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Tickets for the AGO’s groundbreaking Alex Colville exhibition go on sale Aug. 1

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 12:00 pm


Explore the late Canadian icon’s continuing relevance one year after his death through thematic pairings with works by Wes Anderson, the Coen Brothers, Sarah Polley and Alice Munro


TORONTO — The countdown has begun to one of the summer’s most significant art events. On Aug. 23, 2014, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) opens its definitive exhibition, Alex Colville, which will explore the ongoing impact of the renowned, late Canadian painter’s art through provocative pop culture pairings and collaboration with contemporary artists, writers and thinkers. Tickets go on sale on Aug. 1, 2014.

Regular-priced tickets range from $16.50 for students to $25 for adults. Admission is FREE for AGO members and for children ages five and under. Members will also have access to an exclusive preview before the exhibition opens to the public. More information on the benefits of AGO membership can be found at Members can book tickets online starting July 21 by visiting

Curated by Andrew Hunter, the AGO’s Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art, Alex Colvillemarks the largest exhibition ever of the visionary artist’s work and features paintings from museums and private collections globally, including iconic works Horse and Train (1953), Elm Tree at Horton Landing (1956) and Target Pistol and Man (1980), as well as works that have never been on public view.

Visitors will explore Colville’s profound vision and significance through thematic pairings with the work of notable figures from popular contemporary culture — some of whom have been directly inspired by Colville — including filmmakers Sarah Polley, Stanley Kubrick, Wes Anderson and the Coen Brothers; artists Itee Pootoogook and Mary Pratt; and acclaimed author Alice Munro, among others.

A number of artists, writers and cultural leaders from across the country are also contributing to the exhibition by sharing their insights and interpretations of the overwhelming influence Colville had — and continues to have — on culture in Canada and around the world. Contributors include authors Ann-Marie McDonald and Amy Lavender Harris, electronic composer Tim Hecker, film critic Jesse Wente, photographer William Eakin, multi-media artist Xiong Gu and video artist Simone Jones.

The exhibition will also be accompanied by a fully illustrated art book, co-published by the Art Gallery of Ontario and Goose Lane Editions, featuring more than 100 reproductions of Colville’s work, and including a biographical Colville comic by Canadian cartoonist David Collier.



Born in Toronto in 1920, Colville was a painter, printmaker and veteran who drew his inspiration from the world around him, transforming the seemingly mundane figures and events of everyday life into archetypes of the modern condition. Known for painting decidedly personal subject matter, Colville’s painstakingly precise images depict an elusive tension, capturing moments perpetually on the edge of change and the unknown, often imbued with a deep sense of danger. Colville was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1982 and won a Governor General’s Visual and Media Arts Award in 2003. The AGO has 89 works by Colville in its collection, including seven paintings currently on display. The Gallery last presented a retrospective of his works in 1983.


Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario with the generous collaboration of the National Gallery of Canada.

Generously supported by:

The Delaney Family Foundation

Gelmont Foundation

The Rossy Family Foundation

The Tecolote Foundation

Richard M. and Heather M. Thomson

This exhibition has been financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.



With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Ken Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults. Visit to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

April 5, 2014 July 20, 2014: Francis Bacon & Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty

Oct. 18, 2014 – Jan. 11, 2015: Michelangelo: Quest for Genius

The AGO is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.


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PRESS PREVIEW: An exclusive preview of Alex Colville will be held on Aug. 19, 2014 at 10 a.m. Please inquire for more details and to reserve a space.

For images and media inquiries, please contact:

Andrea McLoughlin; Senior Publicist, Holmes PR

Andrea-Jo Wilson; News Officer, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 403,

Caitlin Coull; Manager, AGO Communications
416-979-6660, ext. 364,