We visited Toronto last week. It is perhaps my favorite Canadian city visited so far because of the art and culture, but also for the ladies who wear big hair and makeup.Â Yup, thatâ€™s right. I just love people who wear makeup. Living in Victoria for last 36 years is a life in granola-paradise, but now and again, I like to see some false eyelashes, and hair sprit zed to the max.
Our trip to the centre of the universe was initiated by friends who produce The Spirit of Toronto (a whisky festival). I had never been off the tarmac or out of our hotel room in Toronto before, so this trip signaled my first opportunity to visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Royal Ontario Museum and The Gardiner Museum.
The Art Gallery of Ontario
Art Gallery of Ontario MusÃ©e des beaux-arts de lâ€™Ontario
317 Dundas Street West Toronto Ontario Canada M5T 1G4 Â Toll free: 1-877-225-4246 Â Local: 416 979 6648
It is probably the most impressive art collection in Ontario thanks to the world-renowned Thomson Collection given to the gallery in 2003. I had never seen all of the Group of Seven plus Emily Carr paintings in one area before, and the display gives a clear idea of what each artistâ€™s personality was like. I never really cared for Tom Thomsonâ€™s work until now. His many different varieties of colour and form in this exhibit changed my mind. I took an instant like to Varley and Carmichael. Lawren Harrisâ€™s Lake and Mountains is probably most memorable painting because of itâ€™s placement upon entering the gallery space. It certainly was the most talked about among friends and family who remembered it from their visits.
Personal Highlights included:
Cornelius Krieghoff’s scenes resonate with me because of his use and colours of the Canadian maple leaf.
Wangechi Mutu: This is What You Call Civilization?
Until May 23, 2010
Wangechi Mutuâ€™s work at the Ago was wonderful and a treat to see more of her works concurrently showing at the Vancouver Art Galleryâ€™s Visceral Bodies (February 06 to May 16, 2010) presented in conjunction with Leonard da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man. To read a review of the Visceral Bodies exhibit read John Luna’s essay @exhibit_v about his experience.
Wangechi Mutu boldly explores the contradictions of female and cultural identity, drawing the viewer into conversations about beauty, consumerism, colonialism, race, and gender. Her representations of the human form are disturbing and transfixing, at once utterly complex and strikingly direct.
Overall, 4 hours wasnâ€™t enough time to drink from the fountain of what the AGO had to offer. I highly recommend visiting this art gallery to get a true sense of the champions of Canadian art, plus other splendid artists from around the world.
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
Attributed to Jean-Baptiste Roy-Audy (Quebec, 1778-c.1845). Oil on Canvas c. 1834