Saturday, 6 December 2008


after john's, our group split up. leslie and i went to dundas to see the newly frank.gehry-ized art gallery of ontario. it is fabulous! there is art and frosting. gehry "going for the option that might amuse a user the most, that would give a user the most pleasure."

from the outside it looks like a floating zeppelin or a giant shiny fish swimming towards chinatown. inside it is fine finishes, pale wood, curvy lines and swirling staircases. the famous staircase worms its way out of the top of the walker court up over the rooftops, through galleries of contemporary art and panoramic views. it does look a little odd and wiggly from underneath but it is so much fun that the architectural incongruity (to my unsophisticated and unschooled eye) doesn't matter a bit. the long hall where the restaurant used to be is shorter and houses a fantastical installation of mirrored nooks and crannies and caves covered in birds, bird people, other critters. the new member's lounge is in the grange house and overlooks the park. parts of it are a bit stark, but in one room there is a fireplace and leather chairs - a perfect place to sip scotch and watch the snow twirl in the wind.

we arrived late and only had a little over an hour before closing time. we had a quick look
at some of the contemporary art (like coming home for a 1960s baby like me) and the african gallery (amazing! there are sculptures that, from a distance, look like mahogany carvings but are made out of shoes. they are watched over by a joyous, artloving security guard who explains and exclaims about their form and context and history). we then found our way through the henry moore gallery into the hall behind the fish scales. it is a beautiful space - part cathedral and part canoe. we wanted to run the length but acted with restraint and walked. unfortunately we only made it half way along before a more killjoy kind of security guard booted us out.

it costs $18 (whew!) to get in but our family has a membership that allows us 2 guests each visit so we will be back.

here is what happened to my dad when he visited the gallery.

and here is what happened when frank gehry went to springfield (thanks julie).

[the video has been taken down but you can read about it and see screenshots here]

we left the gallery and wandered up through the university campus to the victory café (only one sign here but i would say this is more of a pub than a café) for a well-earned beer. we had our beer and went upstairs to the craft fair for a bit of shopping, came downstairs for some more beer and a snack (mac&cheese for me), got sleepy and went home.

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