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Drawing Attention: AGO exhibition lives up to its title

Successful Works on Paper retrospective heading to London

(Toronto - October 7, 2009) Highlights from the Art Gallery of Ontario’s much admired collection of European and North American works on paper are heading across the Atlantic to be exhibited this October. DRAWING ATTENTION: One Hundred Master Drawings from the Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario — an exhibition organized by the AGO chronicling the evolution of drawing through the lens of the Gallery’s collection — will be on view at the prestigious Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, England from October 21, 2009 through January 17, 2010.

Over the past three decades, the Art Gallery of Ontario has put together the greatest collection of works on paper in Canada. Drawing Attention focuses on a selection of highlights, featuring works that span the 15th through the 20th centuries. One hundred drawings will be making the trip to Dulwich, including works by Annibale Carracci, Giambattista Tiepolo, Rembrant, Degas, Turner, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Picasso, Kollwitz, Kandinsky, Pollock, Emily Carr, David Milne and Tom Thomson.

“The international success of Drawing Attention is yet another indicator of the AGO’s growing reputation around the world,” says Matthew Teitelbaum, the AGO’s Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO. “This is a terrific exhibition and its success is good not only for the gallery but also for raising Toronto’s profile as an important international cultural destination.”

“Building the collection of European drawings has been one of the joys of my life,” says Katharine Lochnan, the AGO’s Deputy Director of Research and The R. Fraser Elliott Curator of Prints and Drawings. “The works heading to Dulwich are among the most significant works in our collection and we are delighted to share them with the world.”

Drawing Attention was on view at the AGO for the opening of the new Frank Gehry–designed building on November 14, 2008 until January 14, 2009. A U.S. venue is expected to be announced before the end of this year.

The works included in Drawing Attention are normally housed in the AGO’s Marvin Gelber Print & Drawing Study Centre, a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the study of prints, drawings and photographs at the AGO. The Centre houses over 15,000 works on paper and is open to the public every Wednesday afternoon. For more information, visit www.ago.net/prints-and-drawings-open-door-program.

This is the first time in 35 years that the AGO’s collection of drawings, watercolours and pastels has been the subject of a special exhibition. A fully illustrated, 272-page book titled Drawing Attention: Selected Works on Paper from the Renaissance to Modernism, edited by Katharine Lochnan, was published in 2008 by the AGO and Merrell Publishers Limited, London. The book, sponsored by the late R. Fraser Elliott, includes several images that have never before been published, along with 100 short essays by Canadian scholars and an introduction on the history of the collection. The book is available for purchase at shopAGO ($125 Cdn hardcover / $70 Cdn paperback) or online at shop2.ago.net.

About The AGO

With a permanent collection of more than 79,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. In 2008, with a stunning new design by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, the AGO opened its doors to the public to international acclaim. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase made of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block along the Gallery’s façade; and the feature staircase, spiralling up through the roof of Walker Court and into the new Contemporary galleries above. From the extensive Group of Seven collection to the dramatic new African art gallery; from David Altmejd's monumental installation The Index to Peter Paul Rubens' masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, a highlight of the celebrated Thomson Collection, there is truly something for everyone at the AGO.

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For more information or images please contact:
Sean O’Neill, 416 979 6660 ext. 403, sean_oneill@ago.net
or Antonietta Mirabelli, 416 979 6660 ext. 454, antonietta_mirabelli@ago.net

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