Art from the Art Gallery of Ontario

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Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

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Art Gallery of Ontario


John William Waterhouse - Lady of Shalott, c.1916
Lady of Shalott, c.1916
John William Waterhouse
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  Art Gallery of Ontario

Oct. 20, 2012–Jan. 20, 2013: Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting

Mar. 16–Jun.16, 2013: Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art

With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Kenneth Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family
Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults. Visit to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

The Yale Dictionary of Art and Artists
by Erika Langmuir, Norbert Lynton

Davenport's Art Reference and Price Guide 2001-2002
by Raymond Davenport, Lisa Reinhardt

Art Gallery of Ontario Acquires New Canadian Works at the
Opening of Art Toronto 2012

Three significant contemporary pieces to complement the AGO collection

TORONTO – Oct. 29, 2012 - Art Toronto 2012 launched on Oct. 25, 2012, with an opening night preview gala to benefit the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). The Gallery’s selection committee chose three works by Canadian artists for the AGO collection: two paintings, by Julia Dault and Stephen Andrews, and a drawing by Itee Pootoogook. The purchases were made possible by funds raised at the preview, with assistance from the Dr. Michael Braudo Canadian Contemporary Art Fund and the assistance of the Joan Chalmers Inuit Art Fund.

“I am very impressed by the calibre of art on display at this year’s fair,” said Elizabeth Smith, the AGO’s executive director of curatorial affairs. “The pieces we purchased represent the current work of three distinct Canadian artists, and they are so compelling that the selection committee was able to work very quickly. All are outstanding additions to the AGO collection.”

Stephen Andrews’ Nocturne (2012) is composed of translucent layers of paint that are carefully applied over pencil drawings. Using sheets of clear acetate, Andrews pulls away the layers to create an imperfect surface. “This is an ambitious statement by Andrews,” said Kitty Scott, AGO curator of modern and contemporary art. “The dreamy night scene of a railroad crossing depends on a contemporary photographic source while recalling late–19th century symbolism in its jewel-like handling of pigment. This particular piece ensures that the AGO’s holdings of his work remain current.” The AGO currently holds 4 works by Andrews. He is represented in Canada by Paul Petro Contemporary Art.

New Wave (2012) by Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based Julia Dault is a work of oil on vinyl. It is the first of her pieces the AGO has acquired. According to Scott, “this remarkable abstract painting simultaneously emphasizes process and produces a complex shifting space. I look forward to seeing how Julia’s work develops in the coming years.” Julia Dault is represented in Canada by Jessica Bradley.

Water Tank (2012) by Itee Pootoogook, purchased with the assistance of the Joan Chalmers Inuit Art Fund, 2012, is a large-scale drawing in ink and coloured pencil. A rigorous draughtsman, Pootoogook draws inspiration from the landscape of his Cape Dorset home, infusing everyday subjects with vivid colour. This piece joins five small drawings by Pootoogook currently in the AGO collection. “The size of Water Tank is rare for the artist, as he’s known for his very painstaking and thorough approach,” said Nancy Campbell, AGO associate curator of special projects. “On one hand, it depicts a very realistic Cape Dorset scene of a water tank next to a house, but it’s also reminiscent of an abstract painting with the way the colours and shapes are positioned on the paper.” Itee Pootoogook is represented by Feheley Fine Arts of Toronto.

This is the sixth consecutive year that the AGO has purchased artwork on the opening night preview with the assistance of funds raised at the annual event. Approximately $275,000 was raised to support these acquisitions as well as the Gallery’s ongoing education programs.

Stephen Andrews was born in Sarnia, Ont., in 1956. He has exhibited his work in Canada, the U.S., Brazil, Scotland, France, India and Japan. His work is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, as well as many private collections. Andrews’ work deals with memory, identity, the body and the body politic. He is represented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art of Toronto.

Julia Dault is a Toronto-born artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her solo exhibition as part of the series Inside the White Cube was on view at White Cube Bermondsey, London, from July to August, 2012. Recent exhibitions include The Ungovernables at the New Museum’s second triennial (2012); Making Is Thinking at Witte de With, Rotterdam (2011); Rotary Connection at Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York (2012); and Substance Abuse at Leo Koenig Projekte, New York (2010). Dault is on the faculty of the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons, the New School for Design in New York City.

Born in 1951 in Kimmirut (Lake Harbour), and a resident of Cape Dorset, Itee Pootoogook has been drawing and carving for several years. The first print edition of Pootoogook’s work, Looking South, was released in 2008 as part of the "Nine Works by Seven Artists" contemporary folio. This was followed by the annual Cape Dorset print release, in which Pootoogook’s work was featured with two of his recent prints. He has been featured on the cover and in the portfolio section of the Fall 2010 Inuit Art Quarterly.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.


AGO Successfully Restores Chardin’s Masterpiece Jar of Apricots

TORONTO – Sept. 11, 2012 After two years of careful research and conservation efforts, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) has restored Jean-Siméon Chardin’s 1758 masterpiece, Jar of Apricots, to its former glory. This major undertaking commenced in 2010 with support from the BNP Paribas Foundation.

Jar of Apricots is one of an uncommon pair of oval-shaped paintings by Chardin, an 18th-century French master known for his still life works. Sold by James de Rothschild in 1951 and purchased by the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1962, it is one of the most loved paintings in the AGO collection. The work depicts a lemon, a jar of preserves, a confectionary box and a steaming cup of tea served in Chantilly porcelain, all presented informally atop a table. Due to the casualness of the grouping, the viewer is attracted less by the luxury of the delicacies, and more by the desire to consume them.

“Jar of Apricots is one of Chardin’s most successful still life works, and the oval format is unusual for the artist,” said Lloyd Dewitt, the AGO’s curator of European art. “His interest in the effects of light, transparency and reflection are now, thanks to this restoration, evident and the play of light in and around these everyday objects is captivating.”

Guided by accumulated research and in discussion with Dewitt, AGO conservator of paintings Sandra Webster-Cook has carefully removed old discoloured retouchings and the yellowish-tinge that clouded the painting. The process has revealed unexpected colour and clarified the relationship between objects.

“Past restorations had resulted in conditions that dulled this extraordinary work. Original colours were distorted, subtleties were lost and the forms of the objects appeared flattened,” said Webster-Cook. “The lengthy and complex treatment has been very successful. We have retouched areas of damage to re-integrate the forms and recover the original depth of colour and sense of space.”

In 2009 the AGO submitted a proposal to the BNP Paribas Bank (Canada) requesting financial assistance in support of the research, conservation and restoration treatment of the painting. The work will not yet be on display to the public, but will find a permanent home in one of the AGO’s galleries in the months to come.

“The BNP Paribas Foundation is delighted to have participated in the restoration of this masterpiece,” said Jean Jacque Goron, deputy head of the BNP Paribas Foundation. “It is gratifying that this beautiful piece of art will be displayed to the public in the near future and we hope visitors will enjoy admiring this artwork.”

The BNP Foundation was created in 1984; since then it has been committed to supporting the creation and preservation of our cultural heritage by funding the restoration of works in museums the world over.

About BNP Paribas Corporate Philanthropy
The corporate philanthropy policy of the BNP Paribas Group is managed by the BNP Paribas Foundation, the corner stone of the Group's philanthropy initiatives for more than 25 years. It is centered on 5 areas of activity: culture, social inclusion, education, health and the environment. Today, BNP Paribas Corporate Philanthropy is getting concrete through more than 550 programs and 30 M€ all around the world, managed via a network of 12 foundations or initiated directly by countries and businesses. For more information, please visit

About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas ( has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees, including more than 150,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its three core activities: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across Mediterranean basin countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Solutions activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia.

Art Gallery of Ontario Puts the Art into Smart Holiday Shopping

shopAGO and shopAGOkids offer an effortless gift giving experience this season

(Toronto – Nov. 19, 2012) The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is the ideal place to find unique gifts this holiday season. Featuring interesting designer products from around the world, shopAGO and shopAGOkids make it easy to buy for everyone on your list with special promotions, extended store hours and a 16-page full-colour gift guide.

Housed on the main level of the Gallery, shopAGO is a one-stop shop for unique seasonal gifts, featuring contemporary home décor items, hard-to-find art prints, books, one-of-a-kind jewelry and more. shopAGOkids specializes in modern, creative toys for children up to the age of 12. The shop houses a large selection of award-winning, art-related products that aim to inspire imagination and develop young minds. Both shops may be accessed by the public without paying admission to the AGO.

“Our two shops at the AGO provide the perfect destination for design-savvy shoppers,” said Kirstin Mearns, general manager of retail. “We work hard to source the best local and international merchandise, ensuring that everything we sell is perfectly on-trend.”

On Dec. 19, 2012 shopAGO hosts a Men’s Holiday Shopping Day to provide men with easy gift-giving solutions. From 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. retail experts will be on site to offer advice and free gift wrapping to all shoppers. Guests are invited to celebrate the festive season with artisanal beer and tequila shots on offer at the shop’s pop-up bar.

Always a popular gift idea, AGO memberships delight art-loving friends and family year-round with unlimited, free access to the AGO’s permanent collection and special exhibitions. The AGO offers more viewing space than ever before, with 110 innovative galleries displaying thousands of artworks. There’s a type of membership for everyone, from individuals to families. For individuals under 40 who want to immerse themselves in art, AGO Next memberships offer the perfect and meaningful gift. Connecting members with Toronto's cultural life and vibrant art scene, AGO Next offers encounters with art and artists in lively social settings. Members at the Contributing level and above, including AGO Next members, also enjoy reciprocal admission at participating art museums across North America. All members enjoy special discounts at FRANK restaurant, shopAGO, AGO education programs and much more. For more information, please visit AGO members save 10 per cent on all purchases from shopAGO and shopAGOkids. Between November 20 and 25, all members receive 20 per cent (instead of their regular 10 per cent) off any purchases made in store.