Tag Archives: Art Gallery of Ontario

ArtsBeat: Punk And Patti

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Punk…because a new show will be opening this May at the MET called Punk: Chaos To Couture. From punk’s origins in New York and London, to its ongoing influence on high-end fashion, the show promises to take us on an interesting journey through these two worlds.

Patti…because “the patron saint of punk”, Patti Smith, came to town recently to promote her exhibition Camera Solo at the AGO.  The legendary musician, artist, and poet also gave a concert to commemorate the 24th anniversary of the death of her friend Robert Mapplethorpe. It was Continue reading

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ArtsBeat: Larger Than Life

Evan Penny‘s silicone sculptures are amazing explorations of the human form. This  Canadian artist uses digital technology, along with traditional methods of sculpting, to create lifelike representations that leave you in awe of the level of craftsmanship. They have such a remarkable level of detail, you can’t help but get lost in the pimples, moles  Continue reading

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Embedded

Many of us return from our travels with a few mementos and trinkets tucked into the corners of our luggage. They’re great to use in holiday themed scrapbooks and travel collages, but they’re also perfect for painting like Jackson Pollock. In his 1947 oil painting, Full Fathom Five, paint is thickly layered and drizzled in classic Pollock ‘drip’ style. Put your specs on, however, and you’ll notice a variety of objects embedded in the paint including nails, buttons, coins, and even cigarette butts. It’s a very cool way to immortalize your trip and display your memories. If you happen to be in Toronto, you can view this painting at the AGO until September 4th. After that, you’ll have to head to its home in New York.

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Drifting Into The Abstract

Jackson Pollock’s explosion of drips filled his canvasses with energy and passion, and while the paint appeared to be applied randomly, he usually had a very clear idea of what he was looking for. This American artist was born in 1912, and died at the young age of 44. Today would have been his birthday.

During his “drip” phase, Pollock dispensed with traditional tools like easels and brushes, preferring instead to place his unstretched canvas on the floor or wall where he could fully engage in applying paint from any direction. His unique style of pouring, flinging and splattering paint with tools such as sticks and basting syringes, earned him the nickname “Jack The Dripper.” His body of work was considered part of the Abstract Expressionist movement, and is currently part of an exhibition at MoMA called Abstract Expressionist New York, on until April 25, 2011. It will then move on to Toronto’s AGO from May 28 to September 4th.

For obvious reasons, children love to explore this technique of getting paint on canvas, so  let’s celebrate Pollock’s work and splatter some canvasses of our own.

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Egyptian Amulets

 

All cultures have some form of good luck charm, like the rabbit’s foot or four-leaf clover. In Ancient Egypt, charms were known as amulets and were usually in the form of plants, animals, or sacred objects. They were thought to provide protection against evil or danger, as well as bringing good luck. These ornaments or jewelry were even placed with the deceased to ensure they had a safe afterlife. Some amulets are currently on view at the Art Gallery of Ontario. I had children make these clay necklaces, inspired by the exhibition King Tut: The Golden King and The Great Pharaohs.

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Victorian Photocollage

The Art of Victorian Photocollage is an amusing exhibition currently on at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In the mid to late 1800’s as photography became increasingly popular, aristocratic women began creating unusual collages by placing photographs of human heads on, among other things, animal bodies. These were then placed in imaginary landscapes which were typically watercolours they had made. This created humorous, and often bizarre results. I had children use images of their favorite musicians to create collages in the same vein as these Victorian photocollages.

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