Light My Fire: Some Propositions about Portraits and Photography
In 1977, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) purchased its first photograph: Arnold Newman’s collage portrait of Henry Moore, a fitting complement to the 1974 gift of Moore’s plasters to the gallery. This purchase marked the initial focus for collecting photography at the gallery: portraits of artists. The photography holdings have since grown to number more than 50,000 works. Though the collection now spans the wide reach and long history of the medium, portraits remain one of its strongest threads.
In Part II of Light My Fire: Some Propositions about Portraits and Photography – a show that Toronto Star art critic Murray Whyte called “utterly beguiling” – discover a fresh selection of more than 120 portraits from the AGO’s permanent collection, along with select loans from local private collections. Organized under two new propositions, these works showcase the descriptive power of the medium but also its malleability.
“We are Not Ourselves” highlights the ways artists have manipulated photographic materials to create or reveal strange states of being. Through collage, long exposure, darkroom doubling and retouching, among other techniques, each of these photographs lead us from the realm of the familiar and recognizable to other more mysterious planes of existence.
For more details: www.ago.net
Location: Art Gallery of Ontario — 317 Dundas Street West