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AGO presents The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910–1918 nearly a century after the outbreak of the First World War

Exhibition explores how period of radical change inspired the great artists of the 20th century; tickets go on sale Nov. 15

TORONTO — Nearly 100 years after the First World War began, the artistic frenzy that swept Europe in the years leading up to the conflict comes alive at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918. Featuring over 60 works by 36 artists including Kandinsky, Picasso, Modigliani and Chagall, the exhibition explores several years of unprecedented social, political and technological change through painting and sculpture. Organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, and supported by Lead Sponsor BMO Financial Group, the exhibition makes its only Canadian stop at the AGO from Nov. 30, 2013, to March 2, 2014.

“The artists of the ‘Great Upheaval’ were game-changers who created new forms of artistic expression in the face of turmoil and rapid innovation,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, director and CEO of the AGO. “This prominent collection from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation presents a rare opportunity for our visitors to immerse themselves in a time of bold experimentation and to experience the works of the century’s greatest artists.”

"BMO Financial Group has a long-standing commitment to supporting the arts and the communities in which we do business,” said Gilles Ouellette, President and CEO, Private Client Group, BMO Financial Group. "As Lead Sponsor of the exhibition, BMO has an opportunity to connect with customers and local art enthusiasts, helping to promote an understanding and appreciation of foundational, influential works from the early 20th century within our community."

Timed-entry tickets for The Great Upheaval go on sale on Nov. 15, 2013. Previous ticket buyers can book tickets on Nov. 13 and 14, 2013. Regular-priced tickets range from $16.50 for youth visitors to $25 for adults. Admission is FREE for AGO members and for children ages five and under. Tickets can be booked online by visiting

Curated by the Guggenheim’s Tracey Bashkoff, senior curator of collections and exhibitions, and Megan Fontanella, associate curator of collections and provenance, The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918 features works by Umberto Boccioni, Marc Chagall, Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger, Kazimir Malevich, Franz Marc and others. The diversity of works and the various artistic movements that defined this era — including Futurism, Cubism and Expressionism — illustrate nearly a decade of intense experimentation, exchange and networking.

Highlights of the exhibition include:

  • Picasso’s Accordionist from 1911, a startling Cubist masterpiece;
  • the vivid colours and spontaneity of Vasily Kandinsky’s Blue Mountain, 1908-09;
  • the daring simplicity of Piet Mondrian’s Summer, Dune in Zeeland, ca. 1910;
  • Franz Marc’s Yellow Cow from 1911 — an optimistic mascot for the philosopher-painters of the transnational Blue Rider group;
  • Henri Matisse’s severe portrait The Italian Woman, 1916;
  • The explicit voluptuousness of Amedeo Modigliani’s Nude from 1917; and
  • Kurt Schwitters’ meditation on war, Mountain Graveyard, 1919.

The AGO explores the era of The Great Upheaval with a series of talks and events that immerse visitors in the period from 1910 to 1918, when telephones appeared, news was becoming instantaneous, the tango was all the rage and tanks, parachutes, x-rays and mustard gas had recently been invented. Beginning Jan. 15, 2014, the AGO will be offering free weekly tango lessons in Walker Court from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. On Jan. 22, 2014, the AGO will be screening early abstract art films in Jackman Hall. Several talks will offer insights from field specialists exploring the art and culture of the time, and tickets can be booked online. For a complete list of programming and to book tickets, please visit

This exhibition is organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York.

Lead Sponsor: BMO Financial Group

Generously supported by: Gail and Mark Appel and Joan and Jerry Lozinski

Hotel partner: Eaton Chelsea Toronto

Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The Guggenheim network that began in the 1970s when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, was joined by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, expanded to include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao which opened in 1997, and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, currently in development. Looking to the future, the Guggenheim Foundation continues to forge international collaborations that take contemporary art, architecture, and design beyond the walls of the museum. More information about the foundation can be found at

For more than 195 years, BMO Financial Group has believed in community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility in the communities it serves. In 2012, BMO contributed more than $87.6 million in donations, sponsorships and events in Canada and the United States to groups, organizations and programs that help build and sustain resilient, vital and healthy communities.

With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Ken Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults. Visit to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

Sept. 25, 2013 – Nov. 27, 2013: David Bowie is

Nov. 30, 2013 – March 2, 2014The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910–1918 

April 5, 2014 July 6, 2014: Francis Bacon & Henry Moore

The AGO is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.

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For press inquiries, please contact:

Chris Lackner; Account Director, Holmes PR

Andrea-Jo Wilson; News Officer, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 403,

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