Monday, February 19, 2018

Family Day 2018

It ended up being a nicer day than I expected.  It did sprinkle on and off, but we didn't get caught in any showers.  I was taking my son to the AGO to see the Mitchell/Riopelle exhibit, which opened on Sunday.  It wasn't until just a couple of days I realized this was about the abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell, and my interest in the show sky-rocketed (it had been fairly high already).  In a weird irony, the AGO was simply packed with families with young children (still, I am sure the ROM and the Science Centre were even worse), but they almost never left the main floor.  Thus, the Mitchell/Riopelle exhibit was almost empty (I assume it was fairly crowded on Sunday).

It's quite an impressive exhibit, and I'll just put up a few of the pictures I took.  In general, I was more drawn to the Mitchell paintings, but there were quite a number of Riopelle's that I liked.

Joan Mitchell, Untitled, 1955

Joan Mitchell, Untitled, 1961

This painting by Riopelle was my son's favourite.

Riopelle, Saint-Anthon, 1954

I liked this one (No, no, no, no, no), but I'll have to go back and take some close-ups, as you can't really get a sense of the texture, which was quite interesting.

Riopelle, Non, non, non, non, non, 1961
Here is a much "sunnier" Mitchell than one typically sees.

Mitchell, Untitled, 1969

In the later rooms the paintings got quite enormous, and I am working on piecing together an image of one of the largest paintings.

Joan Mitchell, Canada I, 1975

Riopelle, Large Triptych, 1964
I'll definitely go back a few more times.  I haven't decided on the catalog, but it is a bit pricier than I want to pay ($55).

We avoided the parts of the museum overrun with strollers, but still managed to see quite a bit of the main collection.  I was pleased to see that the Tissot is back on the walls, though a few of the Dufy's I liked are gone into storage.  (Maybe my campaign worked.)

James Tissot, The Shop Girl, 1884

There was actually a Caillebotte on view as well, which certainly surprised me.  As it turns out it is on loan from a private collection.  Perhaps someday it will be donated to the AGO.  While it isn't a masterpiece, it is certainly worth a closer look on my next visit.

They have also set aside another room for 20th Century art, and while I like some of what is there, I wish they would just go ahead and put the Rothko back up, as it is kind of a shocking thing to keep in one's basement, so to speak.

After leaving the AGO, we walked down to Queen.  I couldn't believe the size of this excavation, which makes it look like this church is going to fall right down into the pit (and OCAD may lose its view).

We then went to an Indian buffet on Queen, which was a first for him, but he enjoyed it on the whole.  We then strolled over to Scotiabank Theatre (trying to work off some of the meal).  It turned out that Black Panther was pretty much sold out for the rest of the afternoon.  I have to admit, I wasn't really that keen on going, but he wanted to see it, and I thought he deserved a reward for a great report card (just as I'll take my daughter to the Science Centre next week).  He was a bit disappointed, but I said we'd go in a few more weeks when it wasn't quite so hectic and we wouldn't end up smooshed next to other people.

We got back home much earlier than I expected obviously.  I did take a short nap and then read a bit (finally finishing up Bennett's The Old Wives' Tale).  I probably should have played some board games with the kids or made the banana bread like I had promised, but otherwise it was a decent Family Day.

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