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AGO’s March First Thursday is Elevated with a celebration of contemporary art

Musical performance by Egyptrixx, Taste of Mexico demonstration by celebrity chef Chuck Hughes, and live performance by Laura McCoy headline the Gallery’s March art party

TORONTO — The Art Gallery of Ontario’s (AGO) First Thursdays art party series reaches new heights on Mar. 6, 2014, with a celebration of the artists and works that shape the contemporary art scene. Inspired by the AGO’s newest contemporary exhibition, Elevated: Contemporary Art in the AGO Tower, partygoers will be uplifted by musical performances, culinary demonstration, collaborative art-making, pop-up installations and art talks. Advance tickets for this 19+ event are $12 for members and $15 for the general public, on sale now at ago.net/FirstThursdays. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the party continues until 11:30 p.m.

Elevated, a display of new acquisitions and iconic works from the AGO’s contemporary collection, explores themes of sculptural and spatial experimentation, the use of unexpected materials, striking juxtapositions and social experience. Located on the fourth and fifth floors of the Gallery’s contemporary tower, the exhibition showcases painting, sculpture, photographs, video and other media from the 1970s to today. Partygoers are invited to experience Elevated with the purchase of a regular First Thursdays ticket.

In an immersive experience of sound and vision, Canadian electronic musician Egyptrixx takes the stage for the first time in Toronto since the release of his critically acclaimed record A/B Til Infinity. Praised by the New York Times as “a lustrous and resonant thing,” A/B Til Infinity combines elements of techno, house, heavy metal, pop and drone music. Berlin-based artist A.N.F (Andreas Nicolas Fischer) will animate Egyptrixx’s performance with otherworldly visuals of molten off-planet environments, strange underground realms and volcanic caves lined with arrays of fluorescent light tubes.

In the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Sculpture Atrium, celebrity chef Chuck Hughes draws inspiration from his culinary experiences and travels throughout Mexico to bring a Taste of Mexico to the AGO. Hughes’ passion for discovering the local cuisine and his embrace of Mexico’s vibrant, unique culture has made his television series Chuck’s Week Off popular with viewers internationally.

Beginning at 9 p.m., experimental Toronto musician Prince Nifty will take audiences in Walker Court on a sonic journey. Mixing a wide range of musical genres, Prince Nifty pushes boundaries with sounds that Chart Attack describes a “brilliant, unclassifiable collage.”

Drawing inspiration from British sculptor Henry Moore, Toronto artist Laura McCoy will create, change and disassemble her temporary sculptures in the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre for a performance entitled Word When Ready. McCoy’s structures and the movement of her creative process play off of the distorted shapes of Moore’s iconic casts in an interesting visual display.

Guests are invited to make art with local artist Lili Huston-Herterich in a collaborative work entitled Shrinky Dinks all night long in the AGO’s contemporary tower. Drawing inspiration from Beuys’ concept of “social sculpture”, party-goers will create a joint art work by shaping and molding pieces from the classic children’s craft toy Shrinky Dinks.

Art talks begin at 7:45 p.m. with Toronto multidisciplinary artist and co-founder of storefront performance space Videofag, Jordan Tannahill. Tannahill will speak on the legacy of famed Toronto artist collective General Idea, sharing insights on their influence on his art practice and those of Toronto’s existing community of young, queer artists.

Local arts organizations After School and Hazlitt return to present another discussion panel, this time with documentary filmmaker, writer, and musician Astra Taylor in conversation with After School Founder Nicola Spunt at 7:30 p.m. Taylor is celebrated for her feature-length and short-form documentaries that focus on intellectual, cultural and political affairs.

As always, cocktails and pints will be available at bars throughout the Gallery. This month’s premium food stations will provide guests with an authentic taste of Mexico. Sponsored by the Mexico Tourism Board’s Live It To Believe It campaign, the AGO will be serving up birria beef and black bean and pepper tacos, sandwich el pastor, vegetarian and chorizo quezo fundido, watermelon and jicama ceviche and churros with chocolate sauce.

Tickets for March’s First Thursday are on sale now. Regular-priced tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Admission for AGO members is $10 in advance and $13 at the door. Book tickets online by visiting www.ago.net/FirstThursdays.

For details about First Thursdays, visit www.ago.net/FirstThursdays and follow #AGO1st on Twitter and Instagram.

Official Beer Sponsor: Grolsch

Sponsor of March First Thursday at the AGO: Mexico Tourism Board, Live It To Believe It (www.visitmexico.com)

Media Partner: NOW Magazine

The AGO acknowledges the generous support of its Signature Partners: American Express, Signature Partner of the Conservation Program; and Aimia, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program.

ABOUT THE AGO
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 Kenneth 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 ago.net to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO and 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 – July 20, 2014: Francis Bacon & Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty

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For media inquiries about AGO First Thursdays, please contact:

Laura Banks; News Officer, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 504, laura_banks@ago.net

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