Libby Hague, studio study for Sympathetic Connections, 2011, woodcut and reverse woodcut, modified paper, 195.6 x 152.4 x 53.3 cm © 2011 Libby Hague
(TORONTO – June 10, 2011) Toronto-based artist Libby Hague’s new installation at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) extends beyond gallery walls and onto the AGO’s Dundas Street façade. Libby Hague: Sympathetic Connections, on view June 11 through September 11, is part of the AGO’s Toronto Now series of rotating contemporary projects by Toronto artists. The installation transforms woodblock prints into paper sculptures that connect across the walls, ceiling, and external windows of the AGO’s Young Gallery.
Sympathetic Connections combines representational and abstract forms in a room-spanning three-dimensional installation. Colourful sculptural forms crafted from Japanese paper fill the gallery, dangling from walls and cascading down from the ceiling, while a wall-mounted print of a nuclear power plant looms in the periphery, an image inspired in part by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan earlier this year.
“Libby Hague’s playful, yet foreboding narratives give physical form to fictional worlds that simultaneously mirror and manipulate reality,” says Michelle Jacques, the AGO’s acting curator of Canadian art. “Sympathetic Connections provides a timely exploration of our problematic relationship with the natural environment, invoking universal themes of responsibility and dependency, vulnerability and rescue, and risk and luck.”
Libby Hague: Sympathetic Connections continues the AGO’s Toronto Now series, a rotating series of contemporary art projects that puts the focus on Toronto artists and displays their work in the free, street-facing Young Gallery. Artists previously featured in the series include Dean Baldwin, Will Munro, Allyson Mitchell, and most recently Jon Sasaki. The next installation opens September 17 and will feature work by artist Paul Butler.
A reception to celebrate the opening of Libby Hague: Sympathetic Connections will take place in the Young Gallery on Saturday, June 11 from 2 to 5 pm. The Young Gallery is adjacent to FRANK, the AGO’s signature restaurant.
Toronto Now is generously supported by The Contemporary Circle. Contemporary programming at the AGO is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.
ABOUT THE AGO
With a permanent collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. In 2008, with a stunning new design by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, the AGO opened its doors to the public amid international acclaim. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase made of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block along the Gallery's façade; and the feature staircase, spiraling up through the roof of Walker Court and into the new contemporary galleries above. From the extensive Group of Seven collection to the dramatic African art gallery; from the cutting-edge works in the contemporary tower to Peter Paul Rubens' masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, a highlight of the celebrated Thomson Collection, there is truly something for everyone at the AGO.
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The AGO acknowledges the generous support of its Signature Partners:
BMO Financial Group, Signature Partner of the Canadian Collection Program | Amex, Signature Partner of the Contemporary Collection Program | Aeroplan, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program
The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Additional operating support is received from the Volunteers of the AGO, the City of Toronto, the Department of Canadian Heritage, and the Canada Council for the Arts.