Wednesday 15 July 2015

Art Gallery of Ontario

I was in Toronto recently and took the opportunity to visit the Art Gallery of Ontario to see some work that was on my wish list. The exhibition From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia was first shown in London last year at the Dulwich Gallery, but as I knew I'd be in Toronto this summer I looked forward to seeing it in the Canadian setting. Carr's paintings were well complemented by artefacts from the First Nations which inspired much of her work and it was a joy to see them together.

I prefer Carr's looser work on paper, but the installation view gives an idea of the scale at which she was working.

I can't remember whether or not this is one of Carr's experimental gasoline paintings, several of which were in the show (paintings on paper where gasoline was used as a medium for the paint!), but it is a good example of her looser painting style.

While at the AGO, I was delighted to also see a special exhibit of a pair of paintings by Tom Thompson. The Jack Pine, according to the gallery didactic, was the painting found on Thompson's easel at the time of his mysterious death in 1917.

The West Wind, another iconic Thompson painting, is also dated 1917.

The Thompson exhibit also included the sketches/small paintings of these works. While I did "exit through the gift shop", I also found my way into a room full of another Canadian painter's work. I have always liked David Milne's dry brush drawing/paintings so it was lovely to see a whole room full of them.

I did not have time to do any further explorations that afternoon at the art gallery, but it was inspirational to see the work of these three great Canadian painters.

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