Category

Art

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Geoffrey Farmer Makes Moore Dangerous Again

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The explanatory text at the entrance of Every day needs an urgent whistle blown into it at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) reminds us that British sculptor Henry Moore originally intended to bequeath his works to the Tate. When a letter writing campaign caused the London gallery to refuse to build a suitable space, he chose Toronto and the AGO instead. We can remember this as Toronto’s...

Maritime Life at Fredericton’s Westminster Books

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Westminster Books, 445 King St, Fredericton, New Brunswick Westminster Books, Fredericton’s only independent bookstore that focuses on new books, has been a community staple for over thirty years. The brother-in-law of the current owner, Janet North, opened the store in 1975. He ran it for two years before moving back to Ontario and selling the store to Janet, her husband, and another couple. “We...

Long Live the New Flesh: David Cronenberg’s Evolution

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A progenitor of a genre typically referred to as body horror, Toronto-born and world-renowned auteur David Cronenberg remains one of the most audacious narrative directors working in cinema. Citing literary influences as diverse and incendiary as Vladimir Nabokov and William S. Burroughs (Cronenberg adapted Burroughs’s Naked Lunch), Cronenberg’s films continually blur the line between...

The Small, Strange Worlds of Karine Giboulo

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The artist statement is a most dissatisfactory document and Karine Giboulo’s is no exception: “Karine Giboulo creates colourful miniature worlds in which depictions of reality and flights of fantasy mingle.” Granted, Montréal based Giboulo does create miniature worlds, but to simplify her work down to a mingling of reality and fantasy is one of those truth-filled lies that artists are compelled...

Community Strangeness: On Fredericton’s Owl’s Nest Bookstore

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Owl’s Nest Bookstore, 390 Queen St., Fredericton, New Brunswick. “If nothing else, we add some strangeness to the community,” says Debbie of Owl’s Nest Books, Fredericton’s principal secondhand bookstore. And indeed, with its endless rooms and motley décor, the store glows with haphazard charm. Owls hang on the walls. Q plays on the radio. Room after room offers nooks, corners, and...

Life According to Ai Weiwei (at the Art Gallery of Ontario)

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Reviewed: Ai Weiwei: According to What? at the Art Gallery of Ontario, August 17-October 27 2013 In 2011, ArtReview magazine named Ai Weiwei the most influential person in the art world (he beat out the likes of Larry Gagosian for the honour), and though he’s effectively been under house arrest since 2011, when authorities in China took away his passport, he remains engaged in the world in a big...

Archival Dialogues: Reading the Black Star Collection at the Ryerson Image Centre

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Reviewed in this essay: “Archival Dialogues: Reading the Black Star Collection,” Ryerson Image Centre inaugural exhibition. Ryerson University recently became home to the Black Star Collection, a massive archive of photojournalistic prints (over 292,000 objects) that together document the cultural, social, and political history of the 20th century. To mark this significant acquisition...

Getting Into It Through The Guns: The Thomson Collection of Ship Models at the AGO

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French prisoners of war held in Britain built some of the ship models in the Thomson Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Cream-white as if carved in ivory but made from bones in the prisoners’ rations and other humble materials like straw and human hair, the “Prisoner of War Models” are masterfully crafted and exquisitely beautiful, despite their genesis in misery and their deathly...

Not Nothing: A Review of Artist’s Statements

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[British artist] Damien Hirst  What do you mean, an artist’s statement?[Art writer] Sarah Borusso  Just a statement of purpose or… it’s up to you really, we run them just to give a context to your work… It’s kind of up to you. DH  OK, I can do one now. SB  OK. It’s a kind of separate thing from the interview. DH  No, I can think of a really good one. SB  Oh, you can? DH  The only...

Going Glocal – FOCUS ASIA at Art Toronto

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Reviewed in this article: Beyond Geography, flagship FOCUS ASIA exhibition for Art Toronto It’s no coincidence that Art Toronto, Toronto’s biggest international art fair, chose “Focus ASIA” as it’s theme this year, inviting galleries from Asian countries including China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and the Philippines to show. The rise of the museum in China occupies a large amount of mental real...

A monthly dose of culture: Reviewing the AGO’s First Thursdays

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If a regular person ever wanted the chance to feel like a cultural blue blood, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)’s First Thursdays are the time to do it. The series, which began in October and will continue the first Thursday of each month, is an after-hours gallery party complete with music, special exhibits, talks with industry professionals and more. October’s installation featured art by...

Mirabilia: A Miracle on Gladstone Avenue

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I’ve always wanted to go into St. Anne’s Church, tucked away on Gladstone Ave, just north of Dundas St. West, but not to feed religious urges, more out of art historical interest: the Anglican church, Canada’s only Byzantine-style edifice, is home to a series of religious paintings created by the Group of Seven. This past week, I got my excuse: Mirabilia, a nine-day festival of...