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Art Gallery of Ontario Acquires New Canadian Works at the
Opening of Art Toronto 2012

Three significant contemporary pieces to complement the AGO collection

(TORONTO – Oct. 29, 2012) Art Toronto 2012 launched on Oct. 25, 2012, with an opening night preview gala to benefit the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). The Gallery’s selection committee chose three works by Canadian artists for the AGO collection: two paintings, by Julia Dault and Stephen Andrews, and a drawing by Itee Pootoogook. The purchases were made possible by funds raised at the preview, with assistance from the Dr. Michael Braudo Canadian Contemporary Art Fund and the assistance of the Joan Chalmers Inuit Art Fund.

“I am very impressed by the calibre of art on display at this year’s fair,” said Elizabeth Smith, the AGO’s executive director of curatorial affairs. “The pieces we purchased represent the current work of three distinct Canadian artists, and they are so compelling that the selection committee was able to work very quickly. All are outstanding additions to the AGO collection.”

Stephen AndrewsNocturne (2012) is composed of translucent layers of paint that are carefully applied over pencil drawings. Using sheets of clear acetate, Andrews pulls away the layers to create an imperfect surface. “This is an ambitious statement by Andrews,” said Kitty Scott, AGO curator of modern and contemporary art. “The dreamy night scene of a railroad crossing depends on a contemporary photographic source while recalling late–19th century symbolism in its jewel-like handling of pigment. This particular piece ensures that the AGO’s holdings of his work remain current.” The AGO currently holds 4 works by Andrews. He is represented in Canada by Paul Petro Contemporary Art.

New Wave (2012) by Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based Julia Dault is a work of oil on vinyl. It is the first of her pieces the AGO has acquired. According to Scott, “this remarkable abstract painting simultaneously emphasizes process and produces a complex shifting space. I look forward to seeing how Julia’s work develops in the coming years.” Julia Dault is represented in Canada by Jessica Bradley.

Water Tank (2012) by Itee Pootoogook, purchased with the assistance of the Joan Chalmers Inuit Art Fund, 2012, is a large-scale drawing in ink and coloured pencil. A rigorous draughtsman, Pootoogook draws inspiration from the landscape of his Cape Dorset home, infusing everyday subjects with vivid colour. This piece joins five small drawings by Pootoogook currently in the AGO collection. “The size of Water Tank is rare for the artist, as he’s known for his very painstaking and thorough approach,” said Nancy Campbell, AGO associate curator of special projects. “On one hand, it depicts a very realistic Cape Dorset scene of a water tank next to a house, but it’s also reminiscent of an abstract painting with the way the colours and shapes are positioned on the paper.” Itee Pootoogook is represented by Feheley Fine Arts of Toronto.

This is the sixth consecutive year that the AGO has purchased artwork on the opening night preview with the assistance of funds raised at the annual event. Approximately $275,000 was raised to support these acquisitions as well as the Gallery’s ongoing education programs.

Stephen Andrews was born in Sarnia, Ont., in 1956. He has exhibited his work in Canada, the U.S., Brazil, Scotland, France, India and Japan. His work is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, as well as many private collections. Andrews’ work deals with memory, identity, the body and the body politic. He is represented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art of Toronto.

Julia Dault is a Toronto-born artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her solo exhibition as part of the series Inside the White Cube was on view at White Cube Bermondsey, London, from July to August, 2012. Recent exhibitions include The Ungovernables at the New Museum’s second triennial (2012); Making Is Thinking at Witte de With, Rotterdam (2011); Rotary Connection at Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York (2012); and Substance Abuse at Leo Koenig Projekte, New York (2010). Dault is on the faculty of the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons, the New School for Design in New York City.

Born in 1951 in Kimmirut (Lake Harbour), and a resident of Cape Dorset, Itee Pootoogook has been drawing and carving for several years. The first print edition of Pootoogook’s work, Looking South, was released in 2008 as part of the "Nine Works by Seven Artists" contemporary folio. This was followed by the annual Cape Dorset print release, in which Pootoogook’s work was featured with two of his recent prints. He has been featured on the cover and in the portfolio section of the Fall 2010 Inuit Art Quarterly.

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.

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 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.

Oct. 20, 2012–Jan. 20, 2013: Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting

Mar. 16–Jun. 16, 2013: Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art

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For more information, please contact:

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

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

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