Groundbreaking exhibition takes visitors across 10 countries via more than 100 iconic landscape paintings
TORONTO – This summer, less than a month before the city welcomes the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) invites visitors to journey from the frozen cap of North America to the icy tip of South America—past volcanoes, jungles and icebergs—through the work of some of the world’s most acclaimed landscape painters. Picturing the Americas: Landscape Painting from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic opens in Toronto on June 20, 2015. Developed jointly in an innovative partnership between the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and the AGO, this evocative exhibition brings together over 100 works of art from 10 lending countries and goes behind the canvas to reveal the histories, conflicts and scientific explorations that shaped how we see the land we inhabit.Tickets for this exciting expedition go on sale June 5, 2015.
Timed-entry tickets for Picturing the Americas are $16.50 for youth ages 17 and under, $21.50 for seniors and $25 for adults. Tickets are available for purchase online at ago.net, in person and over the phone. Admission is FREE for AGO members and for children five and under. AGO members have access to an exclusive preview before the exhibition opens to the public. More information on the benefits of AGO membership can be found at ago.net/general-membership.
Co-curated by Peter John Brownlee, Curator of the Terra Foundation for American Art; Valéria Piccoli, Chief Curator of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo; and Georgiana Uhlyarik, the AGO’s Associate Curator of Canadian Art, Picturing the Americas is the first exhibition to present a hemispheric view of these iconic works.
“Landscape painting continues to speak to issues that are still very pertinent to our respective nations: land remains fundamentally about resources, ecology, Indigenous rights, as well as collaboration,” says Uhlyarik. “These paintings have the capacity to bring us together around such issues, as, after all, we share the land mass that has generated so much wealth, conflict and cultural meaning over the centuries. It is a place that we all call home.”
Arranged thematically as a series of encounters between works of art, visitors and the land, Picturing the Americas brings together views of ancient sites and unique topographies to consider the how we are connected and what makes us distinct. More than just scenic vistas, these paintings represent the efforts of artists and explorers to convey the essence of a place and to capture its politics, grandeur and national aspirations on canvas. Throughout the exhibition, texts and illustrations will reveal the complex narratives in the paintings for visitors, exploring histories of contentious colonization and conflict.
Highlights of the exhibition include works by U.S. artists Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Church and Georgia O’Keeffe; Canadian artists Joseph Légaré, Frances Anne Hopkins and Lawren Harris; Mexico’s José María Velasco, Uruguay’s Joaquín Torres-García and Brazil’s Tarsila do Amaral, among many others.
The exhibition will run in Toronto to Sept. 20, 2015. Following its debut, it will travel to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., and the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, in Brazil—just prior to the opening of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Throughout the summer the AGO is hosting several events, talks and films to explore the landscapes, histories and cultures of the Americas. In conjunction with Toronto’s Lula Music and Arts Centre, beginning July, 4 at 2 p.m. and continuing each week through Sept. 5, visitors are invited to hear and dance to the music of the Americas in Walker Court. These performances are free with admission and will focus on each of the lending countries highlighted in the exhibition. For more information about special programming offered in conjunction with the exhibition visit www.ago.net.
FRANK restaurant at the AGO celebrates the flavours of the Americas with a series of vibrant prix-fixe menus beginning June 2, 2015. Featuring grilled bison striploin, mahi mahi ceviche and tres leche cake, these three-course prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus are available for $35 and $45. A prix-fixe dinner and exhibition package will also be available for $65. For reservations, please call 416-979-6688.
Co-published by Yale University Press and the AGO, a 336-page exhibition catalogue will be for sale in shopAGO, featuring essays by the three co-curators and nearly 50 scholars and curators from across the Americas. A commemorative exhibition guide will also be available for $10, featuring 88 colour plates.
Lead Sponsor: Yamana Gold Inc.
Generously supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art
Supported by the Government of Canada / Avec l'appui du gouvernement du Canada
Government Partner: Government of Ontario
Official Hotel Partner: Chelsea Hotel
About the Terra Foundation for American Art
Established in 1978, the Terra Foundation for American Art is dedicated to fostering the exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts of the United States. With financial resources of more than $350 million, an exceptional collection of American art from the colonial era to 1945, and an expansive grant program, it is one of the leading foundations focused on American art, supporting exhibitions, academic programs, and research worldwide.
About the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo
Pinacoteca is the oldest visual arts museum in the city of São Paulo and keeps a collection of Brazilian art from the colonial period to the contemporary. Founded in 1905, it occupies two imposing buildings in downtown São Paulo. Pinacoteca helds around 30 temporary exhibitions a year, which attracts the attention of an audience of approximately 500,000 people. Its collection, composed of more than 10,000 works of art, reveals the institution's commitment to the artistic production of the present time and accounts the museum as one of the most dynamic and active in the Brazilian art scene.
About the AGO
With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Ken Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults. Visit ago.net to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.
April 11 – July 12, 2015: From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia
June 20 – Sept. 20, 2015: Picturing the Americas: Landscape Painting from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic
The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. 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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