Notable Acquisitions 2020 - artwork list

Portrait of a Lady Holding an Orange Blossom

Unknown, European

This portrait of a young woman of colour was made in the 18th century, almost certainly by a European artist. The mystery of its authorship—which we are working to solve—is as captivating as its subject.

Unknown, European. Portrait of a Lady Holding an Orange Blossom, mid-18th century. Oil on canvas, 80 × 56.2 cm. © Art Gallery of Ontario, 2019/2437.

Édifice, 2019

By Michael Belmore

The human and environmental impact of colonialism and Indigenous resistance are reflected in this remarkable sculpture. Its arrangement of stones signify centuries of migration, displacement and community resilience.

Michael Belmore. Édifice, 2019. River boulders, copper, 485.3 kg. Purchase, with funds by exchange from Professor and Mrs. Wm. O. Fennell, Toronto, in memory of J.H. Birkenshaw, and The J.S. McLean Collection, by Canada Packers Inc., 2019. © Michael Belmore. 2019/2317

Christ Pantocrator No13, 2020

By Moridja Kitenge Banza

A painting that fuses the aesthetics of classic African art and Christian iconography, this work was the first acquisition for our Arts of Global Africa and the Diaspora department.

Moridja Kitenge Banza, Christ Pantocrator No 13, 2020. Acrylic and gold leaf on wood 40 x 30 cm. Purchase, with assistance from the Christian Claude Fund. © Moridja Kitenge Banza, Photo courtesy of Galerie Hugues Charbonneau.

Woven Currents - Confluence of Parallels, 2020

By Haegue Yang

Installed to coincide with the opening of her AGO exhibition, Haegue Yang: Emergence, this commissioned work was inspired by the AGO Collection, the architecture of our building and the treaty history between Indigenous peoples and European settlers.

Haegue Yang. Woven Currents – Confluence of Parallels, 2020. Aluminum venetian blinds, powder-coated aluminum hanging structure, steel wire rope, LED tubes, cable, Dimensions Variable.. Purchase, with funds from Eleanor and Francis Shen, the David Yuile and Mary Elizabeth Hodgson Fund, Women’s Art Initiative, the Janet and Michael Scott Fund, the Contemporary Circle Fund, the Ivey Foundation Contemporary Art Endowment Fund, funds from Sandra and Leo Del Zotto, the Jay Smith and Laura Rapp Fund and the Molly Gilmour Fund, 2020. © Haegue Yang 2020/22

Curiosity, 2020

By Shuvinai Ashoona

Ashoona’s monumental work celebrates the artist’s home community of Kinngait (Cape Dorset) and her boundless imagination. It’s playful and surreal, but also deeply grounded in Inuit stories.

Shuvinai Ashoona. Curiosity, 2020. Coloured pencil, graphite and ink on paper, Overall: 127.5 × 268 cm. Purchase, with funds from the Joan Chalmers Inuit Art Fund, 2020 © Shuvinai Ashoona / Dorset Fine Arts, Photo courtesy Feheley Fine Arts

Death is Elsewhere, 2019

By Ragnar Kjartansson

This video installation by Kjartansson, an Icelandic artist, explores our complicated relationship with the idea of death. Set in the lava fields around one of history’s most massive volcanic eruptions and featuring twins singing about love, it’s also full of mysterious beauty and whimsy.

Ragnar Kjartansson. Film Still from Death is Elsewhere, 2019. Seven-channel video with sound, Running Time: 77 Minutes. Purchase, in honour of Kitty Scott for her contributions to the AGO, by Shabin and Nadir Mohamed. Supported by the AGO, 2020. © Ragnar Kjartansson 2019/2486

in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015-17

By Lisa Reihana

Our visitors stopped in their tracks at this stunning video installation, which explores identity, gender and colonial violence and the cultural histories of Maori and Pacific Indigenous peoples. Previously on loan, it is now part of the AGO’s Collection.

Lisa Reihana, Still from in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015-2017. Ultra HD video (colour, sound, 64 min.). Courtesy of Lisa Reihana, New Zealand at Venice, and Artprojects.

Allegory of Autumn, c.1642-1644

By Pietro Testa

Part of a rare series of four prints that show Testa at his most ambitious, this work reveals hidden meanings in Greek and Roman myths.

Pietro Testa. Allegory of Autumn, c.1642-44. Etching on paper, Sheet: 49.4 × 71.4 cm. Purchase, with funds from the Trier-Fodor Fund, 2020. © Art Gallery of Ontario 2019/2351

Snow Fugue, 1930

By Bertram Brooker

This is a pivotal work in Brooker’s career—the point where his signature style formed from the influences of abstract and representational art. A beautiful painting by a prolific artist who was deeply inspired by nature and its forms.

Bertram Brooker. Snow Fugue, 1930. Oil on canvas, Overall: 101.6 × 101.6 cm (40 × 40 in.). Gift of Joanne Ivey Mazzoleni. Photo: Will Kuryluk, Courtesy of the Bertram Brooker Estate and ACI

Natural Order, 2020

By Edward Burtynsky

During the pandemic, Edward Burtynsky returned to the forests of Grey County, Ontario--which he first photographed in the early 1980s--and created this beautiful series that depicts the transition from winter to spring in this endangered landscape.

Edward Burtynsky. Natural Order # 20, 2020. Pigment inkjet print, Overall: 50.8 × 61 cm. Purchase, with funds from the Schulich Foundation, 2020. © Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto. 2020/80

Hiking Black Creek, 2018

By Sandra Brewster

Depicting Brewster’s parents experiencing the Canadian outdoors as newcomers to the country, this is an evocative, personal and intimate work from one of our rising artists.

Sandra Brewster. Hiking Black Creek, 2018. Gel medium transfer, charcoal, acrylic on wood, Overall (Panel 1): 335.3 × 142.2 cm; Overall (Panel 2): 335.3 × 162.6 cm; Overall (Panel 3): 335.3 × 101.6 cm. Purchase, with funds by exchange from a gift in memory of J.G. Althouse from Isobel Althouse Wilkinson and John Provost Wilkinson, 2020. © Sandra Brewster 2020/17

three kings weep..., 2018

By Ebony G. Patterson

This multi-channel video installation features three tearful subjects in regal dress, and poses important questions about the lack of dignity and humanity with which Black men are so often viewed in our society.

Ebony G. Patterson. ...three kings weep..., 2018. Three-channel digital colour video projection with sound, Running Time: 8 Minutes, 34 Seconds. Purchase, with funds from the Photography Curatorial Committee, 2020. 2019/2469 © Ebony G. Patterson. Courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago

Two Nudes with Camp Chair, 1969

By Philip Pearlstein

Pearlstein’s distinctive approach to abstract realism is on display here, in a painting that explores the compositional possibilities of its two subjects.

Philip Pearlstein, Two Nudes with Camp Chair, 1969. Oil on canvas, 152.4 x 182.88 cm. Gift of Albert & Shirley Taliano, 2020. © Philip Pearlstein, courtesy Betty Cuningham Gallery

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