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Posted Jun 7, 2009 in Arts | 0 Comments

For the LOVE of Art

Art gallery of Toronto

Last week I had an opportunity to visit Toronto and check out the recently renovated and reopened Art Gallery of Ontario. This was my first visit to the AGO, and as a testament to the successful integration of the expanded elements with the pre-existing architecture, I often found myself wondering what was new and what was old. From the outside the eye is immediately drawn to the distinct Frank Gehry use of curved elements and titanium coverings. I would recommend approaching the building from the south, crossing through the Grange to view the bright blue façade with its distinctive externally projecting staircase. Later this view reversed when taking the stairwell from the top floor contemporary art galleries and looking back across the park towards the CN Tower and the OCAD building.

Grange

Inside the curved theme is continued in the entry and Walker Court but after that the architecture is restrained and allows the artworks to become the stars again.  That is the main success in this renovation: it creates a signature and distinctive building for the city, while ably maintaining its function as an art gallery.

Staircase

The curved glass Dundas street façade houses the stunning Galleria Italia which one encounters about halfway through building and provides a welcome place to rest and view the outside world after wandering through the many enclosed gallery spaces. Actually I was surprised by the size of the AGO and would recommend taking at least 2 visits to see the whole place otherwise it can become a bit overwhelming.

Galleria Italia

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