Thursday, 14 June 2012

Abbott at the AGO. . .

I've been slowly saying goodbye to the city by visiting favourite old haunts.  This evening I headed over to the Art Gallery of Ontario where I've spent many, many happy hours, especially since the renovation. It's still one of my favourite art galleries in the world.

I wandered through the rooms containing some of my favourite paintings:  Florence Carlyle's The Tiff,  Edwin Holgate's Nude in the Open, the distinct originality of David Milne's work, the Alex Colvilles, and all the Lawren Harris and other Group of Seven paintings (I've always preferred the Canadian North in art as opposed to reality - fewer bears and mosquitos).

But I was also pleased to stumble upon one of their temporary summer exhibitions - Berenice Abbott: Photographs.  

I love being able to explore an artist's entire career all at once and there were ample examples of this American photographer's work from all her creative periods. There were the portraits of artists and writers - James Joyce, Djuna Barnes, Jean Cocteau (and his amazingly long and bony hands) - from the 1920s when she was working with Man Ray; the amazing photos of New York City from the 1930s when she was documenting the city's architecture; and the fascinating photos from the 1950s when she was hired to illustrate science textbooks and experimented with shooting scientific concepts, for example capturing the trajectory of bouncing golf balls.  Really beautiful and haunting photos.  The exhibition runs until August - well worth a visit.

And of course the staircase at the back of the building still offers one of the best views of downtown Toronto.

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