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Celebrating the AGGV Collection

May 19, 2020 - May 19, 2021 Curated by Michelle Jacques and Heng Wu

As an intimately scaled art museum, the AGGV usually dedicates its spaces for art to temporary exhibitions. Sometimes those exhibitions include works from the collection, but typically, the AGGV does not have “Canadian galleries” or “Contemporary galleries” or an “Asian wing” like many larger institutions do.

Before COVID-19 forced our closure, we were in the midst of installing the two largest galleries with works from the collection – one space focused on historical Canadian artworks, the other on contemporary art. At the time, the intention was simple – we just wanted to explore what it would feel like for the institution to have permanent collection galleries. Such galleries permit a different approach than when you create an exhibition – with the need for a curatorial thesis or narrative put aside, all of a sudden, work can be brought out of storage and put on view simply because it hasn’t been seen before, or it makes a compelling counterpoint to a more commonly exhibited work, or it is just plain interesting.

Now, as we think about re-opening the gallery in a world changed by the pandemic, we will be filling more spaces with work from our collection – the installations of Canadian historical and contemporary art will be joined by a gallery of new acquisitions in Asian art and one of figure and portrait drawings from the collection. Throw, Slip, Spin remains on view in the Pollard Gallery.

Focusing on the collection allows us to work with intimacy and fiscal responsibility to create experiences for our visitors as they start to venture out, looking for opportunities to reconnect to the world and each other safely.

(L-R) Shushan Egoyan, Blue Reflection, 2005, oil on canvas, 76.2 x 101.6 cm, Gift of the Artist, 2018.015.001, Emily Carr, Big Eagle, Skidigate, B.C., 1929, watercolour on paper, 76.2 x 56.7 cm, Donated in memory of Dorothy Plaunt Dyde, 1980.034.001, A.Y. Jackson, Northern Lights, Alaska Highway, 1943, oil on canvas, 78.8 x 76.5 cm, Dr. T. J. Mills, Winnipeg, 1979.285.001
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