Saturday 9 March 2019

An Afternoon at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

In December, I won a pair of tickets to the AGO during an event I attended put on by the Canadian Authors Association. Except for seeing a special exhibit featuring Edvard Munch works including his famous The Scream, I hadn't been since my junior high days. That wasn't yesterday. Teena had never been. Today we fixed that by heading to the gallery and using our tickets.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the largest art museums in North America with close to 95,000 works from all over the world, many of them being centuries old. It's a collection of paintings, sculptures, artifacts and photography, as well as collaborations with museums from around the world.

There is so much to see that we skipped the special exhibition on Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and More.

I found after my afternoon there that while I was taken with many paintings, it was the sculptures which I was really taken by, whether abstract or realism. Maybe it is the three dimensional aspect I enjoy.

Here are a few of what caught my eye during the day along with my comments:

Away Game and Home Game, 2014,  Karen Kraven from London, ON. The depth is cool.

Whenever I think of paintings, I always think of them being living room size. What makes an artist decide what to paint large is small is interesting. All the rooms were large and mostly empty in the middle except for seats so people cold sit or stand back to admire form a distance.

British artist Henry Moore, crafted The Archer, a work of art which was unveiled in front of Toronto's City Hall in 1966. An entire room in the AGO is dedicated to his sculptures.

This one is called Draped Seated Woman, 1957-58

Draped Reclining Woman, 1957-58

Reclining Figure, 1951. I think this too, is a woman.

Warrior with Shield, 1954. This was donated to the gallery in 1955 as a gift from the Junior Woman's Committee fund. Interesting it was donated so quickly after being unveiled. I'm glad it was.. I found the piece fascinating and took photo's of it from many angles. This one was the best

The room from another angle. After today I might have to learn more about Mr. Moore. Teena has many more works from this room in her post.

Again this gives you the idea of space in each room.

I really liked Soldier and Girl at Station from 1953. Artist was unnamed. One of my favourites of the day.

This is the kind of modern art I don't get.

The frame becomes part of the piece in this painting. Teena thought the man in the frame was dreaming about the past which I think is a good interpretation.

When I looked up close at this painting by one of Canada's famous group of seven, I could see how the artist, (darn, I wish I had noted which artist it was) made the water shimmer the way it did.

A look at how paintings are displayed.

Again I didn't note the artist but was amazed at how when I looked close at these two paintings, how the simplest of strokes brought out so much detail when viewed from a short distance away.

I really liked this piece. My goal for this year is to take a photo of a railway track from a similar angle. There is something I really enjoy about the straight lines of train tracks.

This piece had both Teena and I taking a up-close look for about five minutes. Don Valley on a Grey Day, 1972, by William Kurelek from Alberta has a hidden crucifix in it. We never found it. I just researched it and now know where it is. No, I'm not telling you.

This hall features bronzes called The Body in fragments, a style which was popular with many artists from 1890 to 1960.

In the late 1880's, French artist Auguste Rodin famously caused outrage in Paris by exhibiting sculptures of fragmented bodies. he inspired subsequent generations of modern sculptors, including Henry Moore,to experiment more radically. Pushing the body further toward pure abstraction, these artists depicted the human form as distressed and disjointed, industrially streamlined and erotically charged.

Torso for Ile-de-France, 1921 by Aristide Maillol

Henry Moore's Helmet Head No. 2, 1955

Head of a Woman (Fernande) by Pablo Picasso. Picasso met Fernande Oliver in 1904. She modeled for the piece in 1909 and he cast it 1910-1914. It was purchased by the AGO in 1949. I would love to know what she really looked like.

I found Auguste Rodin's Seated Torso, around 1890-91, very intriguing.

Even the stairs in the AGO are artistic.

Not sure what to make of Jim Dine's Black Bathroom #2 from 1962

A famous work by Andy Warhol, Elvis I and II, 1963-64

Another piece I'm not sure of but found intriguing, Painting #147, 1959, by Luis Feito which is on display for the very first time since it's purchase in 1962.

Another work by Henry Moore, Mother and Child , 1953

Decorative Figure, 1908 by Henri Matisse.

I found this piece Tenants, 1939-40 by Montreal artist Marian Dale Scott to be eerie, haunting and amazing.

This is such a beautiful and detail piece of work by John William Waterhouse. "I am half sick of shadows,' said The Lady of Shalott", 1915. Teena and I took some extra time to look at this one.

Talk about looking back in time. Pope Gregory wrote his Commentary of the Book of Job way back in 1397-98. It looks so fragile. It's amazing it has survived all these centuries.

Even older is this bible done in Latin from around 1250. Both were so incredible to see.

It was a very interesting day. The AGO is certainly worth a visit.

No comments: