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AGO acquires three new works at Toronto International Art Fair

Date Posted: October, 29, 2007

The Art Gallery of Ontario has acquired Greg Girard’s House on Zixia Lu, #14 Zixia Lu, 2005; Annie Pootoogook’s Drawing My Grandmother’s Glasses, 2007; and Denyse Thomasos’s Metropolis, 2007, at this year’s Toronto International Art Fair (TIAF).

Acquisition of the works was made possible using proceeds fromTIAF’s Opening Night Preview gala, and through the generous support ofthe Canada Council for the Arts’ Acquisition Assistance program.

“These three artists are deeply Canadian with internationalprofiles,” says David Moos, curator of contemporary art at the AGO.“This trio of large-scale works diversifies and augments our holdings.”

This is the first time the Gallery has made a purchase using fundsraised from the event’s Opening Night Preview. Final selections weremade by Moos and Dennis Reid, AGO’s director of Collections andResearch, and senior curator of Canadian art. Jay Smith, chair of theAGO’s contemporary curatorial committee, also played an active role.

Born in Vancouver in 1955, Girard focuses on the rapid metamorphosis of cities in the 21st century. House on Zixia Lu, #14 Zixia Luis a large scale photo and nocturnal meditation on the transformationof Shanghai, where he currently resides. His work has been displayed inexhibitions around the world including Germany, Finland, South Koreaand the United Kingdom. He has had several books of his work published,and pieces in a number of collections across Canada. His photos havealso been featured in the pages of leading magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Elle and The New York Times Magazine. This will be Girard’s first work in the AGO collection.

Pootoogook’s monumental 4-by-8-foot drawing features hergrandmother’s glasses, a recurring image in her work. Born in CapeDorset, Nunavut, in 1969, Pootoogook now resides in Montreal and wasthe recipient of the 2006 Sobey Art Award. She was also featured inDocumenta XII, which is among the world’s most important internationalexhibitions of contemporary art. The acquisition of Drawing My Grandmother’s Glasses joins five other Pootoogook works in the AGO collection.

Thomasos’s canvas draws motifs from her global travels and studiesof architectural structures from Asia and Africa. Winner of the JohnSimon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Award in 1997 and the CanadaCouncil Millennium Grant in 1999, Thomasos was born in Trinidad, raisedin Toronto and now lives in Brooklyn. In August 2005, she created amonumental 50-foot mural titled Hybrid Nations as part of the Wallworks exhibition at the AGO, where it remained on view until the Gallery closed earlier this month.

The Opening Night Preview was spearheaded by a committee of AGOvolunteers, chaired by Tamara Bahry-Paterson. “This year’s inauguralAGO acquisition is of great significance to both the Gallery andCanadian artists,” says Bahry-Paterson. “In addition to growing theAGO's contemporary collection, this purchase is generating tremendousexcitement in the community and making a valuable contribution to thefuture growth and success of this event.”

The Toronto International Art Fair 2007 is generously supported byRBC Wealth Management, the Presenting Financial Partner; Cadillac, thePresenting Automotive Partner; and Pioneer, the Exclusive ElectronicsPartner.

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For media information or visuals, please call:
Antonietta Mirabelli, 416 979 6660, ext. 454, Antonietta_Mirabelli@ago.net

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Culture. Additional operating support is received from the Volunteers of the AGO, the City of Toronto, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts.

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