Thursday, February 16, 2006

Art Gallery of Ontario

Visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) was umm ok-ish, at first. But it ended well.

First, I spent considerable time to hunt it's location. Based on their postal address, I got off at Dundas Street West subway station and caught a street car to somewhere. It took me on a complete city tour (my mistake, not their's). Next time I tried the smarter approach - of calling first for landmarks. Turns out it is on Dundas Street West, but a block away from McCaul Street ! (This is like half-way across the city from where I got off the first time). I forgot that the streets here run across the city and beyond.

AGO location is great. Neighborhood is cluttered with Art supply stores. Crowd is also artsy looking type. And that is because Ontario College of Art & Design is AGO's immediate neighbor. Now, this college building is worth a watch.

At AGO, they had a Favorites exhibition on - set of diverse paintings, favorites chosen by eminent personalities of Toronto. Was good. So was the "Entire City" collection by Michael Awad. He clicked similar places across the city and stuck them together seamlessly. It looks like an entire city captured on one frame. So we have all super-markets in one frame. Likewise escalators, Toronto airport, all stores of Queen Street. Good project. I hope they soon come out in print poster form. Apart from these, nothing of interest. No offence, but sculptures and installations bore me. Give me a painting anyday.

The exhibit that I loved most, was a Wallwork*. It so happened, after getting lost in most of the gallery, I finally reached their store. I hoped it would pep me up. But no. They didn't have any of my favorite painting prints ! So I crawled away to the next room, which seemed completely empty, but for sofa. I sat on one of them, and turned around to the door, and boing ! What do I see ? I see this.

Ontario Art Gallery

I said, now you are talking !

Didn't note the artist name. He had used all modern day common objects, to create pillar and sculpture, for an adorned doorway. All in twos , in symmetry on either side of the door. Stuff like bed breakfast table with used plates having bread crumbs. A coffee table with coffee mugs, mobile phone, cutlery, even used tissue. Then, a slept floor bed, jeans spilling out of a closet, Redbull cans, sandals, doormat, underwear, marker pens, post-its, file folders.

I was amazed at the strength of glue to fight gravity ! It's like an entire section of floor was transported to the wall.

I have to say, this wallwork is the best part of this gallery ! Wonder how the artist will dismantle it ? Maybe it is a permanent exhibit after all.

* Wallworks are artworks produced directly on the surface of walls. The artists who adhere to this method of working dispense with the tradition of the canvas, preferring the hard vertical surface of walls, often incorporating texture and existing architecture into their work.


Hiren said...

If only all artists could behave like painters and make their hobbies thier professions.

Shankari said...


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