Tag Archives: AGO

On the exciting White Album exhibit at the AGO

Almost a decade ago I read about this project Rutherford Chang: We Buy White Albums over at hyperallergic. I remember thinking at the time: I would LOVE to see that. 

Back in 2013, Chang had set up a store/exhibit in Soho, NYC, where

the only thing in stock here is the Beatles’s White Album, and the store doesn’t sell any of them, it only acquires more….(it included) 700 copies of the 1968 double-LP first edition of the White Album, all the personal collection of Chang. Each album is marked with a distinct serial number on the bottom corner of the starkly designed cover by Richard Hamilton, a totally white cover that’s readily attracted the wandering drawings of (possibly stoned) listeners, the visible stains of coffee cups, and some mold.

I never did get to see it, but the idea captivated me and I never forgot it.

Needless to say, I was excited and delighted to see that it was on the road and recently at the AGO! You can see part of the exhibit above. It wasn’t the same as being in the store, but it captured the essence of that 2013 event. Chang even made a new recording that consisted of 100 copies of the album all playing at the same time. The AGO had it on display and for sale, too:

 

As a big fan of conceptual art and the Beatles, I loved this project. I’m glad I could experience it through the AGO.

For more details, I recommend you go to that hyperallergic link and read more about it. You can also read more about the exhibit at the AGO, here.

(Images: top two mine, bottom image is a link to the hyperallergic article)

On the Basquiat work at the AGO in 2022

The AGO had a good show called “I AM HERE” packed with a great many works, including the one above. There were some other works like these…

There were even some drawings of food

For a Basquiat fan such as myself, it was all very exciting to see so much of his work here in Ontario.

It wasn’t until sometime later that I noticed the fine print besides the work:

That doesn’t mean to say that these are forgeries. It just says his family doesn’t vouch for them.

I can’t say one way or another. Basquiat was known to draw on all sorts of things, which made the food drawings seem real enough. To me only the head / portrait painting seemed a bit off. Not his typical pallet. But I think it seems like him in many other ways.

Given how much his work goes for and how much he produced, I think we might see more potential issues with works of Basquait on display. something to keep in mind the next time his work is on display.

On Vija Celmins


I first came across Celmins work at a large exhibit recently at the AGO and was so blown away by it. I love the detail and the abstaction of her art. You can get really lost in just one of her works. I know I did when I saw them. I think you will too.

I was doing some research on her and I found these articles to be good. If you want to learn more about her, check them out:

  1. Vija Celmins – 11 artworks – painting
  2. Explore the art of Vija Celmins – Look Closer | Tate
  3. Vija Celmins’s Surface Matters | The New Yorker

Four good pieces on my hometown, Glace Bay

Anyone with an interest in Glace Bay will find these worth reading:

  1. A COAL TOWN FIGHTS FOR ITS LIFE | Maclean’s | MARCH 15 1954: this was fascinating. A story from Maclean’s Magazine in the 1950s that documented Glace Bay at the crossroads. So much in this piece explains my home town and the people who lived there.
  2. Glace Bay hockey rink’s new name closer to its roots | CBC.ca: a mainstay of Glace Bay is the hockey rink. When I was a kid I lived about 100 meters from it. I spent most of my early days (until grade 10) going to it. So many memories back then revolved around that building.
  3. KEN MACDONALD: Remembering the miners | Local-Lifestyles | Lifestyles | Cape Breton Post: a good piece from the local paper on the mines of Glace Bay and the miners who lived and sometimes died in them.
  4. Miners’ houses: Lawren Harris in Glace Bay – Nova Scotia Advocate: finally this piece on Glace Bay with a focus on a famous painting of Glace Bay by Lawren Harris (shown above). It used to be in the AGO and I often paused to reflect on it, and my hometown. Just like I am doing now.

On Betty Goodwin

I’m always struck whenever I see the works of Betty Goodwin. They have a distortion that reminds me of Francis Bacon, and there is sometimes a threat implied with them, the way Bacon’s work does too. But Goodwin is her own artist, and if anything she has a greater range than Bacon does. This is not to strictly compare both artists, for they are both great in their own way. It is just meant to highlight how good I think she is.

If you want to see more of her work, you can go the National Gallery of Canada, here. The AGO also has some of her work and had a fine exhibit on her in 2019. You can read about it here.

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One of my favourite works at the AGO is Lisa Reihana: in Pursuit of Venus [infected]

It’s a great work for many reasons, not least is the technically superb use of Audio Visual technology. It’s well worth seeing and experiencing. Do so soon: it ends May, 2020.

For more on it, see: Lisa Reihana: in Pursuit of Venus [infected] | Art Gallery of Ontario