141025 Colville - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

I finally made it to the Art Gallery of Ontario to see their Alex Colville exhibition, and it was fantastic. The art itself is excellent, which was no surprise, as I was already aware of some of Colville's most famous work through Canadian osmosis. But naturally I found several really powerful paintings that I would never likely see otherwise, ones that caught my interest for my own reasons, and I lingered far longer than I expected to. It was the first time that I saw the entire exhibition in one visit, although I still plan on making at least one return trip.

The exhibit not only had a broad selection of Colville's own work, but also included a few pieces from other artists and popular culture that reflected his themes. There was even a sound installation. How could I not appreciate that?

The AGO seems to have relaxed its policy on photography, with some exhibits signed to prohibit the activity rather than the overarching blanket ban that was in place when I first became a member. This exhibit was considerably more relaxed than I expected, although a polite request to turn off the shutter sounds wouldn't have hurt.

Sadly the AGO and I have run into irreconcilable differences over my membership information, which has led to us parting ways. I'm sad to lose easy access to such an incredible resource and collection of work, so perhaps I will rejoin again in the new year. But then again the Royal Ontario Museum is just down the street from my home, so perhaps I'll explore its opportunities for a time instead. 

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