Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrors Exhibit at AGO, Toronto

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After much excitement and anticipation, influential Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama finally brought her exhibit to Toronto for its only North American stop. Six ''infinity mirror'' rooms are spread out over two of the AGO's floors. These rooms invite viewers to experience a myriad of dualities and challenge their own preconceived notions of autonomy, time and space. Integrated into the rooms is a selection of over sixty paintings, sculptures, and works on paper showcasing many of Kusama's lesser know collages.  As the exhibition traces Kusama's interpersonal aesthetic evolution from her beginnings in neo-surrealist paper works all the way up to Net paintings and Accumulation assemblages, complex themes of nature, unity, fantasy, detachment and death are explored. Simply titled ''obliteration'', the final mirror room is an all-white domestic space where visitors are encouraged to place red dots over the area. Infinity Mirror currently runs at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 3, 2018, until May 27, 2018.

 

SIZE MATTERS Steve Driscoll & Finn O'Hara

Toronto-based artists Steve Driscoll and Finn O'Hara met on Matters of Size.  Driscoll felt that his large landscape paintings which use urethane to deploy pigments across vast panels lacked a sense of scale when appearing as reproductions in print or online.  The desire to forego the typical on-site gallery shot triggered a creative collaboration with photographer O'Hara. 

The paintings themselves are often based on photographs taken during Driscoll's many camping trips, yet they are always created in the studio. In front of O'Hara's lens, these dreams of nature are returned to the reality of the woods or the sunny shores of the beach.  At times, the photographs make the paintings seem immense as they loom over the figures in the foreground, or even threaten to topple on the set crew. 

The relationships between the photographs and the paintings in Size Matters is purposely jarring a schism always exists between the landscape setting in the photograph and the scene depicted in the painting.  The sheer peculiarity of finding a large painting out of context that is off the museum or living room wall -mischievously removes the airs of white glove handling.  Driscoll and O'Hara allow paintings to play hooky and indulge as interlopers within multi-layered photographic narratives.  Presented together and as one within the other painting and photography show us that size really does matter and the journey to this understanding can be fun. 

A primary Exhibition organized by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection for the Scotiabank Contact photography Festival.  Now until May 31st, 2017

Ryerson Image Centre 'The Edge of the Earth'

 

 

This show won't stop climate change but it might start a conversation. Artists have traditionally challenged views and increased awareness about subjects close to their hearts. This exhibition uses photography, video and new media to ask its viewers where do we fit into the conversation of climate change? On view from September 14 to December 4,  The Edge of the Earth:Climate Change in Photography and Video questions traditional views of Landscape and Environment.  Humans have entered into the Era of Anthropocene, dominating the planet in its uppermost layers and outermost edges.  Guest curated by Montreal-based art historian Dr. Benedicte Ramade, this indepth exhibiton fosters a reconsideration of climate change, envisioning the present crises and future consequesnces of humanity's harsh imprint on our planet.

'The Edge of the Earth' features over 20 contemporary artists from around the world, including Amy Balkin, Raymond Boisjoyly, Edward Burtynsky, Peter Goin, Naoya hatakeyama, Isabelle Hayeur, Mishka Henner, Chris Jordan, Richard Misrach, Evariste Richer, Joel Sternfeld and Sharon Stewart. Photographs from Ryerson Image Centre famed Black Star Collection will also be on view, providing historical context alongside these artistic reflections. This environmental photojournalism serves as a totem of a neglected prophecy, forewarning a slowly unfolding disaster.

 

 

The Idea of the North: Paintings of Lauren Harris AGO & Artists of the Gallery Exhibition AOG

Lauren Harris painted bold scenes from the North: isolated peaks, expanses of dark water beyond barren shorelines, monumental icebergs and sprawling glaciers.  These images from the early 1920's to mid 1930's helped shape popular mythologies about the north and about Canada both locally and aboard. It was Hollywood that brought together this exhibition of 73 Harris paintings, co-curated by the comedian and art collector Steve Martin alongside the AGO's Andrew Hunter and Cynthia Burlingham of the Hammer Museum in L.A. It opened in Hammer last October and arrives at the AGO this month.  In the show's catalog, Martin compares Harris to Edward Hopper calling them both auteurs of isolation.  If Hopper portrayed a familiar urban alienation, Harris subject was a shimmering astral plane.  He didn't want to just depict the sublime: he wanted people to enter it through his pictures.  Exhibition runs until September 18th.  

 

Artist's of the Gallery Art Exhibition AOG

Every year a fabulous group of artists, curators, organizers come together to put on our yearly exhibition and this year is no exception.  We had an amazing opening party which coincided with the opening of the Harris exhibition across the street from the AGO.  Special thanks goes out to Gary Bercovitch and the amazing team from the artist network.  Until next time. 

CONTACT Photography Festival, Toronto

This year marks Contact photography festival’s 20th year and the sweeping presence of the festival stimulates a multitude of programs and exhibitions throughout the city. The venues range from large art institutions like AGO, MOCCA and the ROM to smaller local galleries, community centres, cafe, stores and alternative venues. Positioned on streets, billboards, and subway platforms or suspended from facades and interiors of buildings, these public installations transform the experience of the city. This year over 1,500 artists and photographers are participating 200 venues. Drawn from distinctly varied sources across the city and around the world, these works offer powerful insights and compelling views of social landscape, political turmoil and cultural change.

Here are a few photos from opening of Thomas Ruff’s ‘Object Relations”, Ago.

Scotiabank Photography Award recipient Angela Grauerholz, Ryerson Image Centre

The exhibition is a survey spanning the 1980’s to the present day and celebrate Canadian artist Anglea Grauerholz, winner of the 2015 Scotiabank Photography award.  More than seventy works, in atmospheric black and white, sepia and colour evoke the artist interest yet unreliability of cultural memory- in her words, “a kind of amnesia, a vague recollection of something that can be conjured up , triggered by an event or site, but remained blurred.” A recurrent theme in Grauerholz’s work addresses the specific architecture and distinctive display modes of archives, museums and libraries, questioning their authoritative and traditional representations.

Grauerholz’s interests in women’s art through her early portraits and how her status as an immigrant, born in Germany, influenced her stylistic preferences. Her black and white or sepia toned photographs are characteristically blurred or out of focus, which brings a visual intensity to the work and also illustrates her preoccupations with the concept of time.

As a whole, Grauerholz’s work invites analysis and, in a dialectic of presence and absence, raises the questions that hide beneath the obvious.Angela Grauerholz, photographer (b at Hamburg, West Germany 10 Jan 1952.) A graduate in graphic design of the Kunstschule Alsterdamm in Hamburg, she also studied literature and linguistics at the University of Hamburg, and received a Master’s degree in photography from Montréal’s Concordia University in 1980. She has lived in Montréal since 1976.