Now that we are deeply into fall and edging closer to winter, it’s time to move activities indoors – and what better place to escape the chill than the AGO? Every Sunday from 1-4 p.m. in November, December and January we’ll be playing and creating all over the Gallery!
In November, inspired by our latest exhibition Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures, Family Sundays will be devoted to exploring the wonder and awe of all things teeny-tiny. Kids and families can make miniature “museums in a box”, create itsy-bitsy objects like handmade beads, dig into the sensory sand box and more.
For the 17th year in a row, the AGO hosted Art Toronto’s Opening Night Preview last Thursday. The evening, which supports acquisitions and AGO programs, raised over $500,000. This year the AGO purchased nine works by seven Canadian artists, including Nadia Belerique, Sara Cwynar, Jessica Eaton, Kara Hamilton, Zachari Logan, Annie Pootoogook and Janet Werner.
A view of Granovsky Gluskin Hall, featuring Expo Walking Woman by Michael Snow 1967. 8 stainless steel sculptures, 230.5 x 91.5 x 2.7cm. Gift of the Government of the Province of Ontario, 1968. Photo: AGO
Want to see an iconic work of Canadian art but only have five minutes? Looking for a way to impress your coworkers at this year’s holiday party with your knowledge of modern sculpture? Drop by the AGO’s front entrance. Just inside the doors is a new, permanent installation of Michael’s Snow’s fascinating Walking Woman sculptures – and you don’t even need a ticket to see them.
AGO staff members carefully move the Trans AM. Photo: AGO
How do you move a priceless, 3,300-pound 1980 V8 Pontiac Firebird Trans AM into an art gallery? An AGO team recently found out when they installed John Scott’s celebrated Trans Am Apocalypse No. 3 into Irina Moore Gallery East, next to the Moore Centre on the second floor.
“It took an hour and eight staff members to roll it, and we used four automotive Go-Jack dollies, each of which was mounted under one of the wheels,” said Sherry Phillips the AGO’s Conservator of Contemporary and Inuit Art. “It was an exciting parade as we made our way in through the shipping dock, up the freight elevator and down the hall into the gallery.”
FRANK restaurant’s well-known bartender, Stephen Gaessler, is responsible for creating the most unique art-inspired cocktails in the city, including one of our current favourites: Monet’s Garden.
Stephen mixes his love of mixology with his passion for extending the art experience into the AGO’s restaurant. For each major exhibition, he plans FRANK’s cocktail menu by reflecting on the themes of the show, often exploring facts about artists and their surroundings.
Incoming! This winter, the AGO will unveil an exhibition of four monumental works by one of the most influential sculptors of the late twentieth century, British artist Sir Anthony Caro (1924-2013). A studio assistant to Henry Moore in the 1950s, Caro revolutionized sculpture in the 1960s by creating colourful abstract assemblages. Following in the steps of the artist Constantin Brâncuși, Caro eliminated the use of the pedestal, putting his works directly in the space of the viewer. He also assembled each sculpture’s various components in a manner that emphasized the relationship between the work’s different parts, directing the viewer’s focus to the object’s structure. This led some critics to describe his work as abstract. Anthony Caro: Sculpture Laid Bare opens in the AGO’s Signy Eaton Gallery on Saturday, December 10.
To complement that experience, the AGO presents a free screening of Canadian writer and filmmaker Malcolm Ingram’s acclaimed 2013 documentary Continental on Friday, October 28. Praised by critics as “fascinating” and “a saucy trip back to more closeted times”, Continental takes viewers inside the legendary Continental Baths, a New York City gay hotspot that existed from the late 1960s to 1974 inside the legendary Ansonia Hotel on West 74th Street. Featuring a swimming pool, restaurant, nautilus room, bar, and a disco, the venue hosted live performances each Saturday night. Patti Labelle, Bette Midler with her pianist Barry Manilow, and house DJ Frankie Knuckles all got their start at this luxurious clubhouse and entertainment complex.
Most of what we’ve heard about Toronto’s hip-hop and R&B scene has centered on someone who may or may not be dating Rihanna. Meanwhile, the experiential and genre-defying 88 Days Of Fortune collective has been building its own scene in the 6ix from the underground up since 2009. The AGO caught up with 88 Days of Fortune founder and collective member Ayo Leilana—AKA Witch Prophet—ahead of the group’s First Thursday performance on November 3 (Be Magik), to learn more about the music they are currently making and what keeps her inspired in Toronto.
In the early 1500s, carvers in Northern Europe created exquisite boxwood prayer beads, rosaries and miniature altarpieces that have inspired and confounded people for generations. Anyone who has looked at one of these beautiful objects wonders: how were these tiny masterpieces created?
A team of experts decided to find out. The AGO’s Sasha Suda, Curator of European Art & R. Fraser Elliott Chair, Print & Drawing Council, and Lisa Ellis, Conservator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts, were joined by colleagues from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Rijksmuseum, and scientists at the Canadian Conservation Institute, University of Western Ontario’s Department of Sustainable Archaeology, London’s Museum of Natural History (UK) and NASA (yes, that NASA!).
Over the decades the AGO has taken pride in bringing great works of art to our city and province. But Mystical Landscapes offers a special twist on this tradition. We’ve installed three masterpieces by Paul Gauguin as he originally conceived them, side-by-side like a medieval altarpiece, in a design that he imagined but never lived to realize. It’s the first time ever the three paintings have been hung according to his novel plan, brought to Toronto from Edinburgh, Buffalo and West Palm Beach. Displayed at the very beginning of the show, together they create an unforgettable moment of not just intense colour, but equally intense spirituality.