Updated April 4, 2022: The AGO regrets that the Preserving Histories exhibition will not go ahead as originally planned. Joscelyn Gardner’s works will be displayed at the Gallery in a future presentation in 2023.
Super 8 movies, arts of the Spanish Empire and the creative life of Leonard Cohen highlight a year of great art, always free with an AGO Annual Pass or Membership
TORONTO — This year, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) invites visitors to explore great art and ideas from all corners of the globe – from Cuba, the Philippines, Montreal to Iqaluit, and Toronto. Complementing current major exhibitions Fragments of Epic Memory, Matthew Wong: Blue View and Robert Houle: Red is Beautiful, the AGO’s 2022 schedule of exhibitions and installations is as diverse as its community, bringing recent acquisitions and new ideas together throughout the year to tell global stories. Admission to the AGO and all special exhibitions is always free for visitors aged 25 and under, Annual Pass holders and AGO Members.
The health and safety of employees, visitors and volunteers remains the AGO’s top priority, and all visitors 12 and over are required to produce proof of vaccination on arrival, and timed-entry tickets must be purchased in advance. For a complete list of the AGO’s health and safety guidelines and for more information on how to plan your visit, visit at ago.ca/visitor-information/visitor-guidelines.
Highlights from the AGO’s 2022 schedule include:
- On view now from the AGO’s Prints and Drawings Collection comes Delacroix and Faust: The Good, the Bad and the “Ugly”, an exhibition of lithographs by 19th century French artist Eugène Delacroix, illustrating Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s play Faust. Highlighting Delacroix’s radical approach, this exhibition is curated by Alexa Greist, AGO Associate Curator and R. Fraser Elliott Chair, Prints & Drawings.
- On March 11, 2022, the AGO’s European Collection will reopen to the public on Level 1 with a brand-new display of 123 artworks across five galleries. Telling stories about Europe at the global crossroads of trade and travel, women painters across centuries and civic and religious life, the installation brings to light rarely seen treasures from the collection and features dynamic new acquisitions, including a painting by the Swedish painter and polar explorer Anna Boberg.
- Opening March 26, 2022, Andrea Chung features selections from the artist’s series Colostrum, which have been loaned to the gallery by public and private collectors. These seven works on paper, each a meticulously detailed collage, highlight themes of protection, empowerment and nurturing. In the artworks shown here, the artist uses forms and materials that symbolize the historical significance of Black women’s labour in birthing and breastfeeding. This exhibition is curated by Alexa Greist, AGO Associate Curator and R. Fraser Elliott Chair, Prints & Drawings.
- Opening April 9, 2022, Blurred Boundaries: A Glimpse of Queer Art from Canada is an installation of works by 13 artists from the AGO collection, including recent acquisitions of photographs by Cassils, David Buchan, and Robert Flack. Commonly used as an umbrella-word to refer to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, queer is also connected to creativity and freedom, and these works, curated by Renata Azevedo Moreira, AGO’s assistant curator of Canadian Art, reflect that spirit of unbound possibility.
- Opening April 13, 2022, I AM HERE: Home Movies and Everyday Masterpieces is an artistic salute to the many ways we document life as it happens. Drawing heavily on the AGO’s holdings, the exhibition features home movies from the Prelinger Archives, alongside celebrated artworks by the likes of David Hockney, Patti Smith, Claes Oldenburg, Annie Pootoogook, Arthur Jafa and Mary Pratt, as well as snapshots, photo albums, letters, grocery lists and social media. Bringing together a broad range of personal records from different time periods and locales, I AM HERE is co-curated by Jim Shedden, the AGO’s Manager of Publishing and Alexa Greist, AGO Associate Curator and R. Fraser Elliott Chair, Prints & Drawings and organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue co-published by the AGO and DelMonico Books/D.A.P.
- Opening April 15, 2022, comes an exhibition of 25 drawings and prints made between 1950s-80s by Inuk artist Kananginak Pootoogook (1935 – 2010), drawn from the AGO Collection. An accomplished printmaker based in Kinngait, he was instrumental in the formation of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative and served for many years as President of its Board of Directors. This exhibition will be curated by Wanda Nanibush, curator of Indigenous Art, AGO.
- Scheduled to be unveiled in early summer of 2022, the AGO has commissioned artist Brian Jungen to create a large-scale work of public art for the south-west corner of Dundas St. West and McCaul Street in Toronto. The first public artwork commissioned by the AGO, it will be the most significant in Toronto by an Indigenous artist.
- Opening June 8, 2022, and featuring glittering paintings, textiles, jewels, rare daguerreotypes and religious objects from Europe, the Americas and the Philippines from the collection of the Hispanic Society of America & Library, Faith and Fortune: Art Across the Global Spanish Empire presents an eye-opening portrait of Spanish Imperialism (1492-1898). For more than 400 years, the Spanish Empire lay claim to large parts of the world, creating a series of complex networks and extracting precious metals, gemstones, and great wealth. This exhibition highlights the numerous artistic centres located across the Empire. Curated by Adam Harris Levine, the AGO’s assistant curator of European Art, Faith and Fortune presents a critical look at artistic production under empire.
- Opening June 25, 2022, Ed Pien: Present: Past/Future by Toronto-based artist Ed Pien invites visitors to reflect on the perception of time, within a specially designed multimedia environment composed of audio, video, photography, and furniture. Since 2014, Pien has been engaging with a group of elders in San Agustin, a suburban neighborhood of Havana, and this installation poignantly weaves stories shared by the elders and moments captured by Pien during his bi-annual visits. Guest curated by Catherine Sicot, this exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue, produced by Elegoa Cultural Productions and Le Centre Sagamie with support from the AGO.
- Opening June 25, 2022, Ken Lum: Death and Furniture celebrates Lum’s 2019 Gershon Iskowitz Prize at the AGO. Death and Furniture marks the debut of a new series entitled Time. And Again. (2021), which explores the intersections of work and life during the pandemic. The exhibition also features a focused selection of works from the artist’s 40-year career, including a number of Lum’s furniture sculptures. By transforming everyday furniture into art installations, these works challenge our conventional understanding of aesthetic and utilitarian values. Curated at the AGO by Xiaoyu Weng, Carol and Morton Rapp Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Ken Lum: Death and Furniture is co-organized by the Remai Modern, Saskatoon and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
- Opening July 16, 2022, from Sobey Art Award winner Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory comes Naak silavit qeqqaa?, a multimedia installation exploring the Inuit concept of sila – the life forces of the land (knowledge of the land, water, ice and environment). At its heart is Silaup Putunga (2018), co-created with Jamie Griffiths, a large scale double-sided video installation that takes viewers into the arctic landscape.
- Opening in the summer of 2022, from the multidisciplinary artist and musician Jónsi comes an immersive multisensory installation entitled Hrafntinna (Obsidian) (2021). Inspired by the recent eruption of the Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland, the artwork will go on view in Signy Eaton Gallery.
- Opening Aug. 27, 2022, What Matters Most: Photographs of Black Life is the first exhibition of found photographs from the Fade Resistance Collection, acquired by the AGO in 2018 with the generous support of Martha LA McCain. Assembled by Toronto artist Zun Lee, the collection gathers Polaroid instant prints of African-American family life from the 1960s to the early 2000s. Curated by Lee, alongside AGO Curator of Photography Sophie Hackett, this debut presentation of more than 500 instant prints – including portraits, graduations, birthdays, and family reunions – offers a meditation on the role of family photographs in creating and maintaining a sense of Black identity, on memory and loss, on the ethics of institutional versus communal care, and on the importance of safeguarding visual culture. The exhibition will be accompanied by a hardcover publication, co-published by the AGO and Delmonico Books/D.A.P., with texts by Lee and Hackett, as well as by poet and essayist Dawn Lundy Martin, and cultural theorists Fred Moten and Stefano Harney.
- Opening Oct. 5, 2022, Denyse Thomasos: just beyond marks the late Trinidadian-Canadian painters first ever career retrospective. Featuring 70 paintings, many previously unseen, the exhibition comes a decade after her passing and highlights Thomasos’ innovative use of formalist painting techniques to explore social issues. Organized chronologically and supplemented with photos, sketches, and newly uncovered documentary footage of Thomasos working in her studio, this major exhibition is co-organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario and Remai Modern. Accompanying the exhibition is a scholarly catalogue, edited by co-curators Renée van der Avoird, Sally Frater and Michelle Jacques, and co-published by AGO and DelMonico Books/D.A.P.
- Opening Dec. 10, 2022, Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows provides an immersive journey through the renowned novelist, poet and singer-songwriter’s relentless creativity. The first museum exhibition to present the holdings of the Leonard Cohen Family Trust, Everybody Knows features rare concert footage and archival materials, alongside photographs, drawings, and digital art made by Cohen across several decades. Two large-scale multimedia installations, presented in collaboration with the MAC, highlight Cohen’s singular voice, music and stage presence. Curated by Julian Cox, the AGO’s Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto with the exceptional support of the Leonard Cohen Family Trust and Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal.
Stay tuned for more information about these and other upcoming exhibitions, and be sure to visit www.ago.ca/exhibitions. Opening dates may be subject to change; please check the website.
The impact of the AGO resounds beyond our doors, as exhibition projects continue to spark conversation across Canada and around the world. In 2022, the AGO is excited to be involved with the following touring exhibitions:
- Anthropocene, co-organized by the AGO and the National Gallery of Canada in conjunction with Fondazione MAST, Bologna, continues its world tour. The exhibition will open at the Museum Helmond, in Helmond, Netherlands on April 10, 2022.
- Diane Arbus, Photographs: 1956–1971, featuring over 150 works from the AGO Collection and curated the AGO’s Sophie Hackett, will open at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark on March 24, 2022, before a selection of 90 photographs goes on view at Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts on September 14, 2022.
- Robert Houle: Red is Beautiful, organized by the AGO and curated by Wanda Nanibush, will open at Calgary Contemporary on June 23, 2022, before opening at the Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq in late fall.
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ABOUT THE AGO
Located in Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the largest art museums in North America, attracting approximately one million visitors annually. The AGO Collection of more than 120,000 works of art ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art to significant works by Indigenous and Canadian artists and European masterpieces. The AGO presents wide-ranging exhibitions and programs, including solo exhibitions and acquisitions by diverse and underrepresented artists from around the world. In 2019, the AGO launched a bold new initiative designed to make the museum even more welcoming and accessible with the introduction of free admission for anyone 25 years and under and a $35 annual pass. Visit AGO.ca to learn more.
The AGO is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO Members, donors and private-sector partners.
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