Monday, January 26, 2015

Exhibit: Therapy at the AGO!

Art Gallery of Ontario's Art as Therapy Exhibition Review

The cold winter season is really starting to drag on and is giving me a case of the winter blues. I'm finding it hard to get enough energy to do anything besides going to work, and I only do that because of the stack of bills that need to get paid. I decided that I was in desperate need of some art therapy.


Last week I took Friday off from work and spent the entire afternoon at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), wandering around their many amazing exhibits including the Art as Therapy exhibition.

Politics Section from Art as Therapy Exhibit at Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, paintings, history, Alain de Botton, John Armstrong, history, ontario, Canada, The Purple Scarf, Melanie.Ps

Politics Section from Art as Therapy Exhibit at Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, paintings, history, Alain de Botton, John Armstrong, history, ontario, Canada, The Purple Scarf, Melanie.Ps, Christ Washing His Disciples' Feet, Jacopo Tintioretto, 1545-1555
Christ Washing His Disciples' Feet, around 1545-1555 by Jacopo Tintoretto
Sex Section from Art as Therapy Exhibit at Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, paintings, history, Alain de Botton, John Armstrong, history, ontario, Canada, The Purple Scarf, Melanie.Ps

Art as Therapy is based upon Alain de Botton and of John Armstrong's bestselling book of the same name. In their book, "the authors pose questions that lie at the heart of art museums and their future well-being: How can art address issues that engage us all? How can art help us to understand ourselves and to lead richer lives?" 

Sex Section from Art as Therapy Exhibit at Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, paintings, history, Alain de Botton, John Armstrong, history, ontario, Canada, The Purple Scarf, Melanie.Ps, money

Sex Section from Art as Therapy Exhibit at Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, paintings, history, Alain de Botton, John Armstrong, history, ontario, Canada, The Purple Scarf, Melanie.Ps, stretch #1, Evan Penny, Money
Stretch #1, 2003 by Evan Penny
Art as Therapy is divided into five different sections that examine one of the universal themes of Politics, Love, Sex, Money, or Nature, which is installed in different spaces and on different floors throughout the AGO.  I loved that I had to search for the different sections in Art as Therapy. I got to wander around the AGO, reintroducing myself to new and familiar pieces of art.

Sex Section from Art as Therapy Exhibit at Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, paintings, history, Alain de Botton, John Armstrong, history, ontario, Canada, The Purple Scarf, Melanie.Ps, nature

Sex Section from Art as Therapy Exhibit at Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, paintings, history, Alain de Botton, John Armstrong, history, ontario, Canada, The Purple Scarf, Melanie.Ps, Nature, Fifteen Thousand Feet, Brian Burnett
Fifteen Thousand Feet, 1983 by Brian Burnett
Within each themed section, there are several pieces of art that de Botton and Armstrong chose, alongside interpretive and informational placards. Each placard poses a specific problem and examines the issue with the help of the art piece beside it. There is also a short video featuring de Botton and small screen where I could write down my own thoughts.

Love Section from Art as Therapy Exhibit at Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, paintings, history, Alain de Botton, John Armstrong, history, ontario, Canada, The Purple Scarf, Melanie.Ps
Sex Section from Art as Therapy Exhibit at Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, paintings, history, Alain de Botton, John Armstrong, history, ontario, Canada, The Purple Scarf, Melanie.Ps, Love, Mother and Child, Sculpture, Barbara Hepworth
Mother and Child, 1927 by Barbara Hepworth
Sex Section from Art as Therapy Exhibit at Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, artmatters, culture, paintings, history, Alain de Botton, John Armstrong, history, ontario, Canada, The Purple Scarf, Melanie.Ps, love, kneelinf woman, fernanad leger
Kneeling Woman, 1921 by Fernand Leger
Although I did not agree with all of the conclusions and interpretations de Botton and Armstrong came up with, the exhibit did make me reassess some familiar art pieces and introduced me to some new ones, which is why I recommend seeing this exhibit. It also reintroduced me to the AGO again. Too many times I just visit the special exhibitions, always meaning to go back to view the permanent collections, but rarely do. Even though visiting the Art as Therapy exhibition would take just over an hour to do, I would give yourself plenty of visiting time, in case you get side tracked along the journey (which I did several times). Art as Therapy is a fabulous way to spend a cold afternoon inside and is running until April 26, 2015.

P.s!: Art as Therapy is include with general admission which means it's free on Wednesday nights!
P.s,
Melanie!

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