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Landscapes provide a powerful sense of space

From self-quarantine, the AGO's Director and CEO shares the art he lives with.

Peter Taylor Landscape

Ontario artist Peter Taylor

By AGO Director and CEO, Stephan Jost

I have been in self-quarantine since arriving from Sydney, Australia where I attended aabaakwad, an international gathering on Indigenous art. And like many of us who are able to do our part to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, I have been working from home.

While being at home for more than a week now, it dawned on me that not going to an art museum for two weeks is something I have not done my entire adult life. At the moment, the only art I can see is the art I live with, which I’m sure is the same for many of you. So, to help get us through these unprecedented times, I hope to share on a regular basis images of art I live with at home via social media.

This landscape is by Ontario artist Peter Taylor. Pete is a childhood friend of my husband − they went to a camp called Kilcoo together. The landscape of Northern Ontario is deeply meaningful to both of them. This painting − which we have had for years − depicts the area around Creemore where Pete lives and paints. 

Landscape painting can give one a powerful sense of place. Where one lives can change the meaning of the painting. I think about what this work meant to us when we lived in Honolulu versus what it means to us now that we live in Toronto. It makes me think of my parents who came to North America from Switzerland. My mother always had a small framed engraving of her hometown Davos. 

Take a moment to think about which landscapes in your life are meaningful to you and why? 

As we work toward reopening the Gallery to the public, I invite everyone to visit our website to enjoy our online collections and follow us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook

I want to reiterate how very proud I am of our employees and volunteers for coming together to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

Be well and stay healthy. It is all of our responsibility to follow the advice of public health officials.
I look forward to seeing you at the Gallery again soon.


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