Posts Tagged ‘Gardiner museum’

This post is subtitled ‘Staying Cool on a Hot Hot Day’.  When the temperatures are into the 90’s (old style) and the humidity makes the air thick, walking streets and alleys is not very comfortable.  Instead I took refuge in air conditioned arty places.  With the help of the (mostly) air conditioned TTC I only needed to take a few steps outside.

below: At one point I walked through an air conditioned building rather than going outside.  This is what I found there. ‘August 6, 1945’ by Matthew Day Jackson.  Moments after I pulled my camera out of my backpack, a security guard appeared.  I was sure that once again I was going to get the “this is private property” talk but instead we ended up discussing the work and how it is displayed.

It is constructed of four panels and it’s very heavy.  The base is made of lead; you can see the lead where Lake Ontario is.  It is attached to the wall with 18 very long bolts and each bolt is wired to an alarm.

map of toronto made of charred wood and lead, meant to resemble the city after an atomic bomb, large, made by Matthew Day Jackson, hanging on a wall behind a metal railing.

below:  Looking a bit more closely at it you can see that it is a map of Toronto.  As you might have surmised,  the title is a reference to the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima by the USA during WW2.    This isn’t just any map of Toronto, it’s an aerial view of a burnt out city after a nuclear explosion.  It is one in a series of cities given similar treatment, all with the same title.

detail of the islands and downtown area of map of toronto made of charred wood and lead, meant to resemble the city after an atomic bomb, large, made by Matthew Day Jackson

From the effects of man made death to the life enhancing effects of nature….

below: A few steps outside took me past the Gardiner Museum where I noticed that the front garden was redone about a year ago.  ‘Vertical Crevice Garden’ was designed and donated by landscape artist Neil Turnbull.  From the Gardiner museum website, a quote by the artist: “When the massive forces of continental drift push against layers of sedimentary rock, they cause it to crack, break, and rise. Over centuries, through exposure to wind, sun, and the freeze-thaw cycle, the layers split open. These fissures and crevices collect rain, dust, and an array of windblown bits like seeds and spores; plants take root, and life takes hold.”

limestone rocks arranged on a slant in a garden, stripes of red rock and grey rock, all just a few inches off the ground

below: When walking past the Gardiner Museum, one can’t help but notice the striped head.  It’s actually called ‘Untitled’ (why do artists do that?) and it’s by Jun Kaneko, 2002.  It’s made of glazed ceramic and galvanized steel.   Before heading underground at Museum subway station I took a few minutes to try to take a ‘pretty’ picture of the head.  The plants in the garden next door haven’t quite grown up enough to hide that ghastly table that the head sits on.  I have always wondered why the museum chose such a mundane bland platform for the sculpture but now that I look at it again I wonder if it’s possible that the table is actually part of the artwork.  Could it be?

large striped head sculpture on a table, outside, by Jun Kaneko, old building behind it, lavender and other plants growing in front of it.

below:  A photograph in the doorway of a gallery caught my eye.  The picture below is not the one in the doorway, but one that was hanging on a wall inside that I liked even more.  ‘Paris Rooftops 4’ by Michael Wolf.  It is 48″ x 68″ and is a chromogenic print (full-colour silver-based photograph), edition of 9.   To buy it will set you back $22,000 but looking is free – check out more of Michael Wolf’s work on the Bau-Xi gallery website.

picture of a photograph by Michael Wolf of Paris rooftops. Concrete grey with lots of lines of little terra cotta chimneys

below: A man with a camera stares at a painting on a gallery wall.  ‘Watching’ 2010, (26 inches high) by Tom Campbell on the left and ‘Brown Trail #7’ 2016 by Shi Le, a Toronto based landscape artist.  These are at the other Bau-Xi gallery (the non-photography one)

a small sculpture of a man holding a camera is placed in an art gallery such that he seems to be looking at a painting on the wall.

below: Three paintings by NUBARR Gallery, a collection of the works of Armenian-Canadian painter Noubar Sabag (Noubar Sabbaghian) 1920-2006.   These, and others by the same artist, are on show at the Art Square Cafe & Gallery but unfortunately I just learned that today is the last day.

a woman in a floppy black hat is taking pictures of three paintings hanging on a gallery wall.

below:  How many people try to paint pictures like this?  How many people sell such paintings, not to mention have them hang in the Art Galley of Ontario?  But they aren’t Robert Motherwell.      So I ponder on the age old question of what makes a piece of art valuable or collectable?  Is the AGO (and other galleries) collecting paintings or names?  Motherwell painted this in numerous variations – a few changes in colour, a slight change in the lines.  Cheating?  Or brilliant marketing?  One for every gallery of note? This is Motherwell’s ‘Untitled (In Orange with Charcoal Lines)’ c1970.  There’s that “untitled” again, the most popular name for an artwork.

all orange with 3 black lines that form three sides of a square, top line of the square is missing. It's a picture of a painting by Robert Motherwell in an art gallery

My last stop of the afternoon was at the photography exhibit by Thomas Ruff at the AGO.  Part of the exhibit was a few large photographs of stars,  ‘Sterne’.  Large pictures of stars in the night sky were made from negatives that Ruff bought from the European Southern Observatory in Chile in 1989.

below:  They are difficult to look at, or rather it is difficult to what is the picture because the blackness of the photograph creates a mirror when placed behind glass.   This is me taking a picture of the picture – me plus the picture on the opposite wall plus the lights and light fixtures in the ceiling plus a table plus another person in the room plus a few white spots that are stars.

large photograph of the night sky, lots of stars and blackness. The black acts like a mirror and parts of the gallery are reflected in the picture.

below: ‘Walking Away, Walking Through the Universe’ a manipulation of a manipulation.

a reflection of two people walking hand in hand as seen reflected in a photograph of stars in the black night sky

below:  One last photo.  Let’s end this on a positive note and give Thomas Ruff credit for some interesting work.   These two pictures are part of his press++ series where he has taken old photos used in print medium and merged the front (picture) and back (words and markings) of the print into one.

a woman is standing in an art gallery and she is looking at two large pictures on the wall.

Thomas Ruff, Object Relations, at the AGO until 1 August 2016

Marys in Toronto 
It has become one of the things I do – I look for ‘Marys’ when I travel.  For one reason or another, I started seeing Marys in Toronto too.  Perhaps it was because I spent more time in galleries and museums on those really cold days that we had last winter.    There aren’t nearly as many Marys here as there are in Lima Peru or in Malta.  Hence, finding them was a bit more difficult but that just made the hunt more interesting.

below: In the window of Sonic Boom on Spadina

A picture of Mary and Jesus in a store window. Jesus is depicted as a middle age man.

below:  a sculpture of Mary and Jesus,  from the Gardiner Museum

ceramic (or glazed terracotta?) sculpture of mother and child, Mary and Jesus.

below: ‘The Dormition of the Virgin’ by Esteban Marquez De Velasco (c.1655 – 1720, Spain).
This painting is in the Art Gallery of Ontario.  It depicts the moment before Mary falls asleep and her soul leaves her body to join Him in heaven.  The apostles surround Mary and kneel in prayer.

A close up of a painting. A young woman, the virgin Mary, is sitting up in bed, her right hand over her heart and her eyes raised to heaven. A man is standing to the right, his eyes also looking up to heaven. Men reading books are to her left.

below: ‘Madonna and Child’ by Andrea Della Robbia (1435-1525, Florence Italy).
Glazed terracotta. On loan to the AGO from the family of Murray Frum.

A white porcelain relief sculpture on a reddish wall. Mother and child, Mary and Jesus.

below:  In front of St. Clare Roman Catholic church on St. Clair Ave. West

White statue of Mary and Jesus outside a church, a vase of red and white flowers is beside her feet. The words Sancta Maria Mater Dei are on a bronze plaque under the statue.

below: In the window of Crows Nest barber shop, Kensington Market

 A figurine of the Virgin Mary with her light blue shawl stands piously in the window of a barber shop. The building is painted a light blue colour.

below: Figurines for sale at Honest Ed’s

seven figurines of Mary painted with long white, light blue and gold robes. They are about 20 cm high, all with downcast eyes except the one on the left looks like she's looking at the camera.

below: Holographic cards with images of Mary Jesus in a red plastic tub.
You can buy a card at Honest Ed’s for 69 cents.

postcards with holographic images of Mary and Jesus.

below: Sagrada Familia, by the front door of a house in Little Portugal

A ceramic plaque of Mary, Joseph and Jesus on the exterior wall of a house beside the front door and above the mailbox

below:  Hiding amongst the drapery sits Mary and her child.

from the outside, the lower part of a window with white shutters and a stone window sill. Lace curtains are in the window and a statue of Mary and Jesus is inside.

below: Another from the AGO,  Virgin and Child from circa 1750, once in a chapel of a Montreal church.
Wood with traces of pigment.

 In the Art Gallery of Ontario, a wooden statue of Mary holding baby Jesus. Behind the statue is a large painting of the fire in Quebec City in the 1700's.

Wooden statue of Mary standing while holding a baby Jesus.

below: Mount Pleasant cemetery

close up of part of a tombstone in a cemetery showing a small relief sculpture of Mary, Joseph and Jesus

below:  On an ofrenda at a Dia de Muertos celebration

a statue of mary with pink candles on either side of her. A yellow day of the dead paper cut out is behind her. Strings of yellow, orange and pink flowers are also on either side of her.

below: Radio Maria, una voce cristiana nella tua casa, part of the Holy Mother World Networks.

entrace to a small red brick building with a two signs, one over the door and one beside the door, for Radio Maria.

below: With other members of the Nativity scene, for sale in a vintage store on Queen West.
I think that $20 buys you the contents of the box.

ceramic figures of the Nativity scene, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, etc. They are lying in a box that is for sale in a store.

below: In a front yard in the Junction
I’ve put her at the end because I am not 100% sure that she is a Mary. The Virgin Mary is usually depicted with a light blue shawl draped over her shoulder or else holding a baby Jesus.

A small white statue of Mary on a makeshift pedestal in a front yard. Early spring, bare rose bush branches, a couple of small white planters with flowers in them. A white metal railing on the front porch.

And here ends that game.  This post represents almost a year’s worth of looking and while the hunt was interesting in the beginning it’s charm is starting to wear thin.   I could probably find more Marys in churches and cemeteries but I think I will listen to words of wisdom and let it be.

Silent Knight by Ekow Nimako,
a sculpture of a barn owl using more than 50,000 pieces of LEGO,
on display in front of the Gardiner Museum as an extended Nuit Blanche exhibit

sculpture of a barn owl taking flight made of white lego, on a black pedestal (also made of lego) in front of the gardiner museum

close up of the wings and the lego blocks used to make the sculpture of a barn owl

close up of a foot and talons of the barn owl sculpture that is made of lego

#snbTO

Flowers, a sign of spring.  No real flowers outside yet and probably not for quite a while!
Instead we’ll have to settle for European pottery florals from the Gardiner Museum today.

below:  Ewer and basin, Sèvres France, 1757,  porcelain, attributed to Jean-Claude Duplessis.  Pink ground with foilage-like edges.

1757 Sevres ewer (water jug) and basin in pink and white with a tiny bit of blue, floral patterns

below: Purple flowered mullein plate, from Derby botanicals, pattern 216, England, c1800.

yellow rimmed plates with pictures of flowering plants in the center