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Archive: May, 2018

Ron Terada tells all

May 28th, 2018

Artist Ron Terada stands in a gallery, in front of two of his paintings with large blocks of white text on a black canvas.

Ron Terada. Photo courtesy the AGO. Behind: Ron Terada, Jack, 2016–17. Acrylic on canvas, 14 panels, 203.2 x 162.6 cm each. Art Gallery of Ontario. Purchased with the assistance of Eleanor and Francis Shen, 2017.

“The art you make has to be yours; you stand behind it and it has to be real sturdy.” – Jack Goldstein

Published in 2003, Jack Goldstein and the CalArts Mafia is a candid and searing memoir of a life lived in the art world. Born in Montreal, Goldstein was a leading voice of the Pictures Generation, a group of artists in the 1970s and ‘80s influenced by their time in art school and mass media. Co-written with Richard Hertz before Goldstein’s suicide, the memoir recounts Goldstein’s professional and personal frustrations. The book inspired a series of paintings, now on view at the AGO, by Vancouver-based artist Ron Terada.

Jack and the Jack Paintings: Jack Goldstein and Ron Terada features 14 of Terada’s large-scale text-based paintings. Shown for the first time, these works recount episodes from Chapter 11 of Goldstein’s memoir, entitled “New York Dealers and Collectors,” and are presented beside Goldstein’s sublime photorealistic image of a lightning storm. Read the rest of this entry »

The smallest, biggest Kusama fans

May 25th, 2018

The class from North Hill Private School. All art works © Yayoi Kusama. Photo by the AGO.

Sometimes the biggest art fans come in the smallest packages.

Take Mrs. Verna’s junior kindergarten students at North Hill Private School in Woodbridge, Ont. As soon as the teacher heard that Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors was coming to Toronto, she planned a study unit on this important contemporary artist. The students learned all about Kusama’s Obliteration Room and her love of polka dots. They also created their own artworks inspired by Kusama.

Read the rest of this entry »

Summer camp – for grown-ups

May 25th, 2018

A close-up on two hands, one holding three pencils and the other using another pencil to shade in a sketch.

Image by the AGO.

Our summer camps for kids are filling up fast – and it’s not hard to see why. You get to spend all day in the AGO, learning new skills, seeing art, finding outlets for self-expression and getting to know like-minded people. But what if you’ve grown out of the summer camp age?

The AGO has a solution. This summer, we’re offering a diverse lineup of intensive art classes that take place for a few hours every day over a few days or a week. Learn everything from street photography, sculpture, stop-motion and more. These intensive courses are designed for art fans who want quick results, or want to add a bit of creativity to their summer staycation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Solange, Stanley Kubrick and Jay-Z

May 25th, 2018

A screenshot from an iPhone of a photo of Arthur Jaffa's face.

Arthur Jafa, Love is The Message, The Message is Death, 2016. Film still. Courtesy of Arthur Jafa and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York/Rome.

“I want to make black cinema with the power, beauty, and alienation of black music.” —Arthur Jafa

Film director, cinematographer, visual artist, university lecturer and writer – these are the different roles in which the uber-talented Arthur Jafa creates work and connects with the world. We rounded up some of our favourite Jafa projects to share with you as a primer for his talk at the AGO on May 30 (tickets are on sale now) as part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s in a name?

May 23rd, 2018

Painting of a tall skinny white geometric church in a forest

Emily Carr, Church In Yuquot Village, 1929. Oil on Canvas. Bequest of Charles S. Band, Toronto 1970, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Copyright Art Gallery of Ontario 2007

In 1928, artist Emily Carr visited Yuquot, a Mowachaht/Muchalaht village on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island, and painted the Catholic church located there. As she worked, Carr took some artistic license – she moved the church cemetery and heightened the forest to increase the dramatic relationship between the building and the trees.

Carr titled the painting Indian Church. “Carr would have used the language of the day, and ‘Indian’ was the word of her day,” says Wanda Nanibush, AGO Curator of Indigenous Art. “But that word has the power to hurt – it denigrates and discriminates against Indigenous people.”

The AGO seeks to be a welcoming space to all people, reflecting the diversity of the city we call home. As part of our collection reinstallation to better reflect the nation to nation status in Canada and the multiplicity of stories in Canada, it was time to explore a new name – one that wouldn’t further discrimination, but acknowledge the past while looking to the future. Read the rest of this entry »

The kids are alright

May 18th, 2018

A black and white image of Rowan Lynch in an art studio.

Portrait of Rowan Lynch. Photo by Sardar Farrokhi.

For over 10 years, the AGO Youth Council  has initiated all sorts of programming by young people for young people, including exhibitions, public art projects, events, field trips and more.

We chatted with Youth Council member Rowan Lynch to find out why she loves being a member of this collective. Lynch joined the Youth Council in her first year at OCAD in 2013. As a frequent AGO visitor, the idea of meeting other art lovers around her age and taking a peek behind the scenes of the museum sounded like an opportunity too good to miss. Read the rest of this entry »

Pride returns to First Thursday!

May 18th, 2018

An advertisement for the AGO First Thursday in June 2018 featuring DJ Andy Butler.

Image by the AGO.

Pride Toronto turns 38 this year, and once again includes an extravaganza of LGBTQ+ performances, parades, parties and panels during the month of June. The AGO is PROUD as ever to be kicking off Pride Month again – with the launch party at our First Thursday on June 7.

This year, Pride Toronto is looking back at the decades of activism in queer history with the theme, Action = Life. Inspired by this theme, AGO First Thursdays’ Bodies in Revolution program features an all-star lineup of artists who use their bodies to make change. Read the rest of this entry »

The gifts they gave

May 18th, 2018

drawing of a four headed sea creature in green, blue and greys

Kenojuak Ashevak, Seamaids, 1978. Stonecut on paper, Sheet: 61.7 × 91.8 cm. Gift of Samuel and Esther Sarick, Toronto, 2002. © Estate of Kenojuak Ashevak.

Did you know “tunirrusiangit” means “the gifts they gave” in Inuktitut?

Tunirrusiangit: Kenojuak Ashevak and Tim Pitsiulak, opening June 16, will showcase the gifts of two formidable artists – including over 100 works on paper by “the grandmother of Inuit art” Kenojuak Ashevak (1927–2013), and her nephew Tim Pitsiulak (1967–2016), one of the most sought-after contemporary Inuit artists in his lifetime.

A team of Inuit artists and curators will weave first-person narratives, storytelling, poetry and film through the exhibition. The curatorial team includes sculptor Koomuatuk Curley (based in Ottawa), writer and storyteller Taqralik Partridge (based in Kautokeino, Norway), curator Jocelyn Piirainen (based in Ottawa) and performer Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory (based in Iqaluit).

Marking a new type of curatorial collaboration at the AGO, the curators led the exhibition’s development at every stage, contributing new artworks and shaping everything from public programming to exhibition texts.

“Through the exhibition, we’ve aimed to create a bridge between the past and the future, and to give the public a unique view of the work of two incredible artists,” says Tunirrusiangit co-curator Jocelyn Pirrainen. “In Inuktitut, tunirrusiangit means ‘their gifts’ or ‘the gifts they gave.’ It’s a fitting exhibition title, since it recognizes the artists’ lasting legacies, while conveying how inspirational and impactful their work has been on each of us, as Inuit curators.”

Visitors to the exhibition will pass through Silaup Putunga (2018), a constantly changing projection created by curator and performer Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory (with videographer Jamie Griffiths). In a gallery featuring Kenojuak Ashevak’s images of summer hunting camps, visitors will be invited to sit in a qarmaq (a traditional sod house) to hear original stories written and shared by co-curator, writer and storyteller Taqralik Partridge. And throughout the exhibition, visitors will hear from the families of Kenojuak Ashevak and Tim Pitsiulak, in Inuktitut with English subtitles, thanks to interviews filmed by co-curator Koomuatuk Curley, an artist and sculptor from Kinngait (formerly known as Cape Dorset) who is also Tim Pitsiulak’s nephew.

Check out below some of the gorgeous works on paper by Kenojuak Ashevak and Tim Pitiuslak you’ll see in the exhibition.

Stay tuned for more AGOinsider stories about this exciting exhibition. Tunirrusiangit: Kenojuak Ashevak and Tim Pitsiulak is included in General Admission and runs at the AGO from June 16 to August 12, 2018. Don’t miss it!

Are you an AGOinsider yet? If not, sign up to have stories like these delivered straight to your inbox every week.

Tunirrusiangit: Kenojuak Ashevak and Tim Pitsiulak is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario in partnership with Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage, with the support of Dorset Fine Arts, a division of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative. 

A Closer Look: Krieghoff edition

May 18th, 2018

Cornelius Krieghoffs painting of a wild crowd in front of a mid-19th Century bar in the early hours of the morning.

Cornelius Krieghoff. Breaking Up of a Country Ball in Canada, Early Morning, 1857. Oil on canvas, 60.9 x 91.3 cm. The Thomson Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

In our blog series, A Closer Look, we explore some amazing works in the AGO Collection. Don’t miss our recent feature on a springtime Camille Pissarro painting. This edition, we’re turning our attention to the fantastic details of artist Cornelius Krieghoff (1815–1872).

Brawls, wild parties, sleigh rides – Krieghoff was known for his depictions of life in Quebec in the 1800s (then known as Lower Canada). A prolific artist, he’s estimated to have created up to 1,800 prints and paintings in his 42 years of artmaking.

What sets Krieghoff apart from his contemporaries are the wry details in his paintings. His work is like an 1800s version of Where’s Waldo? The AGO has over 150 Krieghoffs, and right now, 63 are on display in the galleries housing the Thomson Collection of Canadian Art on Level 2. It’s a lot to see, but if you take the time to look closely at these works, you’ll be rewarded by spotting some cheekier elements of his narrative scenes. Below we zoom in on a few.   Read the rest of this entry »

‘Til infinity us do part

May 18th, 2018

A man proposes on one knee to his girlfriend inside Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirror Room.

The proposal, caught on camera! Image courtesy of the couple. Work shown: Yayoi Kusama. Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013 © Yayoi Kusama

Deciding to propose to your partner is a big deal. How and when to pop the question is no small matter either. It’s something you want to get just right. Art fan and AGO visitor Edwin decided that Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors was the perfect place to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Maria. Read the rest of this entry »