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30 2011

They’re Lining Up Again at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Syndicated from: Steve Paikin

Go down to the Art Gallery of Ontario sometime over the next several months, and you'll see one of the world's great collections of modern, abstract art.   Yes, many of us have delighted in visiting the AGO to see the Group of Seven, or the model ships in the basement, or the gorgeously constucted Galleria Italia.    But all of that is well within most peoples' comfort zone.  This Abstract Expressionist show won't be.   All the more reason to see it.   The Abstract Expressionists from New York: William Baziotes, Louise Bourgeois, Rudy Burckhart, Harry Callahan, Paul Caponigro, Walter Chappell, Willem de Kooning, Robert Frank, Helen Frankenthaler, Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Hans Hoffman, Franz Kline, Lee Krasner, Norman Lewis, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Isamu Noguchi, Jackson Pollock, Richard Pousette-Dart, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Aaron Siskind, David Smith, Clyfford Still    The show features the largest collection of Jackson Pollock paintings in one room anywhere in the world. Pollock revolutionized art half a century ago, when he took his canvas off the easel, put it on the ground, and created masterpieces no one had ever imagined before.    Thirteen of Jackson Pollock's works are now at the AGO --- more than in any other room in the world.    The AGO's Matthew Teitelbaum, thanks to his friendship with Glen Lowry, the head of New York's Museum of Modern Art, managed to get this "Ab-Ex" show on loan to Ontario's flagship gallery.   Here's Teitelbaum's take on the significance of this show:   Throughout the rest of the week, I'll roll out several more blogposts on some of the work featured in Ab-Ex, which emerged out of the doubts these artists had about the post-World War II world.    The show features three works by Willem de Kooning. This one is entitled Big Blue.   These artists asked questions about what in life can possibly have meaning after The Holocaust? How did Vietnam affect our value system? How can the world's turmoil be reflected on canvas?   They're lining up at the AGO to see the results of some extraordinary artists asking those and other questions.    

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