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AGO to debut Toronto’s largest Scott McFarland solo exhibition to date

Exhibition features more than 25 large-scale photographs of rural and urban landscapes by internationally acclaimed artist, including scenes of downtown Toronto

TORONTO — Scott McFarland’s carefully constructed photographs captivate viewers with their subtle impossibilities. Running at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) from May 14 to Aug. 10, 2014, the exhibition Scott McFarland: Snow, Shacks, Streets, Shrubs brings together more than 40 works by the internationally acclaimed photographer.

Born in 1975, and educated at the University of British Columbia, McFarland now lives and works in Toronto. His works are held in the collections several renowned institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Renowned for his images of West Coast gardens and rustic cabins, McFarland has turned his lens towards Ontario since his relocation to the province in 2009. Scott McFarland: Snow, Shacks, Streets, Shrubs features a variety of familiar Ontario landscapes including the series Caledon, Sugar Shack and Concrete Cottage. Curated by Kitty Scott, the AGO’s curator of modern and contemporary art, the exhibition also includes numerous large-format street photographs, depicting New Orleans, Southampton and downtown Toronto.

“What makes Scott’s work so compelling is the documentary sense of the pictures and the intensity of detail that reveals the passage of time,” said Scott. “He is one of Canada’s most prominent artists, and I am pleased to debut his work at the AGO.”

McFarland’s works feature impossible scenes such as panoramic view of a ski hill that begins with its snowy slopes in winter yet ends with its grassy hills of summer, and a seemingly empty restaurant whose mirrors are filled with activity. These striking images are composites, the end result of multiple exposures carefully taken with his four-by-five inch camera, scanned and layered together into a not-quite-seamless whole. Shot over a long period, and incorporating varying angles and varying times of day, these images challenge the notion of a photograph being a snapshot of one decisive moment.

Two works from McFarland’s Repatriation Series—a series of photographs taken in downtown Toronto that consider nationalism, public duty, community, the media, heroism and sacrifice—are currently on display at the AGO, acting as a visual segue into the Gallery’s ongoing exhibition The Great Upheaval: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection 1910-1918. The works will remain on view throughout the spring.

A 160-page exhibition catalogue, featuring contributions by Kitty Scott, Urs Stahel, James Welling and Scott McFarland, will accompany the exhibition. Edited by Kitty Scott and co-published by Walther König Verlag and the Art Gallery of Ontario, the catalogue will feature over 70 colour plates and will be available be available for purchase at shopAGO for $40 in May. Visit shopAGO online or call 416-979-6610 for more information.

Scott McFarland will deliver a public lecture on May 21, 2014 at 7 p.m. in the AGO’s Jackman Hall. For more information and tickets, including on-sale date, please visit

AGO members receive free admission to Scott McFarland: Shacks, Snow, Streets, Shrubs and an exclusive preview in the days leading up to the exhibition’s public opening. More information on the benefits of AGO membership can be found at

This exhibition is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Generously supported by Phil Lind.

The AGO acknowledges the generous support of Aimia, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program.

Contemporary programming at the AGO is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

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.

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

April 5, 2014 – July 20, 2014: Francis Bacon & Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty

The Art Gallery of Ontario 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 press inquiries, please contact:

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

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

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