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Snapped up at Art Toronto

Get the first look at three new works joining the AGO Collection, purchased at this year’s Art Toronto Opening Night.

Assemblage en bleu (sphinx)

Celia Perrin Sidarous, Assemblage en bleu (sphinx), 2019. Inket print on matte paper, 121.9 × 156.2 cm. Purchased with funds from the Dr. Michael Braudo Canadian Contemporary Art Fund and the Art Toronto Opening night Preview. © Celia Perrin Sidarous, courtesy Bradley Ertaskiran.

One night, three amazing new works for the AGO Collection! Last week, Art Toronto, Canada’s largest annual international art fair for modern and contemporary art, kicked off its 20th anniversary year with a bang, and our curators were on hand at the Opening Night Preview to make not one but three new acquisitions for the AGO Collection. Art Toronto, which showcases work by a mix of local, national and international artists, opens every year with an important fundraiser for the AGO, providing some of the funds for new acquisitions. A selection committee made up of AGO curators chose works by Duane Linklater, Rajni Perera and Celia Perrin Sidarous.

At 15 feet wide, Duane Linklater’s boys don’t cry (2017) is an assemblage of six hand-dyed panels. This large-scale artwork stitches together influential images including digitally printed images of The Cure’s Robert Smith, Indigenous session musician Jesse Ed Davis, the insignia of the American Indian Movement dyed pink, a reproduction of the 1845 George Caleb Bingham painting Fur traders descending the Missouri, a piece of found graffiti that reads “Custer had it coming”, and a portrait of his own hand. This is the second work by Linklater to join the AGO Collection.

Boys Dont Cry

Duane Linklater, boys don’t cry, 2017, Digital prints on hand-dyed linen, 120 x 180 inches. Purchased with funds from the Dr. Michael Braudo Canadian Contemporary Art Fund and the Art Toronto 2019 Opening Night. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver. © Duane Linklater.  Photo: Dennis Ha. Installation view, apparatus for the circulation of Indigenous ideas and sounds into the air, Western Front, Vancouver, 2017

A response to the question “who inhabits the Earth after it has been destroyed?”, Rajni Perera’s vivid mixed-media portrait Fresh Air (2019) is the ninth in a series entitled Travellers. Born in Sri Lanka and based in Toronto, Perera continues to explore displaced populations in her work, creating morphed, hybrid forms from culturally unspecified communities. With six eyes, colourful clothes and magnificent headgear, the figure in Fresh Air casts a wary look on the environmental degradation around it, wearing a commercial air purifier as a necklace and holding a metal pipe to its lips. This work is the first by Rajni Perera to enter the AGO Collection. 

Fresh Air

Rajni Perera, Fresh Air, 2019.Mixed media on paper. Purchased with funds from the Dr. Michael Braudo Canadian Contemporary Art Fund and the Art Toronto Opening night Preview. Courtesy of Patel Gallery © Rajni Perera

Combining images and objects from the archives of the McCord Museum and from her own personal collection, Montreal artist Celia Perrin Sidarous’s Assemblage en blue (Sphinx) (2019) (pictured at top) explores how collected items are seen and displayed. Referencing classic still life, interior design and commercial display techniques, Perrin Sidarous’s work asks us to consider how we show what we hold onto. This is the third work by Perrin Sidarous to be acquired by the AGO.

Stay tuned to the AGO Insider to find out when you’ll see these works on display at the AGO!

Admission to the AGO Collection and all special exhibitions is always free for AGO MembersAGO Annual Pass holders and visitors 25 and under.



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