Archive for the ‘galleries’ Category

small painting of a red headed woman torso, amrs, and head, in a gold frame on a wall with lots of other paintings, except on e is missing and there is a white sign saying why its missing

All kinds of thoughts went through my head as I stood and looked at this painting at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).  A little ho hum and a little melancholy and a little well what next.  There were no new exhibits since the last time that I visited the AGO and quite a few galleries were being prepared for new showings (i.e. closed).   A little bit of that’s a waste of time.   Even here there’s a painting missing.  … no, it’s only a waste of time if I let it be.

I stood and studied her face, the expression on her face, the tilt of her head and one hand held up.  What was going through her head?  Was the artist trying to tell us something about her?  Or was he just playing with composition in a limited space?  And that’s when the game began – what expressions hang on the walls of the AGO?  A sample:

 

below: part of “Time Dissolve” created around 1992 by Carl Beam (M’Chigeeng Ontario 1943-2000) using photo emulsion, acrylic and pencil on canvas.

part of Time Dissolve, an artwork by Carl Beam. Old photo of a woman seated on the ground bRed letters saying my mother are written on the woman and a red circle is around the boy's head

below: manipulating a series of portraits by Will Gorlitz (b. Argentina 1952).  The paintings were done in 1984 and are called Genre IV, Genre XVI, etc.  Nameless.   Unless her name was Genre and he’s painted her 6 times (one of the paintings in the row is not included here).

a series of 5 women's faces hung in a row on the art gallery wall, paintings by Will Gorlitz

below: Two pieces.  A sculpture called  “Eskimo Mother and Child” (about 1938) by Frances Loring and the portrait “Bess” by Canadian painter Lawren Harris.   I have talked about Loring in a previous post.

a sculpture of a woman with a child on her back, called Eskimo Mother and child by Frances Loring. She stands by a painting by Lawren Harris called Bess which a portrait of a woman in a black hat and black coat

below: part of “Melancholy”, oil on canvas, by Hendrick Terbrugghen (The Netherlands, 1588-1629)

a painting of a young woman sitting, with her hand resting on her hand, elbow on table, lit by candle light, called Melancholy painted by Hendrick Terbrugghen

below: part of “Waitress”, oil on canvas, by Shelley Niro, 1986  (b. USA 1954)

a painting of a waitress wearing black glasses serving a plate of food to a surprised looking red head woman with green eyes, called Waitress, painted by Shelley Niro

below: Engraving on paper, “Drunken Men at a Table” by Gillis Van Breen, Dutch, around 1600.

engraving on paper called Drunken men at a table, by Karel Van Mander, done late in the 1500's

below: The last picture is obviously from a painting with a religious theme. Unfortunately, the photo that I took of the tag with the artist’s name is too blurry to read.  I tried a google search on the image and the first hit was the Wikipedia page for Paul Bernardo.  Oh dear, Google that’s a fail… apparently it’s similar to a figure in a painting by Bernardo Carbone who was a painter in the 1600’s.   So Google put 2 and 2 together and got 17.   Hopefully you (and I) don’t get many 17’s!

part of a religious painting of a young man in a red robe kneeling before another man in white who has one hand on the young man's shoulder.

This is a story about an exhibit that is showing at the Art Gallery of Ontario at the moment, “A Story of Negotiation” by Francis Alys.  The exhibit is a look at three of Alys’s large projects.  For each project there were many studies, notes, and sketches.  Drawings and paintings dot the walls and cover many tables.  There are three large videos to watch (not the ones shown below).  It is a fairly complex installation and only a small part of it is included here.

two women looking over a table with art displays on it , in an art gallery

below: In 2006 Alys tried to organize two lines of fishing boats, one from Florida and one from Cuba, that would form a bridge between the United States and Florida.  It was unsuccessful.  He repeated the project in 2008, this time between Spain and Morocco.

a young man is looking at two video screens that are mounted on the wall

a line of little sailboats on the floor, all parallel to each other, the base of the boat (hull) is a flip flop or sandal.

below: More on borders, pairs of words that depend on which side you’re on.
Words such as leave/return and us/them.

4 small green and yellow pictures on a pink wall

Alys also spent time embedded with British forces in Afghanistan.

a display of pictures, paintings, drawings, sketches, and notes as part of an art exhibit

below: Alys made a videos on kids flying kites in Afghanistan.  There was also a video of kids rolling a large reel of film through the streets and alleys in an Afghan city.

3 wood benches in front of a table mounted to a wall, art on the table, a video screen on the wall with a movie about kids in Afghanistan flying kites, some people in the background

below: Weapons made of found objects

in a yellow room with two small pictures hanging crookedly on the wall. A table in the middle of the room, glass covering artwork on the table. Sitting on the table is an automatic rifle (artwork) made of found objects

below: Instead of a round of ammunition, there is a reel of film. This is true in all of Alys’s ‘automatic rifles’ that are displayed here

close up of a sculpture of an automatic rifle where the round of ammo is replaced by a reel of film

a circle of art weapons, automatic rifles, made of found objects, with barrels all pointed inwards,

The exhibit continues at the AGO until April 2nd.

a little wooden human figure is doing the front crawl, one arm outstretched, on a bubble of clear plastic on a table top

Myseum of Toronto is a fairly new addition to the cultural fabric of the city.  It is a museum without walls.  It is an organization that helps deliver programming to different locations in the GTA.  Last night, March 6, at City Hall, Myseum of Toronto launched its second annual festival of events and exhibitions.  This festival, Myseum Intersections,  consists of 36 different events and exhibits spread around the city throughout the month of March.   “One Toronto.  Infinite Perspectives” is the motto of this year’s festival.

In keeping with that motto is an exhibit called ‘Cosmopolis Toronto: The World in One City’.   It was showcased at the Myseum Intersections launch party.   A few months ago it was on display at 18 libraries around the city but it has been brought together in one exhibit for the festival.   At the moment it can be seen on the ground floor of City Hall but it will also spend some time at Metro Hall and then end the month at the North York Civic Center.   (schedule at the bottom of the post).

people looking at an exhibit of photos and stories that are printed on upright posters standing on the floor.

“Cosmopolis” consists of a series of portraits and interviews by Colin Boyd Shafer.   The goal was to find a person from every country in the world who now calls Toronto home, hence its tagline “Photographing the world, one Torontonian at a time”.   I am not sure if that goal was attained, but the series is a fascinating look at a very diverse group of people.

Cosmopolis posters on display at City Hall as part of Myseum Intersections festival

Cosmopolis posters of Andrea from the Congo and Nevena from Serbia

Two photos were taken of each person.     The first was a portrait taken in a Toronto location where they felt “at home”.  The second was of an object that they felt connected them to their country of birth.

cosmopolis posters of immigrants to Toronto from different countries

The Cosmopolis website has more information as well as the portraits and stories of many more new Torontonians.

portrait and story about Yosvani from Cuba, a violin player

cosmopolis posters of immigrants to Toronto from different countries

***

EXHIBITION DATES & TIMES:
MARCH 5 – 8 & 13 – 19
MONDAY – FRIDAY, 8:30AM – 4:30PM
City Hall
100 Queen St W, Toronto

MARCH 9 – 12
MONDAY – FRIDAY, 7:30 AM – 9:30 PM
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 8AM – 6PM
Metro Hall
55 John St, Toronto

MARCH 20 – APRIL 2
MONDAY – FRIDAY, 7:30AM – 9:30PM
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 8AM – 6PM
North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge St, Toronto

#myseumTO | #myseumX

 

 

There are four exhibitions at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at the moment.

One of the exhibits is “A Wall is just a Wall” by Kapwani Kiwanga. Here, a hallway has been transformed with pink and blue lights. If you walk down this hall, you’ll find an entranceway to another section of the gallery with more of Kiwanga’s work. The gist of the thought behind her exhibit is the affect that architecture and design (such as colour) has on the behaviour of those exposed to it.   It’s a bit disconcerting to walk through the lights – they affect your perception of space and make you feel a bit dizzy.  Or at least that’s what happened to me!

a hallway is lit in pink and blue lighting, covers all walls and ceiling too

Another hall.  Another exhibit.  This time, an installation by Latifa Echakhch called “Cross Fade”.   You can see it in the Fleck Clerestory which is the long, high hallway that runs down the middle of the building.  For the installation, the walls were painted light blue with white cloud shapes.  Chunks of the outer layer of plaster were then removed and pieces left on the floor.    The sky is falling!  I can just see Chicken Little running around.  The sky is falling!  But in this case, he’d be right.

When I first saw the installation, I only saw the lower portion and I assumed that it was a neglected wall.  It looks like many of the walls you find in lanes and alleys.  To me it represented the cycle of building and decay that plays out all around us.   I struggle with the idea that painting it to look like the sky changes how the piece should be perceived.  Are we supposed to be upset that the sky is broken and lying on the ground?  Is the use of the normal (plaster falling off a neglected wall) to try to show the abnormal (the sky falling apart) on purpose?  If so, to what purpose?

high walls in a narrow room, walls covered with plaster and painted light blue with clouds, some of the plaster is peeling away and it's supposed to look like the sky is falling . a large window is at the end of the room

below: Looking up towards the skylights.   It is more apparent from this angle that the walls are painted to look like the sky.   By the way, cross fade is the technique in sound or movie editing  where a picture or sound gradually appears at the same time as another disappears.

looking upwards to a skylight two storeys above, the walls of the narrow room (hall) are covered with plaster and painted light blue with clouds, some of the plaster is peeling away and it's supposed to look like the sky is falling

From the online description of the exhibit:  “…. Cross Fade evokes the remains of an action that has already taken place. Echakhch’s wall painting of the sky appears to be falling apart. Fragments of the sky still exist intact on the upper sections of the walls, out of reach, reminding us of its beauty. However, large parts of the sky lie on the ground, creating a peculiar feeling that something beyond our control is either happening or has just happened. The technique employed here references the classical fresco, a second skin that usually leads the viewer into a painted world, a trompe-l’œil, rendering the two-dimensionality of the wall invisible. On the contrary, Echakhch’s work shatters this illusion, rooting us in the present, which like a cross fade, is caught between the past and the future.”

 

Leaving the hall theme behind, the last two exhibits are:

below:  Part of “On Fishes, Horses and Man”  by Jonathas de Andrade

a room in an art gallery filled with posters of men hanging from the ceiling at various levels. All have the words museu do homem do noreste

below:  And “The One Who Keeps on Giving” by Maria Hupfield

art installation on a gallery ceiling of many light bulbs of different shapes and sizes hanging from a piece of wood on cords of different, but short, lengths.

All exhibits continue until mid May.

“Apparel oft proclaims the man” Shakespeare in Hamlet I iii.
or as Mark Twain said, “Clothes make a man”.

“Workware, Abiti da Lavoro”  is an exhibit at the Harbourfront Centre Art Gallery.  It is curated by Milan-based designer and artist, Alessandro Guerriero and co-produced by the Istituto di Cultura of Toronto and Triennale di Milano.  A lot of the artists who participated in the show are fashion designers

below: “Dress for a Crop-Raising Girl”, 2014, by Elio Fiorucci

a straw hat hangs with a dress made of green fabric, sleeveless, with two big shiny red hearts that would cover the breasts of the woman who wore it.

Some of the words on the wall – “Some time ago, the cowl did make the monk, the metalworker and the lawyer. Our clothes were the direct representation of our role in society and its related image. Originally, however, clothes were something else altogether. In the Biblical story of the apple, as He cast Adam and Eve out of Paradise, God made garments of skin to clothe them, saying, “Go but remember that you are just a man and that you need protection because you are limited.””

below: Hanging on the wall were a line of dirty work coats, each labeled with a job: cobbler, draper, glazier, saddler, carpenter, and hatter.    None of these jobs would have involved a coat that looked like this, i.e. that got messy in this way.

a row of dirty well used workcoats that used to be blue are hanging on the wall of an art gallery. under each one is a label with a job name, draper,

below:  left to right – “Work Shirt to Paint Dreams” 2014 by Alberto Aspesi, “Dreamers Clothes” 2014 by Angela Missoni,  “Clothes for a Carrot-Picking Girl, 2014 by Colomba Leddi,  and unfortunately two that I forgot to take note of.     The red dress is just so little red school house – so literal.  Not quite as literal as the carrots for the carrot-picking girl…. so if she’s finished picking carrots and wants to pick beans next, does she change into her bean dress?

a row of designer clothes as part of an art gallery ehbiti, a paint splotched covered blue long sleeved shirt, a red mid-calf length red dress with white polka dots with little red school house shaped head on the mannequin, and and holding a small red schoolhouse in her hand, a sleeveless dress with carrots in many pockets

More words on the wall – “This original garment was a gesture of love – protective as well as representative and foundational of the human condition. But as society rather than the sacred came to define the balance of power, these two meanings were upset so that clothing changed from being a mark of fragility into a social function and sign. Today, our individualism has once more changed its meaning making clothing an expression of the self.  It is now a way of disguising our thoughts and of giving them a new shape.”

I decided just to repeat the words verbatim.  I will let you decide their worth.  I just can’t do it.

below: “Extreme Film, AW13 Collection”, 2013 by Issey Miyake

a mannequin in shiny gold pants stands with its feet apart, in between its feet are a pair of shiny gold boots

below: “Adam and Eve are Going Shopping in Costume” 2014, by Frederique Morrel.   Eve is standing in the shopping cart

two mannequins covered in patchwork of tapestry needlepoint with pictures that sort of match the anatomy of the mannequin.   The faces dont quite line up,   a man and a woman.  the woman is standing in a shopping cart

below: Some of  tapestry placements are just a little too literal.

 close up of part of a mannequin dressed in tight fighting fabric made of a patchwork of tapestry pieces. The piece shown in this image is of a brown cat

below:  “Clothes for a Dithering Monk” 2014, by Denise Bonapace.

black netting in the shape of a cross on a wall. within the cross is more black light weight fabric in the shape of a person whose arms in the horizontal parts of the cross.

below: Part of “Clothes for the Chaste Pornographer” by Gentucca Bini

a coat made of blue mesh hangs in front of a display of old dirty workcoats that are hanging on the wall

below: Close up of part of “Mirabelle Shining Star” 2014, by Melissa Zexter

part of a dress made of black and white pictures printed on fabric, and knitted squares in orange and red yarn

Last paragraph of the words on the wall – “This exhibition is not a display of “work clothes” but of garments for hypothetical, invented, coveted, imaginary jobs that actually invent new jobs for a new and different society. Today’s designers, including the 39 in this exhibition, work amid epochal changes – the decline of the myth of great masters and of the small factories of fine Italian design on the one side, and on the other, between the giant global entities of eastern virtual design and the complete subversion of centres of post-economic and post-industrial geography.  Nevertheless, there are those who attempt to discover new territories – empty spaces, experimental, staggering, radical and unknown. What would clothes look like not only for bakers, carpenters and tailors but also for an email eraser, a butterfly engineer, the one who looks for a needle in a haystack, a healer of the healthy, a survivor, or a quarreller?”

…. And now I think I am going to design an outfit for a ‘skeptical photoblog writer who has read too many words’.

Exhibit continues until 23 April

Keeping warm at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Below are 5 works of art that I saw recently when I decided to spend the afternoon inside instead of walking in the cold.  The AGO is definitely a great way to stay warm!

below: There is a room at the Art Gallery of Ontario that is home to four large metal sculptures at the moment.  Large structural pieces. These creations are the work of Sir Anthony Caro (1924-2013).  They are made of discarded metal pieces.  At one point in his career, he made scale models for a giant art project for Park Avenue in New York City.  When the project was cancelled, he took apart the models and used the pieces to make a new series.  Three of those on display here are from that series, ‘Sculpture Laid Bare’.  It would be interesting to see what the Park Avenue sculpture models looked like.

a woman with long hair walks away from a large metal sculpture made of cast off pieces of metal, on display at the Art gallery of Ontario,

In the early part of his career, Caro made modeled figurative pieces cast in bronze.  In the 1960’s he started to use prefabricated steel and aluminum, sometimes in bright colours such as the example below:

red sculpture by anthony caro, metal, 4 upright cylindrical tubes with metal mesh forming an X on top of them.

Red Splash, by Anthony Caro. Image found online at source.

If they were outside, they would invite interaction.  Touch them.  Climb on them.  In this gallery setting, there is a no touching policy.   The words on the wall says that: “He [Caro] meditates on the passage of time, processes of decay, the painful realities of aging, and the future of modern sculpture.”  Isn’t that why the gallery is doing their best to preserve them just the way they are?


below: ‘The Distinctive Line Between One Subject and Another’ by John McEwen, 1980.  Two steel wolves looking at each other across the room.  On the wall behind the wolves is ‘Folia Series #1 and #2 by Nobuo Kubota, 1976, representations of the wrinkles on the cerebellum in the brain.

two metal sculptures of life sized wolves looking at each other across the room, a large panel art work is on the wall behind them, half black and half yellow.

John McEwen is a Canadian sculptor.  A number of his sculptures can be found around Toronto.  He designed the boat hull like shapes for the Victory Peace memorial on the waterfront that I mentioned in a previous blog post – down to Coronation Park.  The three metal tubes outside the Air Canada Centre – the Searchlight Starlight Spotlight – are also his work.


below: More lines, this time its “Aforim” by Rita Letendre, 1975.  Which lines are parallel?  Is there a horizon line?  If so, which one is it?

horizontal lines, some parallel and some at slight angles, in blues and greys, painting on a gallery wall called Aforim by Rita Letendre


… And lastly, another reference to structure.  But not structure in the 3D, physical form, sense of the word.  Instead, it is a painting called ‘Number Structure II’ by Canadian artist Kazuo Nakamura (1926-2002).  Nakamura graphs out number-structure patterns and calculations and presents them as art.

below: One of the structures that Nakamura used was the Pascal Triangle.  This image shows the first 6 lines of the triangle.  Each number is the sum of the two numbers above it.  Can you figure out what the next line would be?   When expanded, it contains many number sequences and can be used to answer probability questions – as well as other mathematical things that I don’t understand.

the top 6 lines of pascals triangle, a mathematical structure of numbers

below: A small (maybe 1/8th) section of the painting … which unfortunately doesn’t give you much of an idea as to the composition of the artwork.  It does though give you an idea of the detail.  Some of the parts that I have omitted are triangle shapes that conform to Pascals triangle as pictured above.   Is it mathematics?  Is it art?  Where do you draw the line between the two?  Is there a line?

a detail picture of a painting by Kazuo Nakamura called Number Structure 2 which is based on Pascal Triangle. Lots of numbers written in white on blue and black background. the background is made into rectangles, squares and triangles.

It’s the kind of painting that a photograph can never do justice to.  It’s best seen in person.   Oh yes, the answer to the question above:  The next line of the triangle would be: 1, 6, 15, 20, 15, 6, 1.

If By Dull Rhymes
an exhibit by David Armstrong Six and Kristan Horton
Clint Roenisch Gallery, St. Helens Ave

 Dull rhymes may not be the best title as there was nothing dull about the exhibit.

This exhibit  features two Canadian-born artists.  The sculptures that you see are by David Armstrong Six.  They are playful mashups of broken and cast off pieces and many resemble the human form in one way or another.  You can imagine them dancing around the room when the lights are off and everyone’s gone home.   For now, their dance is frozen in time as they await tonight’s revelry.  The two works on the wall are by Kristan Horton.

artwork by David Armstrong Six (sculpture) and Kristan Horton (prints on the wall) at the Clint Roenisch gallery - three sculptures and two pieces on board on the wall

below: Close up of one of the panels.   Details.  Eye catching.  Mesmerizing. Geometric Patterns.  Each section is made with a single part of a piece of packaging that has been manipulated (rotated, flipped, etc) to make a repeating pattern.

eight different patterns made with labels that are displayed side by side.

below: Here you can see the barcode from a box of something.  The number 2729 appears with the barcode – sometimes it in the ‘correct’ orientation and sometimes it’s the mirror image.

close up of the patterns made with different labels and barcodes by Kristan Horton

artwork by David Armstrong Six (sculpture) and Kristan Horton (prints on the wall) at the Clint Roenisch gallery - close up of one of the sculptures, it looks like a face, head, body and outstretched arm, patterned artwork on the wall in the background.

This is only a sample of the works on display.   There is a lot more information on by Kristan Horton‘s website.  I haven’t found a website for David Armstrong Six, but there are images of some of his other work online if you are interested.

artwork by David Armstrong Six (sculpture) and Kristan Horton (prints on the wall) at the Clint Roenisch gallery - one sculpture on the floor and one panel on the wall. The panel is a 10 sections, each section is a different pattern made of labels from packaging.

The exhibit is only on until the 17th of December.