Building the Collection: New and Future Acquisitions
This fall the Contemporary department is presenting an installation of recent acquisitions and offering visitors an opportunity to view potential additions to the AGO's collections. The AGO is fortunate to have acquired from the Canada Council Art Bank ten significant works by some of Canada's leading artists. In the late 1990s the Art Bank – the nation's largest collection of contemporary Canadian art – undertook a process of collection redefinition. As a consequence works were made available to institutions that were better able to exhibit and care for them. The AGO has acquired large-scale installations by Michael Czerewko, Mark Gomes, Louise Noguchi and Colette Whiten. A multimedia work by Barbara Steinman and to two painted relief constructions by Nobuo Kubota are also featured.
A second component of this focus on Contemporary acquisitions is an installation of the film work of Canadian-born, London-based artist Mark Lewis. Set within the iconic landscape of Algonquin Park, Lewis's work is a prospective acquisition that has a ready context in the AGO's collections that span contemporary as well as Canadian historical art.
In addition to these newly acquired works, also on view are three works of art that are prospective acquisitions for the permanent collection. The AGO finds itself in the fortunate circumstance of considering new works for acquisition thanks to a group of dedicated art enthusiasts, collectively known as Partners in Art. In May of 2003 Partners in Art held its first fundraising event, a benefit to raise funds for a contemporary art acquisition at the AGO. The three works now under consideration and on display are Sphinx, a sculpture by New York-based artist Rachel Harrison, a large-scale colour photograph by Berlin photographer Frank Thiel, and a monumental drawing on Mylar by Los Angeles-based artist Ingrid Calame. Visitors are invited to express their opinions as to which work they feel is the most appropriate addition to the collection.
Also on view are works by Janieta Eyre, Betty Goodwin, Noel Harding, Tim Lee, Catharine MacTavish, Catherine Opie, and David Urban – all artists whose work provides a larger context for this installation about future directions in the collection.