I really like art museums, so when I heard about the Art Gallery of Ontario, I decided to go. The outside of the building is dominated by this huge glass curved thing, which is interesting to see incorporated with the interior space. The inside of that glass curve was made of fantastic wood supports, and the only way I can describe it is swoon-worthy. Sigh. The building is clearly new combined with old, and it's done really well. Once I entered the building, I was drawn into a high ceilinged room with this huge, fantastic, Frank Gehry staircase. It's super fantastic amazing, but I couldn't walk on it because it led to a special exhibit that I didn't pay for.
When I walked up the stairs at the other end of the room, I got to their collection of Canadian art, which was pretty extensive. I don't know much of anything about Canadian art, so it was interesting to see for the first time. It featured a lot of scenes from nature and rural life. The galleries where they showed Canadian art all looked roughly like this.
Notice what's missing? Information. Most of the art museums that I've been to have something explaining the art, even if it just says the name of the piece, the name of the artist, and the media used. These galleries didn't have any of that. After looking around a little, I found these.
Those brochures had a small picture of each piece, along with basic information about each piece. However, there were some brochures in French and some in English. If the little box didn't have any more in your language, or didn't have any at all, you were out of luck. This isn't the best way to manage things.
On the highest floor, the museum had their contemporary art, which was fascinating, and conveniently, the least crowded part of the museum. The contemporary art exhibit felt a little bit like I remember Centre Pompidou feeling, but that might just be me. I felt like the contemporary gallery was really well done. There was also a spot near the top of the Gehry staircase from which you had a fantastic view of Toronto. The second highest floor also was supposed to have contemporary art, but it was closed to set up another exhibit.
Overall, I liked the museum, but I found that I was more impressed by the building itself than the museum's collection. It's worth a visit, for sure, but don't expect to spend all day there unless you're going to a special exhibit and more of the museum is open.
If you're interested in visiting, information about tickets and hours can be found here.
As always, if there's something cool that I should blog about, email me! Especially with Artprize coming up, I'm always looking for things to write about.