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Archive: October, 2017

This bash goes Pop!

October 30th, 2017

Image detail courtesy of the artist.

This fall, the AGO launches Art Bash, a new annual gala that pays homage to history’s most celebrated art parties. Inspired by these fêtes, the spirit of which lives on in the riveting works of the AGO Collection, the first annual (and now sold-out) Art Bash takes place on November 18.

For the first edition, think pop art spectacle extravaganza. Art Bash: The Factory will bring to life the themes of Andy Warhol and his New York City Factory studio into the AGO: disruption, innovation and artistic radicalism. But almost more exciting than the event itself is the factory of artists the Bash is bringing together to present inspired work.

One of these artists is photographer Mathew Guido (or @mathewguido on Instagram), who creates hauntingly beautiful portraits illustrating the complexities of human emotion. The work featured at Art Bash will be part of Guido’s latest series, Eye Candy, in which he shoots his model wearing sunglasses in dark environments lit only by neon and street lights. The resulting images are futuristic yet contemporary, bathed in the vibrant neon light from nighttime cityscapes. Read the rest of this entry »

New to the AGO Collection…

October 30th, 2017

Tim Pitsiulak (1967-2016). Swimming Bear, 2016. India Ink and colored pencil. 29 ½ x 41 ½ inches. Purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2017. © Estate of Tim Pitsiulak.

An art museum’s collection is constantly evolving. New acquisitions keep a collection responsive, current and engaging, while also making significant statements about the direction of today’s art scene, celebrating established artists and fostering emerging talent. For the past 18 years, the Opening Night Preview of Art Toronto has been a landmark evening for contemporary collection-building at the AGO.

This year, our curatorial team purchased new works from four exciting artists; all made possible by funds raised at the Preview along with AGO acquisition funds. This year’s selection committee was led by Kitty Scott, Carol & Morton Rapp Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and included: Kenneth Brummel, Assistant Curator, Modern Art; Julie Crooks, Assistant Curator, Photography; Sophie Hackett, Curator, Photography; Wanda Nanibush, Curator, Indigenous Art; Adelina Vlas, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art, and Georgiana Uhlyarik, Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art.

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Boo-tify your home

October 30th, 2017

Monster mug by Tom Suh of Cool as Clay.

For filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, every day is spent with his favourite monsters, ghosts and creepy creatures in Bleak House, the home that hosts the art and books that form the bulk of Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters. For the rest of us, there’s no better time than Halloween to inject a little horror into our own homes. Get into the spooky spirit with a visit to shopAGO, or the satellite gift shop near the exit of Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters (a.k.a. the perfect Halloween activity for art lovers).

The At Home with Monsters gift shop boasts books, homewares and games inspired by del Toro’s fascination with monsters, the afterlife and all things supernatural. Here are some of the bestsellers:

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Look closely…

October 30th, 2017

Unknown. Portrait of young child in polka-dot dress (seated on chair with hands supporting face), 1870s. Tintype, with tint, 9.1 x 6.4 cm. Art Gallery of Ontario. Anonymous Gift, 2009.  © 2017 Art Gallery of Ontario.

There’s so much to see inside of Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters—and when something like The Pale Man is there to greet you as soon as you enter, it’s easy to become obsessed with the detailed terror of the exhibition’s life-size sculptures of him, the Faun or Frankenstein, and even the creepy stares of writers Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft.

But if you look closer at some of the photographs in the exhibition, you might find something even more eerie.

A selection of the AGO’s collection of so-called “Hidden Mother” photographs is on display in the first of the exhibition’s themed sections, Childhood and Innocence. These photos, taken during the 1870s, feature children next to mysterious shrouded figures. Creepy?  Yes.  But, practical too.

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Meet the queen of New York nightlife

October 23rd, 2017

Image courtesy of the artist.

For one night only, the queen of New York City nightlife is coming to Toronto. On the Day of the Dead (November 2), First Thursday: Museum of the Macabre will turn the AGO into a playground for the ghouls, ghosts and goblins of the GTA.

November’s First Thursday is guest-curated by Ladyfag, the Toronto-born, New York City-based party legend who has been profiled in The New York Times, Paper Magazine, and i-D, and never fails to credit Toronto as the place where she got her start – and her moniker. Her program includes a mainstage performance in Walker Court by New York performance and punk legend Kembra Pfahler, performance artist Desi Santiago, video work by Leo Herrera, and “coiffurist” Charlie Le Mindu, who uses hair as his artistic medium of choice.

This will truly be a First Thursday like no other (tickets are on sale now), so to get the scoop we spoke to Ladyfag herself. Read the rest of this entry »

Dreamers travels to London

October 23rd, 2017

Naoya Ebe in The Dreamers Ever Leave You. Image by Ryan Enn Hughes and Dylan Tedaldi.

Last Wednesday evening at a gala event in a former printing factory in south London, extraordinary dancers from The National Ballet of Canada and The Royal Ballet came together for the U.K. premiere of The Dreamers Ever Leave You, the innovative, immersive, Lawren Harris-inspired ballet that debuted at the AGO last summer. Read the rest of this entry »

Visit the L.A. art scene – in Toronto

October 23rd, 2017

Image courtesy of Art Toronto.

This week the art world will be flocking to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for Canada’s leading international contemporary and modern art fair. Art Toronto takes place October 27–30 (with a special preview in benefit of the AGO on October 26) and is a unique opportunity to meet and mingle with artists, curators as well as fellow art lovers as you discover amazing new works.

This year, you can experience the west coast without ever leaving the city via the FOCUS: Los Angeles project, which is bringing the art scene of Los Angeles to Toronto with a special curated section of the fair highlighting artists, galleries and projects – all from L.A. Read the rest of this entry »

VISIBILITY: the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Symposium

October 23rd, 2017

Awol Erizku, Purple Reign (Bitches Brew), 2017, framed chromogenic print, 61 x 50.80 cm (24 x 20 in). Courtesy of the artist and Night Gallery, Los Angeles.

This fall, the AGO is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize with two special projects: a two-day symposium and a brand new publication. First up: VISIBILITY, a symposium that will bring together artists and jurors from throughout the Prize’s decade of activity alongside prominent national and international artists, writers and scholars to ask questions about power, urgency, representation and photography.

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Get to know Florine Stettheimer

October 17th, 2017

Florine Stettheimer. A Model (Nude Self-Portrait), 1915. Oil on canvas, 48 1/4 x 68 1/4 in. (122.5 x 173.4 cm.), Framed: 49 5/8 x 68 1/4 in. (126 x 177 cm). Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, Gift of the Estate of Ettie Stettheimer, 1967.

Refined and witty, experimental and defiant, Florine Stettheimer is not a household name like her contemporary Georgia O’Keeffe, but she stands out as a unique figure in American art of the early 1900s. In her time she was acclaimed by artists, curators and critics, with Andy Warhol naming her his favourite artist.

Opening October 21, Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry marks the first major exhibition of Stettheimer’s work in Canada. It’s organized by the AGO and the Jewish Museum, New York.

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Remembering late greats of sci-fi and horror

October 17th, 2017

Image courtesy of the AGO.

One of the themes in Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters is Death and the Afterlife—an important point of contemplation in an exhibition chronicling del Toro’s fascination with the macabre, the horrific and the gothic. But over the past year, thoughts around death and the afterlife have permeated the real-life worlds of sci-fi and horror, as several major icons in those creative fields have recently passed away.

Fortunately, At Home with Monsters gives fans a glimpse into how these towering names in horror, illustration and film influenced one of the most inventive filmmakers of our time, Guillermo del Toro. We asked Jim Shedden, curator of At Home with Monsters, how they are represented in the exhibition.

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