Thursday, March 8, 2018

Joan Mitchell: Returned, 1975

Bill and I were looking at the Mitchell/Riopelle: Nothing in Moderation exhibition at the AGO. Mitchell's Returned (Canada series), from 1975, stopped us in our tracks.
What a beautiful painting! Unusually calm for her work. And those warm, creamy pastels!
We had a slow, careful look at each of the four panels.
So gorgeous. Suggesting alternatively landscape and still life.
The wall text says that these panels represent her "memory" of the Canadian landscape.
What a nice idea -- to paint a memory!
Wall text also says that Mitchell gave this painting to her partner, Riopelle, and that for some reason he gave it back to her. Wonder what the story is on that? Going to have to find a good biography.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Joan Mitchell and Riopelle in Toronto

American abstract expressionist, Joan Mitchell and Canadian abstract painter, Jean-Paul Riopelle met in Paris in the 1950s and had a 25 year relationship. 
John and I are familiar with Riopelle's painting, but have never had a chance to see a big show of Mitchell's work -- until now. Untitled, 1961
So for us the most exciting aspect of Mitchell/Riopelle: Nothing in Moderation is the chance to see a large number of truly magnificent Joan Mitchells.  Chasse Interdite, 1973.
Here is a third marvellous painting by Joan Mitchell, A Garden for Audrey, 1974
That's John in the background of this room
admiring Mitchell's elegant, loose work in her Girolata, 1964.
That's Riopelle's Gitksan, 1959 on the left and Mitchell's Untitled, circa 1958 on the right. I think the mutual influence is obvious.
The compositions of these two large Riopelles seem influenced by how comic book panels are laid out on a page. That's a small Mitchell between them.
Here is a closer look at that Mitchell, Untitled, circa 1975. Nice!
I loved this Riopelle, The Water Line, 1977. It reminded me of Pierre Alechinsky's paintings.
Mitchell's Untitled, ca. 1955 on the left. Riopelle's Saint-Anthon, 1956 on the right.
Joan Mitchell's lyrical Tilleul (Linden Tree),1978
and her Weeds, 1976
as well as Fields, ca. 1972. Three different approaches to what makes a good painting.
Mitchell's Untitled, ca. 1962-1964
and a detail from the upper right corner.
Mitchell's Canada 1, ca.1975
and another detail (lower right). If you like painting you won't want to miss this show. We hope to return to the Art Gallery of Ontario soon for a second look.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Yayoi Kusama at the AGO

Tickets to the Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrors show at the Art Gallery of Ontario are only available online. Before the show opened Toronto art lovers dutifully lined up to buy tickets on the AGO's website -- some waiting a very long time.
Then there are line-ups at each of the Mirror rooms and visits are limited to three visitors at a time and 20 seconds per group. Is it worth all that waiting? Yes, it is worth the wait.
The six Infinity Mirror Rooms are the absolute highlights of the show. Here we are in Phalli's Field, 'Floor Show' from 1965. Playful polka-dotted phalli carpet the floor.
It was also interesting to see Kusama's paintings: Accumulation of Stardust, 2001
and works on paper: Waiting for Spring in the Hole.
The infinity rooms are quite small. The infinity room in this installation (Love Transformed into Dots, 2007), is in that sphere on the left.
 Bill is taking the pictures inside Love Transformed into Dots.
The AGO also showed some of Kusama's terrific sculpture.
Here is Life (Repetitive Vision) from 1998
The short line-ups were handled very efficiently by AGO staff. Visitors were in high spirits.
 Here is the delightful LED landscape inside the mirrored cube above: Love Forever, 1966/1994.
Kusama's trademark dots have invaded the city view on the stairs leading from the fifth floor to the fourth. Fun.
The path through the fourth floor tour finishes with a generous display of paintings and sculpture.
The sculptures were particularly playful.
The fourth floor is also where you will find one of the most memorable of the mirror rooms: The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013. I felt like I was standing on a platform in deep space.  If you haven't bought tickets yet -- now is the time.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Roger Wood at the Artist Project

John and I and our pal Shelley Savor, visited the Artist Project exhibition in Toronto yesterday.
 Some of the exhibitors were doing last minute adjustments.
 Michael Sparaco was as colourfully dressed as the paintings he was exhibiting.
 Rob Raeside's glass pieces reminded me of balloons.
 Wendy Anderson's knit sculptures were wonderfully playful.
 But the best-in-show was our good friend, Roger Wood.
 His new collages are spectacular.
Let's have a closer look.
He is showing both wall-mounted and tabletop pieces.
So charming!
If you want to see the show, today will be the last opportunity to do so.