Posts Tagged ‘art’

below: ‘The Encompassing’ by street artist Javid (aka JAH) stands in one of the reflecting pools between the Ismaili Centre and the Aga Khan Museum.   This is one of a number of pieces on display.  Each is painted on reclaimed corrugated metal.  They are an examination of the geometry in Islamic patterns and architecture.  His work will remain on display until the 31st of October.

a painting called The Encompassing stands in a reflecting pool in front of the Aga Khan Museum.

below: On the other side of the above painting, is this one – “Beyond”, also by Javid.  The Ismaili Centre is in the background with its large pale blue dome over the prayer room.

A painting in blue, pink, and purple, of stars, by Jacid Jah, in a reflecting pool with the Ismaili Centre behind it

 below: The large wood beams that cover the entrance to the Ismaili Centre were being re-stained this morning.

a pick up truck and a lift in front of the entrance to the Ismaili Centre, workmen are re-staining the large wood beams that support the glass roof.

The Toronto Ismaili Centre is one of 6 around the world.  It was designed by Indian architect Charles Correa and opened in 2014.  If you go on the tour of the inside of the Ismaili Centre, you will see a building that is filled with natural light, as well as natural woods and stone.

below: A calligraphy based medallion made of stone is on a white wall.  The Arabic word ‘allah’ is in the center and surrounding it are the ninety nine attributes of God, written in Arabic.

chairs and sofa in a large room, on grey carpet, most of floor is polished stone, medallion of stone on the white wall.

below: A closer look at the wall.  It took two men, a father and son, fourteen months to carve the design into this wall and a matching wall on the other side of the room.  They worked six days a week .  The arabesque design was penciled on using a stencil and then carved by hand.

carved white wall, plaster

below: A second medallion is on a wall across the room from the one above (on the other wall that was carved).

medallion of stone, calligraphy, arabic, on a white wall

Crossing back past the reflecting pools to the Aga Khan Museum….

below: Another Javid Jah painting, this time “The Manifest”.   (To the left, you can see a metal sculpture called “Big Heech” ).   Like all of Jah’s paintings here, this one is based on geometry.  The basic shape here is a pentagon (sacral chakra) and it is seen on the floor.  This type of archway is called a muqarna and it is unique to muslim architecture.  Here the shape of the indentations in the muqarna are based on the pentagon.

a painting called The Encompassment stands in a reflecting pool in front of the Aga Khan Museum.  Painted by Javid Jah, blue arch over red entranceway

The “Big Heech” is the work of Parviz Tanavoli, made from stainless steel in 2014.   It is derived from the Persian word for “nothingness” and it is an important word in Perian Sufism.

“Emperors and Jewels: Treasures of the Indian Court from the Al-Sabah Collection in Kuwait”, is a temporary exhibit at the Aga Khan Museum featuring artworks and historical objects from the treasuries of Mughal emperors.  The Mughal Empire ruled most of present day Pakistan and India in the 16th and 17th centuries.   The Mughals were Muslim but the majority of the population were Hindu.

below: Part of a larger picture depicting a hunting scene, reproduced and enlarged especially for the exhibit.

part of a painting at the Aga Khan museum of a moghul ruler on a horse in a hunting scene

below: Three glass bottles

on display at the Aga Khan Museum, 3 glass bottles, rounded bottoms and narrow tops, one is marroon, one is teal and the last is royal blue

below: Two fish joined to make a circle, a standard.  From India, late 18th century.   Made from silver.  There are many myths and symbols that feature fish.  In Hindu tradition, the fish was associated with Brahma and Manu, a progenitor of mankind.  In addition, one myth is that a fish was believed to hold up the globe.

on display at the Aga Khan Museum, two fish joined in a circle, a standard, for the top of a pole

below: A portrait of Nawab Bairam Khan, painted around 1710-40, watercolour and gold on paper.  He is pictured in profile, sitting alone in his peaceful garden.

on display at the Aga Khan Museum, a painting, portrait of Nawab Bairam Khan, painted around 1710 to 1840, watercolour and gold on paper, scene is a man sitting on a carpet, under a tent roof, leaning on a large pink pillow

below: Knife with jade handle carved in the shape of a horse head and neck.

on display at the Aga Khan Museum, a metal knife iwth a jade handle that is carved into the shape of a horse head and neack, decorated with gold bridle

This year’s Nuit Blanche was on September 28th and 29th.  The night’s activities were spread over a large number of locations around the city.  That was a few days ago so yes, I am a bit behind.  I was laid low for a couple of days with this cold that’s been going around… or I took a few days to recover from being up until 3:30 a.m.!

 

below:  Part of ‘Continuum: Pushing Towards the Light’ by Brandy Leary and the Anandam Dancetheatre.  They made they way across the glass enclosed bridge over Queen Street between the Eaton Centre and The Bay store.

4 people in costume, performance art, on glass covered bridge

below: From behind the burlap (or tarp?) Nathan Phillips Square, from an installation ‘Radical Histories 2012-2018’ by Ibrahaim Mahama.

looking at the back of the 3D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips, looking through burlap and tarps that have been stitched together

below: More from the same installation, this time from the “right” side.  It was great for making shadow figures.  Thanks to Jude for starting off the evening with me… and getting creative (silly?) too.

making shadows against the fabric draped around City Hall and Nathan Phillips square

below: We found a photo shoot on Bay Street.

two young women posing on the street

below: On Bloor Street, nothing to do with Nuit Blanche but it looked cool.   Reflections and lights.

reflections in a window that has been lit with a red light, a mannequin is reflected from the store across the street

below: Eaton Centre, a quieter moment that night.

a young boy leans against his father as he reads a book, MIghty Robot, at the Eaton Centre

below: Checking the map.   Yonge Dundas Square – the installation there was very unimpressive so I took people pics instead.

a couple looks at the Nuit Blanche map

below: At Church of the Redeemer (Avenue Road and Bloor), Korean Dancers.  “Star Moon Water Stone” by Ensemble Jeng Yi

two Korean women in traditional costume, gold dresses, and decorated hair

below: Drummers, same venue as above.

drummers, performing, Church of the Redeemer, Nuit Blanche

below: ‘This Storm is You’ at the Ontario Science Centre, an installation by Zahra Saleki.   Photography on the walls and stories on the floor.

art installation for Nuit Blanche at the Ontario Science Centre, by Zahra Saleki called 'This Storm is You'.

below: Walk among the stories.  “Every story deserves to be lit.  Grab a sharpie and write yours.”

lit sign, large capital letters in pale blue, Every Story deserves to be lit. Grab a sharpie and write yours.

below: Smile!.. and a testament to the start of love.   Two of many lit stories.

white lanterns, rectangular, with tea lights in the bottom, scattered around the floor, people walking around them.

below: Saleki’s photos displayed here are abstract dance photographs in black and white.  Negative images and slowing the camera to produce the blur of motion.

black and white photo of a man leaning forward, finger pointed to ground, slow shutter speed, blurred motion,

four photographs on a black wall, by zahra Saleki, figures in motion

below: This is what you saw when you first got off the subway (is the SRT a subway?) at Scarborough Town Centre.  It’s part of the ‘The Things They Carried’ Babel series.  The motifs are similar to those on the installation at Yonge -Dundas Square, that oops, I don’t have a picture of.

installation of blue lights shining on fabric banners

below: At Scarborough Civic Centre, ‘Everything I Wanted to Tell You’ by Hiba Abdallah.  A series of words in lights projected onto several buildings.  The words changed every few seconds to tell a story or two.

two large signs at Scarborough Nuit Blanche, from the installation called Everything I wanted to tell you. Back lights say We worked so hard to make this place home

below: More of the words.  “People hold on so tightly to a specific narrative of this place”.

words projected onto the side of a building at Scarborough Civic Centre, part of Nuit Blanche installation, Everything I wanted to tell you by Hiba Abdallah

below: More projections at Scarborough Civic Centre.  Sorry, not sure which installation this is.

large projections on the concrete wall of Scarborough Civic Center

below: Scarborough Town Centre (mall) had a mountain of inflatable globes you could walk under, or just look at.  ‘Walk Among Worlds’ by Maximo Gonzalez

piles of inflatable globes are arranged at Scarborough Town Centre, people are walking around them and through a tunnel made of them

below: Weaving stories, ‘Interlacing’ by Community Arts Guild, at Scarborough Town Centre.

three people are taking their turn weaving coloured strips of fabric into a community weaving project

below: Watching a performance at the Scarborough Civic Centre.

people line the edge of a balcony to watch a performance below

below: Running through the lights.

woman runs past a white screen that is being lit with coloured lights, making her shadow coloured

below: Reflections, Aga Khan Museum

in front of the Aga Khan museum, a large white lit ball is reflected in the pool of water

below: more Aga Khan

Aga Khan at Nuit Blanche

below: Showing ‘Insomnia’, a video filmed in Tehran showing simply the view out his bedroom window, by Simin Keramati, Aga Khan Museum

a room in the Aga Khan that is showing a video made in Tehran, two people are sitting on stools as they watch it, orange carpet on the floor, old decorated bookcases against the walls.

side of the Aga Khan museum lit in bluish purple light

below: Trash at Yonge Dundas Square.  Nothing to do with Nuit Blanche, just an ordinary day’s worth of garbage.  It just happened to catch my eye as I was walking down the stairs to the subway.

clear plastic bags full of trash are pilled up against a clear wall at Yonge Dundas square

Ending with rubbish would be a weird way to end a post, so here’s another mannequin.  I saw lots of them that night too, unfazed by the activity around them, unmoved by the night’s events.

below: I’m out here every night.  Nice of you to finally notice….

bald white mannequin with dark sunglasses and very dark red lipstick, looking at the camera, wearing an orange and brown top with a collar, reflected red, ywllow, and green lights behind her.

 

Two Canadian First Nations women, Jane Ash Poitras and Rebecca Belmore,  have their art on display at the moment.  Both women are concerned about the effects of history on their culture and heritage.  Both mix politics into their art.   How do you rise out of oppression while preserving your heritage?  What are the issues surrounding acculturation and do you deal with them?   But as you can see, they approach their art in very different ways.

At the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) are four paintings by Jane Ash Poitras (b. Fort Chipeywan Alberta 1951).   Poitras is Cree.  She was orphaned at the age of 6 and raised by a Catholic German woman in Edmonton.  Before turning to art, she earned a BSc in microbiology.

below: ‘Buffalo Seed’, mixed media, 2004.  Old black and white photos are used in this collage along with sunflower petals and fabulous colours of oil paint.

colourful collage and painting by Jane Ash Poitras. Uses old black and white photos

below: “Potato Peeling 101 to Ethnobotany 101”,  Placed side by side, these two large works serve to contrast traditional indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants with the teachings imposed on indigenous youth by the residential school system.

2 large assemblages, collages, by Jane Ash Poitras, called Potato Peeling 101 to Ethnobotany 101, on display at the Royal Ontario Museum

below: There is a lot of detail in the two boards that get lost in a photo like the one above so here is a closer look at some of the photos in the collage above

collection of old black and white photos of First Nations kids in schools

text of a quote by Rebecca Belmore that says "for decades I have been working amongst my people, calling to the past, witnessing the present, standing forward, facing the monumental

 

“Facing the Monumental” is the title of the Rebecca Belmore exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario.  It covers three decades of her work and includes photographs, sculptures, and videos of her performance art.   Her art is more conceptual.

Belmore is an Anishinaabe woman from the Lac Seul First Nation.  She spent her childhood in northwestern Ontario with her maternal grandparents where she spoke Ojibwa.  For high school, she boarded with a white family in Thunder Bay.  Many First Nations communities are too small to support a high school so students are sent to live elsewhere while they complete their education.  It is a system with many problems.  It’s probably fair to say that the whole “system” is problematic.

below: ‘Sister’ 2001.  An ambiguous image – why does the woman have her arms stretched out?  What is happening here?

Sisters, art by Rebecca Belmore at the AGO from 2001

below: “Tower”, 2018.  A condo tower of shopping carts around a clay core – the carts symbolize the homeless.

art by Rebecca Belmore at the AGO

below: “Mixed Blessing”, 2011.  Two cultures.  Blending?  Fighting each other?  Hiding in embarrassment?

art by Rebecca Belmore at the AGO

below: And last, “Fringe” 2007.  Like two of the three artworks above, Belmore uses the body to address violence against First Nations people, especially women.   The image draws you in and repels you at the same time.   You don’t want it to be real but there is the possibility that it is.   If it makes you feel better, the diagonal scar is created using make-up and what looks like blood are strings of beads.

fringe, by Rebecca Belmore, a photo of a woman's back as she's lying down, scar and beads

Jane Ash Poitras is at the ROM until April 2020.

Rebecca Belmore is the AGO until 21 October 2018.

woman in a bright pink dress, holding a bouquet of flowers poses beside a brain artwork at Nathan Phillips Square while a man in a blue suit takes her picture

The brains are back!  Close to 50 brains decorated by different artists can be seen in about a dozen locations around this city throughout the summer.

This year they are 2-dimensional, not three.  They are much flatter.  Above, making an interesting companion to the fabulous pink dress is “Enigmatic Glitter” by Donald and Elaine Rafelman Creative Arts Studio at Baycrest.  When we picture art together it lights a spark and evokes a glitter of hope.

 

below: At Nathan Phillips Square, from left to right:  “Pop Art” by Mary Ann Grainger,  “No Brainer #Repainthistory” by Andrea Bolley,  “Neon Future” by Steve Aoki, “Get Me Out! by Hate Copy (aka Maria Qamar), “Mental Vacation ” by Birdo, and “My Mind is Swimming” by Gina Godfrey.

two young woman are standing beside a row of artwork, brain shaped, each in a plexiglass container, standing in the water of the fountain at Nathan Phillips Square, 7 brain sculptures, all decorated by different artists, part of the brain project in support of Baycrest

 

below:  “Power in Growth” by Amy Jeffreys in the Distillery District.  Persevere and grow.  Every human is capable of harnessing strength from their weaknesses.  In this piece, the tangled roots represent the inner struggles and complexity of one’s thoughts.

off-white artwork in the shape of a brain, covered with cords and leaves, or maybe leaves and stems

below: “Memory” by Colin Nun at Nathan Phillips Square.  “This type-based piece represents disconnect, dead ends, and memories lost to brain disease.  It is inspired by the loss of the artist’s grandfather to Alzheimer’s disease and was created as a tribute to his memory.  Take a close look to find a hidden word in the piece.  What do you see?”

2 dimensional brain, artwork, designed with orange and white lines, beside water at Nathan Phillips Square, 3D toronto sign behind it

below: “The Mind’s Eye” by Dave Bagley at Yonge and St. Clair.  Concentric rings of birds, fish, and diamonds radiate from the center.

a brain from the brain project at yonge and St. Clair, in a plexiglass display case, minds eye by David Bagley

below: Close up of the above, clearly showing the two seahorses in the center as well as the repeating yellow fish and blue birds.   According to the artist, “I believe all of humankind share an organic Wi-fi that connects everyone, all we need to do is turn on the switch… is yours on?”

close up of painting on brain shaped sculpture, called Mids Eye by David Bagley, circular pattern of fish and seahorses

below: “Puzzled” by Harm Huibers on Grist Mill Lane in the Distillery District.  The design of the brain is complex and intricate; when it’s complete, it’s a beautiful puzzle.  Diseases like Alzheimers take pieces out of the puzzle.

a plain brown puzzle in the shape of a brain, eight of the pieces are either missing or only partially in place

The project is sponsored by Yogen Fruz and Pinkberry and is in support of the Baycrest Foundation.  Baycrest, a leader in research into brain health and aging, is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year.

You can find pictures of all of the 2018 brains online at the brainproject.ca as well as descriptions of the brains and the artists behind their creation.

What are words?   How do we use them?

below: “Excuses injurieuses” 2007, by June Clark.  One of her “Wine and Tea” pieces.  It consists of the words Invective and Apology written over and over again starting from the top left corner and moving inwards toward the center.  Instead of a spiral it is a pyramid shape.  Perhaps it rises upwards, or perhaps it sinks down.  It’s only 40cm x 40 cm so the words are tiny.  I’d love to know how many words there are but I think that I’d be screaming profanities before I finished counting.  What I can tell you is that the pair of words ‘invective apology’ is written 32 times on the outer square.  If  invective is a noun that means, expletive, or abusive language, what does ‘invective apology’ mean and is that the same as the french title, ‘Excuses injurieuses’?

close up artwork of words written over and over again, invective apology, in smaller and smaller circles.

June Clark was born in Harlem NY but moved to Toronto in 1968.   At the moment, the AGO is featuring some of her work.  For whatever reason, I was more attracted to the pieces with words.

below: More of Clark’s “Wine and Tea” series, 2007.  Each one is a 40cm x 40 cm square and they are made with wine, tea and paper except for the one on the top left.  It is “Poubelle Lune” and the circle is a rusted lid that fits in a circle that has been cut out of the canvas.

a grid of 8 square artworks by June Clark on a gallery wall

below: Close up of another of the eight squares, a collage of sorts, the silhouettes of two people (men?) in front of flags, one American and one ? Titled: “All Some Many”.  If you look closely, you can see small words cut out of newspapers or magazines, some, all.

close up of an artwork, ink and collage. Brown squares in checkerboard shapes, with one shape being a photo, 4 small words from a newspaper, all (twice) and some (twice).

below: The next two photos are panels from “Formative Triptych” 1989/1990.  The first one says “I always imagine that I never received anything as a child, but I do remember being disappointed that the chocolate Easter Bunny was hollow and then of course there was the red broom and dustpan set.”

old black and white photo of a black girl, smiling, in dress, with words beside that say "

below: The words say “I decided that I must become so famous and so recognizable so the they could never let me die in an emergency room.”

picture of the head and shoulders of a middle aged black woman, old black and white photo, with words beside that say "

below: More collage and more words, this time it’s “Homecominghome”, words on paper towel.   Words like proactive, dulled integrity, impotent, hostage, elation, victim, underwhelmed, illusion, and satisfied surface desires.   These are only some, there were many more, each in their own little black frame.  Paper towel, that stuff we use once and then throw away.  Can we throw away the words?  Or what is behind the words?  Do we want to?

Actually there was a story about why paper towels were used – “…was made during a residency in New York City.  I had been cleaning the space so it was empty aside from paper towels.  It was a way of dealing with my emotions around how I felt living back in Harlem.  Cutting out the words, I felt like I was captive but free – a sort of ransom situation, of calls for help and demands for responsibility. ”  Quote taken from the words on the wall at the exhibit.

a grid of 8 square artworks by June Clark on a gallery wall - black frames around pieces of paper towel with words on them formed from cut outs from newspapers,

Words are fascinating.

June Clark’s work is on exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario until December 2018.

 

And while we’re on the subject of words and the AGO, there is a whole room of panels like the one below.  This is “Jack and the Jack Paintings: Jack Goldstein and Ron Terada”

Goldstein was an artist who published his memoirs in 2003, just before he committed suicide.  Terada has taken words from the book and made them into 14 panels, sorry, I mean test-based paintings.  They are Goldstein’s words? Or are they now Terada’s words?  Whose story are they telling?

below: A large painting by Jack Goldstein (lightning) and four of the panels by Ron Terada.

The Jack exhibit continues until 16 September.

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair 2018,
Nathan Phillips Square

three men, in two different booths, side by side, looking at paintings, Nathan Phillips Square, outdoor art fair

three men looking at paintings, Nathan Phillips Square, outdoor art fair

two small paintings on wood, hanging on a metal grid

reflections in a framed artwork, people passing by, outdoor art fair

woman in a brown hat starts to pack up her paintings of people's faces at the end of an outdoor art fair in Toronto

two paintings in a booth at an outdoor art fair, one is yellow, there is a table in front of it, with a flower and and a hat on it, a man walks past

three little glass sculptures of little robot like creatures with rectangular heads and one large antenna

a woman walks past a painting of a cat head in blues and greys,

old rusty hand saws with wood handles, blades have been cut in intricate designs, one in maple leaves and the other with oak leaves

a couple looks at a painting at an outdoor art fair

a man, with back to the camera, stands beside a painting of a topless woman, their faces are close together

a woman carries a large painting, passes by another large painting of a black man with a white beard

a woman in a large brimmed pink hat is talking to another woman in front of some paintings at an outdoor art fair

five black and white photos are attached to a string with wooden clothes pegs

square artworks arranged in a grid on a metal mesh wall, hanging at an outdoor art fair.

sqaure artwork, mainly yellow, person body with large clock head , fish swimming around, letters and numbers on the edges

two muslim women in head scarves walk past some glass sculptures at an outdoor art fair

Tinirrusiangit is an Inuktitut word that means “their gifts” or “what they gave”.   It is the name of the latest exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario features the work of two Inuit artists, Kenojuak Ashevak (1927-2013) and her nephew Tim Pitsiulak (1967-2016).   Ashevak (1927-2013) was born in southern Baffin Island although she grew up on the land in the traditional, semi-nomadic hunting lifestyle, living in igloos and skin tents.

In the 1950’s she developed TB and ended up, against her will, in a hospital in Quebec City  This was not a happy time in her life.  She had just given birth when she was forcibly transferred; the baby was adopted by a neighbouring family. Several of Kenojuak’s children died while she was in the hospital.   One of the ways of passing time at the hospital was making arts and crafts such as beading and doll making.

When she returned to Kinngait Nunavut (previously Cape Dorset), she learned printmaking.  She was also one of the early members of the West Baffin Eskimo Collective which became Kinngait Studios.

Ashevak was the first internationally known Inuit artist.  Her most famous piece, ‘The Enchanted Owl’ 1960, was used on a Canadian postage stamp in 1970 in honour of the Northwest Territories centennial.   Owls were one of her favorite subjects.

 

below: Ravens and Owl, 1979, stonecut and stencil on paper, by Kenojuak Ashevak

a picture of an Inuit artwork, Ravens and Owl, stonecut and stencil on paper, 1979, by Kenojuak Ashevak

below: Happy Little Owl, 1969, stonecut on paper, by Kenojuak Ashevak

a picture of an Inuit artwork, Happy Little Owl, stonecut on paper, 1969, by Kenojuak Ashevak

below: Untitled, 2004-5, pencil and felt tip marker on paper, by Kenojuak Ashevak

woman in an art gallery looking at two pictures on the wall, both by Kenojuak Ashevak

Tim Pitsiulak, born in Kimmirut Nunavut,  was a hunter and a painter.  He started drawing as a young boy and although he tried carving and jewelry making, most of his artwork centers around depicting everyday life in drawings and paintings.

below: GoPro Hydrophone, 2016, pastel on black paper, by Tim Pitsiulak.  Here, the artist (the hunter) throws a GoPro camera into the water to record the sounds and images of the animals in the water.

gopro hydrophone, a painting by Tim Pitsiulak at the art gallery of Ontario

“What more could I ask for, than for people to notice what we have up here? This is the best thing about being and artist and a hunter.” Tim Pitsiulak quote on the wall at the AGO.

below: Swimming with Giants, 2015, by Tim Pitsiulak.  Beluga whales swimming with a bowhead whale.

two people sitting on a black sofa, looking at a large painting by Tim Pitsiulak called Swimming with Giants, lots of fish and whales swimming in the water

 

The exhibit continues until 12 August 2018