Brian Jungen Friendship Centre, installation image

Brian Jungen Friendship Centre (detail), installation image, Art Gallery of Ontario © Brian Jungen

Brian Jungen Friendship Centre

June 20 – August 25, 2019

Admission is always FREE for AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass Holders & Visitors 25 and under. Learn more.




Brian Jungen Friendship Centre is an in-depth exploration of this internationally acclaimed artist’s approach to sculpture and the largest exhibition of his work to date. He has repeatedly worked with existing consumer products, reassembling them to make potent new forms. His recent Warrior sculpture series, made from Air Jordans, presents variations on Indigenous headdresses, while his Prototype for New Understanding series are made from Nike sneakers sewn together to resemble masks created by Northwest Coast peoples.

The AGO is featuring sculptures, paintings, drawings and installation work that spans Jungen’s entire career. His newly created works include Tombstone (2019), a sculpture resembling a giant turtle supported by a base of filing cabinets, alongside a director’s cut of Modest Livelihood (2019), a film he made with artist Duane Linklater that explores their relationship to the land through moose hunting. Furniture Sculpture (2006), a monumental tipi created from 11 leather sofas, will be on view in Walker Court from July 5 to 28.

The exhibition makes public for the first time material from Jungen’s archive, offering viewers access into the artist’s working process, giving visitors deeper insight into how he thinks and creates.

Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario


Brian Jungen, Prototype for New Understanding #5

Brian Jungen, Prototype for New Understanding #5, 1999. Nike Air Jordans, human hair, 55.8 x 68.6 x 12.7 cm. Private Collection. © Brian Jungen. Photo: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery.

Brian Jungen, Prototype #5
Brian Jungen, three works left to right, 1980, 1970, 1960

Brian Jungen, left to right, 1980, 1970, 1960 (2007). Polyester, metal, painted wood on paper sonotube, 396 x 122 x 91 cm each. Courtesy of the artist. Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Purchased with the assistance of The David Yuile and Mary Elizabeth Hodgson Fund, 2007; Promised Gift of Rosamond Ivey; Gift of Michael and Sonja Koerner, 2018, Toronto. © Brian Jungen. Photo: Sean Weaver/Art Gallery of Ontario.

Brian Jungen, 1980, 1970, 1960
brain jungen warrior 2

Brian Jungen, Warrior 2, 2017. Nike Air Jordans, hide glue, deerskin, 86 x 72 x 61 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver. Collection of Nancy McCain and Bill Morneau. © Brian Jungen. Photo: SITE Photography

Brian Jungen, Warrior 2
A warrior headpiece

Brian Jungen, Warrior 1, 2017. Nike Air Jordans, leather, 99.06 x 81.28 x 73.66 c.m. Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York. © Brian Jungen. Photo by Jason Wyche

Brian Jungen, Warrior 1


Large Teepee made out of skinned leather couches.

Brian Jungen, Furniture Sculpture, 2006, 11 leather sofas, 619.8 x 589.3 x 721.4 cm, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Purchased with significant financial support from the Audain Foundation, and additional contribution from Rick Erickson and the Vancouver Art Gallery Acquisition Fund, VAG 2006.2.1 a-ee, © Brian Jungen Photo: Tomas Svab, Vancouver Art Gallery

On view from July 5 - July 28, 2019.

Brian Jungen created a massive tipi by “skinning” eleven leather sofas and repurposing their wooden frames. The artist notes “In communities there’s something about a black leather sofa that, at least in my own background, is a status symbol,” said Jungen. “I thought it was a crazy icon of wealth...but there’s a lot of hide in them.”

HARK Chatbot

HARK, the AGO chatbot, will be chatting about the exhibition Brian Jungen: Friendship Centre. Start using HARK while you visit the exhibition on the 2nd floor of the gallery.

If you do not see the chat window appear automatically, you can launch the chat window by clicking here.  Start chatting with HARK in the floating chat window. Read HARK's welcome message and select one of the button options to continue the conversation.

PAST EVENTS - reusable 1


Artist's Talk: Brian Jungen
Wednesday June 19, 2019, 5:30 pm

Join artist Brian Jungen in a conversation with Carol and Morton Rapp Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art Kitty Scott a

Special Events
Public Opening - Brian Jungen: Friendship Centre
Wednesday June 19, 2019, 6 pm

Join us for the public opening of Bria

Members' Preview: Brian Jungen Friendship Centre
June 18 & 19, 2019

AGO Members are invited to join us at our exclusive Members’ Preview for Brian Jungen Friendship Centre Be among the




This book looks at over 80 sculptures, drawings, and film stills, along with a selection of archival materials including photographs, images of the artist working, unrealized works, and research pictures. Essays, an interview with the artist, and a timeline round out this generously illustrated book that details Jungen's deep material explorations which highlight a long history of inequality, a concern for the environment, and a profound commitment to Indigenous ways of knowing and making.

Authors: Kitty Scott, Ken Lum, Gerald McMaster, Candice Hopkins, Yasmin Nurming-Por
224 pages
Dimensions: 10.25" x 10.25"


Book cover for Brian Jungen: Friendship Centre catalogue

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