too). Click through to see social media highlights from the event. Read the rest of this entry »

The Grange Prize 2012: London Edition

October 15th, 2012

An exterior view of Canada House, located on Trafalgar Square in London, U.K. It is hosting an exhibition of the four shortlisted Grange Prize 2012 photographers until January 2013. Photo by Sean O’Neill/Art Gallery of Ontario.

On Sept. 27, 2012, The Grange Prize 2012 Exhibition opened at Canada House, in the heart of London’s Trafalgar Square. Aeroplan and the AGO announced the United Kingdom as the partner country for The Grange Prize 2012 in March of this year. Since then, the AGO and Aimia, Aeroplan’s parent company, have been collaborating with Canada House — part of the High Commission of Canada in London — to make this year’s prize a truly international cultural exchange.

The Canada House Grange Prize exhibition — curated by Sophie Hackett, Lead Juror and Assistant Curator of Photography at the AGO — presents works by the four shortlisted artists and gives visitors a chance to vote for their favourite photographer. It runs until Jan. 6, 2013.

The winner of the $50,000 grand prize will be announced on Nov. 1, 2012, at the second of the AGO’s 1st Thursdays, a monthly public event. That means you have just a couple weeks to make your vote count! In-gallery voting stations are available at the Canada House and AGO exhibitions, as well as online at

What to see and do at Art Toronto 2012’s Opening Night Preview

October 10th, 2012

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A selection of the work you can see at Art Toronto 2012

Art Toronto — the Toronto International Art Fair — is Canada’s only international art fair, bringing together artists, collectors, curators and galleries from far and wide. In 2012, Art Toronto is focusing on Asia’s incredible contemporary art scene and, as in previous years, its Opening Night Preview on Oct. 25 will raise funds for the Art Gallery of Ontario. Last year’s preview raised over $265,000 (net); funds raised at the event help support the AGO’s exhibition and education programs, with a portion of the proceeds going to purchase works of art at the Fair. For example, the Gallery acquired these three works at the fair in 2007. In 2010, we added 10 new works from the Fair to our collection.

In addition to supporting the AGO, Opening Night Preview attendees also get to experience a special night that celebrates art with live performances and installations. This year’s event will feature:

  • A 635 CSi BMW Art Car designed by Pop Art star Robert Rauschenberg (7:30 pm). Created in 1986, this is the first time the car will be exhibited in Canada;
  • Gamelatron, a project by A Taylor Kuffner and The League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots that draws on the millennium-old sonic tradition of Indonesia, gamelan, as well as robotics, to construct “the world’s first and only fully robotic gamelan orchestra“; and
  • A brand new performance at 7 and 8:30 p.m. by Tibi Tibi Neuspiel and Geoffrey Pugen called Hurdles — watch the video below for a sneak peek. The pair have created many memorable performance pieces, including The Tie Break, in which the pair re-created shot-by-shot the 1980 Wimbledon final match between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe for Nuit Blanche 2011 crowds.

What can I do at the Opening Night Preview?
Guests get exclusive access to view and purchase works at the Fair before it opens to the public. (See the above slideshow for a taste of the amazing art available at Art Toronto this year.) Of course, it’s a party! So you will also have the opportunity to socialize with artists, collectors and art enthusiasts and enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

The Art Toronto 2012 Opening Night Preview takes place from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2012, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. To book tickets click here.

For more information about Art Toronto 2011 please visit

October #ArtHour: Join the AGO and Art Toronto for a chat on art collecting

October 9th, 2012

On Thursday, October 11, from 11 a.m. to noon the AGO is teaming up with Art Toronto and co-hosting an hour-long online discussion about art collecting. We hope you’ll take part!

Buying art can be a complicated task, and for new collectors it can raise many difficult-to-answer questions. What are your reasons for buying art? From whom? What kind? What’s a fair price? And where should you start looking?

Each year, Art Toronto offers insight into collecting and the contemporary art world. This year’s programming lineup includes talks and tours by dealers, collectors, curators and artists on subjects like getting a collection started, buying the work of emerging artists and Toronto’s art scene. The AGO is taking part, too, with a panel discussion on art prizes, a curator-led tour focusing on the work of women artists exhibited at Art Toronto, an advice-heavy tour from our Art Rental + Sales Gallery staff and more.

With their expertise, we’re glad to have the Art Toronto team as our co-hosts on Oct. 11 for a Twitter chat that explores the following questions:

Q1 What questions should you ask when buying artwork?
Q2 What are your tips for novice collectors?
Q3 Where do you buy artwork (auctions, fairs, galleries, etc.)?
Q4 When buying the work of emerging artists, what do you look for?
Q5 What was the first piece of art you ever bought or wanted to buy?
Q6 What value do you think art collecting has in our communities?

The person who contributes the most to this month’s #ArtHour will win a pair of passes to attend Art Toronto 2012 (Oct. 26-29), as well as three books on the AGO’s special collections.

Nice To Tweet You


What #ArtHour is a Twitter chat with a new art topic each month. We invite you to spend one hour each month thinking about and sharing what art really means to you.
When Thursday, October 11, 11 a.m. – noon EST (takes place the second Thursday of every month).
Where On Twitter. Follow @agotoronto and @ArtToronto for more information, or search for the hashtag #ArtHour. You can follow along using Tweetchat by using the #ArtHour hashtag.
Who #ArtHour is for everyone: galleries and museums, arts professionals, artists and anyone interested in learning more and meeting other passionate art fans.
How Starting at 11 a.m. @agotoronto and @ArtToronto will be tweeting a question every 10 minutes using the hashtag #ArtHour. Anyone can respond, also using #ArtHour. For example, we would tweet Q1 What is your favourite painting? #ArtHour, and you could tweet back A1 The West Wind by Tom Thomson! #ArtHour.

We hope that you’ll help spread the word and join us for our October #ArtHour. For more information, please email