Skip to Content

Art Gallery of Ontario

Keyword Site Search

AGO to bring modern masterpieces from the Guggenheim Museum to Toronto in November 2013

Exhibition features nearly 70 works by avant-garde artists at an explosive time in modern art, including Kandinsky, Matisse and Modigliani

(TORONTO— Feb. 28, 2013) This fall the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will display a magnificent exhibition of avant-garde masterpieces from one of the world’s most prominent collections. The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918 features nearly 70 works from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s collection in New York, including paintings and sculptures. The exhibition will be on view at the AGO from Nov. 30, 2013, to March 2, 2014.

Focusing on the period from 1910 to 1918, The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918 explores a time of tremendous creativity and artistic innovation, as artists grappled with themes of social fragmentation, technological development and the spectacle of the changing city.

Across Europe, as borders were re-drawn and mounting political tensions signalled the First World War, artists pushed ever closer towards abstraction. From Munich to Paris, in Moscow and Milan, many experimented with new forms of art and artistic collaboration, giving rise to a host of radical new styles.

Exhibited chronologically and including a number of works by critical precursors who laid the groundwork for the avant-garde movements—including Pablo Picasso, Paul Cezanne and Paul Gauguin—the exhibition includes:

  • Picasso’s Le Moulin de la Galette from 1900, an image of social change that fuelled the avant-garde imagination;
  • the vivid colours and spontaneity of Vasily Kandinsky’s Blue Mountain, 1908-09;
  • the daring Expressionistic style of Piet Mondrian’s Summer, Dune in Zeeland, ca. 1910;
  • Franz Marc’s Yellow Cow from 1911—a mascot for the philosopher-painters of the transnational Blue Rider group;
  • Henri Matisse’s severely radical portrait The Italian Woman, 1916;
  • the tonal contrast of Amedeo Modigliani’s Nude from 1917; and
  • Kurt Schwitters’ meditation on war, Mountain Graveyard, 1919.

With works drawn from the Guggenheim Foundation’s collection in New York, the exhibition provides a glimpse into the Foundation’s own origins as a museum. Influenced by the young German artist Hilla Rebay, in 1927 Solomon R. Guggenheim began what was to become a life-long passion for European modernism, acquiring art directly from such artists as Robert Delaunay, Albert Gleizes and Kandinsky.

The exhibition is curated by the Guggenheim Museum’s Tracey Bashkoff, Senior Curator, Collections and Exhibitions, and Megan Fontanella, Associate Curator, Collections and Provenance, and was originally presented by the Guggenheim in New York from February to June 2011.

AGO members will be invited to an exclusive advance preview of The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918 from Nov. 27 to 29, 2013. As with all special exhibitions, AGO members receive free admission and advance VIP access to the exhibition, among other discounts and benefits. More information on AGO membership can be found at

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

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

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.

March 16, 2013 – June 16, 2013: Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art

Aug. 17, 2013 – Oct. 27, 2013: Ai Weiwei: According to What?

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

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.


For images and more information, please contact:

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

Caitlin Coull; Manager, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 364,

Share and Enjoy: