At the end of the year, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre will close for renovations and updated exhibitions. The project, dubbed Agnes Reimagined, will make fundamental architectural alterations to the Agnes with the goal of redefining the social function of art within the gallery and offering a live-in artist residency.
Prior to the Agnes’s closure, The Journal dove into some unmissable exhibitions students should check out before the end of the semester.
“The Fabrics of Representation”
Just because a painting is still life doesn’t mean it has to be boring.
“The Fabrics of Representation” exhibition seeks to breathe new life into the visual representation of novel goods provided by the colonial expansion of the Dutch Golden Age. Featuring work from 17th century Dutch and Flemish artists, the exhibition pops with colour and masterful texture.
“The Fabrics of Representation” offers a modern twist on classical still life paintings, allowing audiences to question the affective purposes of the paintings’ subjects and their signification.
This exhibition pays homage to Indigenous peoples and artists.
As the name suggests, “Land Protectors” honours the legacy of stewardship Indigenous peoples have provided to this land. It speaks to the dangers of exploitation and oppression. Visitors are made to consider how Indigenous peoples continue to protect their land, even when met with opposition, and the consequences of abusing the Earth.
Featuring work from Indigenous artists, this exhibition is a can’t-miss opportunity to learn more about the threats posed to Indigenous land and its people.
“The Masks We Wear”
Created by Ashanti Maroon, artist Winsom Winsom, “The Masks We Wear” is centred around the self-portrait Me Myself & I.
In the portrait, Winsom’s face is hidden from us, covered by a white mask, her eyes wide, deep, and black. The painting, mounted on a red panel, is surrounded by dozens of blank white masks, each seeming to conceal an invisible identity, inviting us to look closer and pull them back.
“The covering mask that we wear, no one sees the real us due to all the hurts, oppression, disadvantage, that we experience in a lifetime, from generation to generation,”Winsom wrote in her 2018 AGO exhibition, “I Rise.”
The resulting exhibition is deeply unsettling, with a swath of unblinking eyes reflecting your gaze. It seems like a mirror that can look at but can’t look into.
“Fugitive Rituals” is a multimedia exhibition which is an auditory and visual journey.
Resonant sounds guide visitors through the exhibition, inviting them to look beyond the surface of the everyday objects on display. Designed by Nicolas Fleming, ‘Fugitive Rituals’ invites audiences to meditate, to not simply look at the objects, but feel them, hear them.
It presents an alternative framework to experience the world, fully engaging the audience and asking us to escape and consider our daily practices.
With so many amazing exhibitions on display, it’s impossible to provide an exhaustive list of all the must-see pieces at the Agnes. Heading into the final month before the gallery’s temporary closure, there’s never been a better time to see all the art for yourself.
For more information on the Agnes, visit their website.
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