Posts Tagged ‘canvas’

Lots of shiny silver balls, like bowling balls with bling, and lots of paint on large canvases…. on the surface these two things don’t really have anything in common.  But because they are two things that I saw at the Art Gallery of Ontario, I’m going to throw them together in this blog post.  The shiny spheres are part of a display by Yayoi Kusama  while the paintings I refer to are those by J.P. Riopelle and Joan Mitchell.

I saw the balls first.   There has been a lot of hype and publicity for the latest AGO exhibit, “Infinity Mirrors” by Yayoi Kusama that just opened this past weekend.  You’ve probably seen the all the red and white polka dots on the TTC and elsewhere around the city.   Last week when I was at the AGO I noticed that another Kusama exhibit was in the works, one that didn’t involve buying a “hard to get” ticket.  I was curious.  I’ve seen some photos of “Infinity Mirrors” so I went with great expectations.   Maybe that was my mistake.

below: “Narcissus Garden” consists of a large room with hundreds of shiny silver spheres laid out on the floor.

a large room, with 3 women looking at hundred of silver balls arranged on the floor. The balls are about the size of bowling balls

“Narcissus Garden” dates back to 1966 when it was a performance piece by Kusama at the Venice Bienalle.  She walked among the balls, picking them up, and looking at herself in them.   Here, at the AGO, they lie on the floor.   The ceiling is reflected over and over again.   It’s a dull ceiling.   The balls are scuffed up.   You might be able to lie on the floor to get a good look at the reflections bouncing around and that might be interesting.  As it is, “listless” is the word that I would use to describe it.  It’s the tag along mangy mutt to the main event.

reflections of a person in a few shiny silver balls

I spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to improve the presentation but, meh, no.  Instead I went upstairs to take a second look at the lesser known “new” exhibit at the AGO, the marvellous Mitchell and Riopelle show, “Nothing in Moderation”.  American abstract painter Joan Mitchell (1925 -1992) and Canadian abstract painter Jean Paul Riopelle (1923-2002) met in Paris in 1955.  For 24 years they were colleagues, friends, and lovers.  This exhibit consists of more than 50 of their works on loan from collectors around the world and shown together.

below: Looking at (part of) ” Tilleul (the Linden Tree)”, 1992 by Mitchell.

A woman in dark bright pink hair, with matching purse and shoes stands in front of a large painting by Joan Mitchell in an art gallery

below: Three degrees of interest in “Chasse Interdit (Hunting Prohibited)” by Mitchell, 1973.  On loan from the George Pompidou Centre in Paris.   The title of the painting refers to a ban on hunting – apparently Riopelle loved hunting and Mitchell loathed it.

Three people are looking at a large Riopelle painting in an art gallery, two are sitting on a couch and the third is standing closer to the painting.

below: The painting here is “Avatac” by Riopelle, 1971.  It is acrylic paint on top of lithographs on canvas

an emptry art gallery room except for a security guard standing on one side, a brown couch is in the middle of the room and a large abstract painting by Riopelle is one one wall, you can see into the next room where there is also a painting on a wall.

below: This is a photo of a small part of the above painting.  If you look closely, you can see the lithograph peeping through.   I can see a small animal head near the top left (a cat?) and there seems to be another lower down.

acrylic paint on top of lithograph, a detail of a large work by J P Riopelle called Avatac, created in 1971.  abstract art.

below: One thing that intrigued me about Riopelle’s painting was that even though there is a lot of paint (palette knife?), there are still some places where the canvas is visible.  Just small bits.

a close up of a large abstract painting with lots of acrylic paint on it

below: The details in the above photo are from the top left square in ” Mitchikanabikong ” by Riopelle.

large painting by Riopelle called Mitchikanabikong which is sort of divided into 6 quares, 3 across the top row and 3 on the bottom.  they alternate light and dark

below: The gallery was quiet on Wednesday morning.   Both of these paintings are by Joan Mitchell.   On the left, on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC is “Marlin”, 1960.  The other is “Untitled” from 1961 and it is on loan from the Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York.

a flat bench in front of two paintings on a gallery wall

And to end, a couple more for you to enjoy.

two women looking at large paintings in an art gallery

a woman with her back to the camera is looking at a large painting in an art gallery, AGO, Art gallery of Ontario,

 

This post is the result of a very wobbly and random circular walk around part of the Wychwood Heights neighbourhood last weekend.   A hodge podge of this and that.

below: The intersection of St. Clair West and Vaughan Road circa 1912

Historical black and white photo of a two sorey brick building at an intersection of two dirt roads.

below: I didn’t quite recreate the picture above but it is still obvious that the brick building is still standing after just over 100 years but that every thing around it has changed.

Two storey brick building, now Hakim Optical on the corner of an intersection.

below: Just to the north,  78 Vaughan Road…. didn’t this store used to be an ice cream place?

empty store front at 78 Vaughan Road, empty on one side a closed tattoo parlour on the other.

below:  Ah yes, there is still remnants of ice cream cones above the window so my memory is correct.
I wonder what happened to it?

side of a brick building that used to be an ice cream store. Painted red with some white parts, front has been removed from lighted signs, exterior decorations have been removed except a faint outline of ice cream shapes remain above the window.

There are a number of alleys to the north and west of the intersection of St. Clair and Vaughan Road.  Most of them are quite tidy and well looked after.   They were also full of surprises, bright little things that put on a smile on your face on a December afternoon.

below: Like little pictures painted on canvas….

A small canvas painted turquoise and the words say hello written in small red letters, attached to a fence in a lane

A small canvas painted red and a small yellow heart painted in the middle. The words say hello are painted on it too but they are harder to see. It is nailed to an old wood fence

A small landscape painted on canvas and attached to a telephone pole in an alley

below: and painted on wood

a two tone pink fish painted on wood, cut out, and nailed to a wood fence.

below: or painted directly on poles.

On a wood telephone pole, a small bird painted in white, black and blue.

below: There was a fence made of old wood doors

an old picket fence that is falling aoart, and a fence made of doors that is behind it.

close up of old picket fence that is falling aoart, and a fence made of doors that is behind it.

below:  There was a great creature with googly eyes and a rectangular orange nose.

Two big googly eyes attached to a telephone pole

below: And of course there were some painted garage doors.

street art on garage doors, musical instruments covering two garages, a guitar, a trombone, also the words sweet sweet music everywhere

below: These garage doors are a sample of the more than 40 doors that have been painted as part of the Kenwood Lanway Art Initiative.

painting on a garage door of a moose at sunset

painting on a bright blue garage door of the Toronto skyline with a large Canadian flag behind ithe skyline

While walking on the streets in the neighbourhood I saw a couple of little houses

little narrow white bungalow with a yellow front door set back from the road. There is a straight walkway from the sidewalk to the door, and there is a lot of shrubery in the front yard especially near the sidewalk.

as well as larger buildings with intricate architectural details.

below:  A checkerboard effect with the bricks on the La Salle Apartments.  As an aside, the small bush in front of the building was in the picture no matter what angle I tried.  It was a lilac bush and I am sure that there were buds on it.

Part of a low rise apartment building, over the door, no windows. Checkerboard pattern in the bricks. The words La Salle Apts in large white letters across the bottom of the picture.

below: A little fake balcony with a white post railing on a low rise apartment building.

A white framed window in a red brick building. Below the window are a few white pieces of wood that look like a balcony railing even though there is no balcony there.

below: A line of little arches across the roofline is echoed in the larger arch patterns over the windows.  There is a small relief sculpture near the top corner of the building (slightly behind the tree) but I can’t tell what’s on it.  A coat of arms maybe?

brick pattern across the top of a building. scalloped, or looking like little arches to match the larger arches over the windows.

below:  There were quite a few four storey brick apartment buildings that looked like they were built in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  Perhaps there was a  little ‘condo boom’ at the time?

4 storey apartment building on Vaughan Road, red brick with white upper storey, diamond shaped details, two little peaked roofs over windows.

four storey apartment on a corner

front door and front of building, four storey apartment building in red brick with stone window and door frames.

 

Two four storey apartment complexes and a single family home on Vaughan Road.

below:  Like the condos of today, many of the buildings had names such as Maple Villa

Stone door frame and entranceway to Maple Villa, a brick low rise apartment complex

and Maplewood

stonework over the door of the Maplewood apartments at 172 Vaughan road, and the art deco like decorations beside it.

below:   The backs of all those apartment complexes are nearly as interesting as the fronts.
This is one of the only construction sites I saw although….

vacant lot with a number of low rise brick apartment buildings in the background.

… this Presbyterian church looks like it is about to be redeveloped.  It is one of three churches at the corner of St. Clair and Wychwood.   The church was built in 1926.  There is a brief description of the property on the Stanton Renaissance website but very little information is given beyond a “transformation” of the church and the creation of “high end residential boutique”.

An old brick church at a corner. It is now empty. There is a large sign in front of it advertising Stanton developments.

below: Mural for Sea With Fish and Chips on St. Clair West

mural for Sea Witch FIsh and Chips restaurant, a large sea serpent

A little yellow sticker on a bank night deposit box, looks like a little smiling creature looking over the sign that says contains no cash or negotiables, except that the word no has been scratched out

below: As I circled back the intersection of Vaughan Road and St. Clair West, I spotted a large doubledecker strawberry and vanilla ice cream cone on the side of Dutch Dreams.  Hey!  The answer to my question.  The ice cream place from 78 Vaughan Road has moved a couple of blocks south, complete with it’s collection painted old fashioned milk cans.

A very large plastic icce cream cone, double scoop, strawberry on the bottom and vanilla on the top, decorating a brick building. The shutters on the windows of the building are green, red and white

bright yellow entranceway, a line of different coloured milk cans along the exterior wall, sign says Dutch Dreams, candy and ice cream.

below:  One last picture.  As I waited for the Bathurst bus, I found myself standing across the street from this building.   The curve of the roofline is interesting, but even more interesting is the the fact that there is an occult store in Toronto.  Candles, herbs, incense, jewelry, I’m now wishing that I had crossed the street to investigate further!   And, smile, the store next to it is Pandora’s salon.  Pandora, the one who in ancient times opened a box and unleashed all sorts of evil on the world.

 

store front, one is an Occult Store, in an old brick building with a curved roofline over the middle of it.

Craven is a narrow street that runs south from the railway tracks.  For most of its length, there are houses only on the east side of the street.  Between Gerrard and Dundas, a wooden fence runs along the west side right up next to the street.  This fence separates the backyards of the next street, Ashdale, from Craven Road.  As I drove up Craven this afternoon I noticed that someone has mounted a number of pictures onto the wall so of course I parked my car and took some photos.

There are paintings of cats of various sizes and colours

A canvas has been stapled to a wood fence, on the canvas someone has painted a large tan and white striped cat that is lounging on the ground but with its head up and alert. The canvas is wearing out a bit around the edges

The stars look like the glow in the dark stars that my kids used to have.

A small painting of a cat standing in a room with a light blue floor. It is mounted on a wood fence. Four glow in the dark stars are on a diagonal across the corner of the picture.

Most, but not all, of the paintings have an animal theme.  Seven Christmas sheep in the snow.

A painting of seven sheep in a line in the snow with more snow falling from the sky. The painting is on canvas and it is stapled to the fence.

They are painted on canvas and stapled to the fence.  Some are in better shape than others!  The pattern of the rips in this painting seems to complement the pattern of the boards in the fence although the cat doesn’t look too pleased about it!

A very weathered painting of a cat on canvas and stapled to a wood fence. The canvas has started to rip vertically in places. The pattern of the rips sort of matched the pattern of the boards in the fence.

There are a few dog pictures too including this reindeer dog.

Painting on canvas stapled to a wood fence. A large dog is sitting in the snow. Red fake reindeer antlers on its head. More snow is falling from the sky.

Two dogs sit on the front steps of a house. One of the dogs has a rope toy in its mouth.

You may have noticed by now that this gallery is a one woman show.  Christine Kowal is an artist and a  resident of the street.

Painting on canvas stapled to a wood fence. A long haired light brown cat resting on a striped carpet or blanket

And did I mention that there were pictures of cats?  🙂

Painting on canvas stapled to a wood fence. A small brown cat in amongst tall grass. A vine is growing on the fence beside the picture.

Painting on canvas stapled to a wood fence. A black silhouette of a cat that is surrounded by turquoise and farker blue swirls and smudges

Two paintings on a wood fence. One is a collection of animals in bright colours and the other is an abstract with a large amount of blue in it.