Skip to Content

Art Gallery of Ontario

Keyword Site Search

Ai Weiwei at the AGO: News & Reviews

“It all begs a chicken-or-egg query: Is Ai the most important artist on the planet because of his politicization, or in spite of it? The answer, simply, is yes.”

Ai Weiwei merges art and politics in AGO show: review by Murray Whyte for the Toronto Star

"This is what art is supposed to do."

Ai Weiwei wows by David Jager for NOW

"It’s this use – courageous? foolhardy? – of digital technology and social media to tweak and circumvent state repression that, in part, makes Ai ubiquitous outside China – if not the most important or influential artist of the age, then at least its most emblematic."

Ai Weiwei exhibit offers a monumental study of contradiction by James Adams for the Globe & Mail

"Ai Weiwei is a rarity among artists in that his voice has come to represent an entire people—as dynamic, compelling and contradictory as China itself."

Big Time: Ai Weiwei’s China comes to the AGO by Gillian MacKay for Canadian Art

"That we get to know his work better, even in his absence, confirms that Ai has become an international symbol of dissent, and moreover, as skilled a propagandist as the government against which he’s fighting."

The passionate Ai by Chris Hampton for the Grid

“…The literal absence of the artist, who has been under house arrest in Beijing since 2011, hovers as a ghostly presence.”

Ai Weiwei: the man who isn’t there by Anne Kingston for Maclean’s

"His work, his life and the oppressive government reaction to both embody everything art means to us: a fearless consideration and critique of contemporary culture, a compassionate consideration of life as it is lived and the necessity of being able to stand up and speak our minds on those subjects."

The artist's presence: With According To What?, the AGO shows how Ai Weiwei’s art knows no bounds by Dave Berry for the National Post

"That is the greatest lesson in According to What?: art is even more dangerous than dissent."

A Cultural Revolution: the AGO’s Ai Weiwei exhibition proves why the Chinese artist is such a threat by Stephen Marche for Toronto Life

“According to What? isn’t the outpouring of a disaffected imagination or an aesthetic outsider. Rather, the exhibition showcases an artist rooted in his own culture’s precepts, and determined to engage them.”

Exhibit by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei explains why size matters by Charles Foran for the Globe and Mail

“Ai Weiwei: According to What? is a compelling look at the man and his life’s work, and the AGO’s location next to Chinatown and fiercely independent Kensington Market makes the exhibit particularly well suited to its venue."

The World According to “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” by Carly Maga for Torontoist

"...Ai’s poetic thrift suffers from the hammer of emphasis. Nevertheless, the opportunity to see one of the world’s most fiercely relevant artists at work should be seized"

REVIEW: Ai Weiwei Struggles With the Multitude in First North American Survey by Skye Goodden for BLOUIN ARTINFO Canada

"Both emotionally draining and politically challenging, the exhibition is a must-attend for anyone with even a passing interest in contemporary art."

15 photos of the stunning Ai Weiwei exhibit at the AGO by Derek Flack for blogTO

“Ai wants to start a conversation. The government does not want to talk.”

Ai Weiwei: The Life and Earth-Shattering Times of China by Bill Schiller for Star Dispatches (e-book)

"In a litany of loss, the names of 5,200 dead Chinese schoolchildren reverberated throughout the room from a loudspeaker."

Earthquake’s youngest victims remembered at AGO by Marc Ellison for the Toronto Star


Jian Ghomeshi's interview with Ai Weiwei on CBC Radio's Q. More: Why Ai Weiwei won't stop speaking out

"Ai Weiwei is a larger-than-life character, living in a huge country, dealing with larger-than-life issues." — Gillian McIntyre, interpretive planner of Ai Weiwei: According to What? at the AGO

Ai Weiwei exhibit at the AGO on Global Toronto's The Morning Show

"There's no artist here, so that's a very unusual thing. I wish that Ai Weiwei could see this exhibition." Kitty Scott, AGO curator of modern and contemporary art

Video: Ai Weiwei's work comes to Toronto without dissident artist by the Canadian Press via

"It's an exhibition that will change the way you see the world."

The art of Ai Weiwei by Jeanne Beker for CTV's Canada AM

"...He has created an identity that the world is only just starting to understand." — Matthew Teitelbaum, AGO Director & CEO

Ai Weiwei AGO exhibit mixes art and politics on CTV News

Share and Enjoy: