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Picture imperfect

December 28, 2006

So what is it with the Art Gallery of Ontario?

They get the largest collection of Henry Moore sculptures in the world, and what do they do? They present it in a room decorated with strippers pole dancing.

Okay, I could live with that. But they don’t even tell you what the sculptures and casts are. There are no explanatory notes. And boy, if anyone needs some ‘splainin’ it’s Henry Moore.

Okay, I know. All the highbrows are probably spluttering into their claret.  But  an art gallery – especially one that is funded from the public purse – should be for the people. And all they have by way of education are a few phones around the room. You have to find a place on the couch and dial in to find out what it’s all about.

This just is bad curatorial sense. Put up a note next to the sculpture telling us how it came about. And the pole dancers? Who knows? Who cares?

Then it’s on to the Alfred Eisenstaedt/Ansel Adams exhibit. Great photographs. Lousy presentation. First, they are all shoehorned in to a tiny space. So many pictures. So little time. So many people elbowing their way around. And by the way, what’s with people bringing strollers to these things?  Get a sitter for crying out loud. You just make a crowded space insufferable.
Look, I know the AGO is doing a reno, and that’s probably why they are so poorly displayed. But they knew – or presumably they knew – they’d be doing renovations at the time of the exhibit.

The lighting is dreadful. And for black and white pictures, you need good light to see the subtle shades. The organization is horrible. You get two pictures in a corner, so people keep bumping in to each other. The photos don’t seem to be organized by theme, or timeline. There is no one place to start, no place to finish.
Nice try. Keep working on it AGO.

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