Saturday, April 18, 2009
Is it Worth Leaving the Wilderness
Every so often I leave the bush to see what art is on offering in Toronto. I must be getting more intolerant of travel time because it hardly seems worth the effort any more. Admittedly, I have all the resources and inspiration I need right here and am missing nothing. But about every year or so, I do like to visit James Wilson Morrice and David Milne at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Their images provided insight and inspiration when I was 18 and in most regards, they hold up well over time....they remain two of the strongest painters Canada has produced.
Frank Gehry's refurbishment of the Art Gallery of Ontario is excellent. The whole gallery feels much more spacious, the window-edged spiral staircase provides a refreshing glimpse into the heart of Toronto, preventing the claustrophobic sense that often permeates large museums, and the Galeria Italia (a gift from 26 leading Italian Canadian families) also opens up the space in a new way....it seems almost a rest place in the gallery, like a beautiful civic park might provide a moment of pause and peace in a bustling city. Included are a few shots of Toronto from the spiral staircase (the interesting box on stilts is the new section of the Ontario College of Art), and a glimpse of the Galeria Italia.