Looking at Toronto Today Through A 20th Century Parisian Lens: New AGO Exhibit

If you’re looking for an activity to fill your Family Day long weekend, look no further than The AGO.

Their newly launched exhibit, Impressionism in the Age of Industry, is one of the first impressionist exhibits of it’s kind. “Impressionist artists are most famously known for recreation and leisure, at the height of modernity. Often left out is that industry was part of modernity and this show dives deep into the Industrial side of impressionist modernity. While the exhibit presents a grittier view of impressionism, at the same time these beautiful paintings aestheticize this industrial subject matter.” explains Dr. Carolyn Shields, the AGO’s Assistant Curator of European Art.

Living in Toronto now can be both a frustrating and vibrant experience. On the one hand, the city faces housing and transit issues that seem to be getting worse as the city’s population continue’s to swell, but on the other, Toronto’s hustle and energetic vibe is undeniable.

Dr. Sheilds is hoping guests will see parallels between Toronto today with what artists saw in Paris at the turn of the 20th century when it was expanding, “The artists aren’t just celebrating new Paris. I felt it was complicated and challenging to talk about until I realized that it’s exactly what we’re talking about in Toronto today. It can be thrilling [to live here] but there are also hard conversations around subjects like housing and transit, and the displacement of people. It’s the perfect way to articulate what I was trying to say around this period and make it feel true, relevant and meaningful to our audiences.“

Over 120 works by Degas, Caillebott, Monet and many others curated from collections all over the world are on display, such as pieces like Camille Pissarro’s Pont Boieldieu in Rouen, and Jame’s Tissot’s The Shop Girl. The Exhibit open’s February 16th, 2019 in the Sam and Ayala Zacks Pavilion. For more information, visit the AGO’s website.

Cover image: Camille Pissarro: The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning, 1897 re-published with permission from The Art Gallery of Ontario

In-article image: James Tissot: The Shop Girl, 1885 re-published with permission from The Art Gallery of Ontario