Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Hidden Life Within

The new Art Gallery of Ontario is free every Wednesday night so Rob and I popped by to check out the new space.
On display for a limited time in the Galleria Italia is the exhibition 'The Hidden Life Within' by Guiseppe Penone. (photo at the left is from Gavatron's Fliickr photostream)

The artist is essentially carving back in time to expose the tree that is hidden within the current form. The central theme of much of his work is the relationship between man and nature, often focusing on the tree. Currently Penone is exploring the similarities between leaves and the human eye, "they are both the same shape and both dependent on light to function."

Gehry's space is the perfect venue for this particular exhibit, with the natural wood and curved space seeming to play on the same themes. The main difference being that, "rather than imposing a form, (Penone) — in contrast to the architect — draws out an existing form."

And the gallery was crowded! Lots of people taking advantage of the free admission.
Ken Thompson donated 2000 works of art. The Canadian collection alone would have been a national treasure, but add to this the collection of model ships and the Reubens and you start to think the donation was modestly estimated at $200 million.

The curved glass cases were designed by Gehry to specifically display the model ships, some of which were made by prisoners of the Napoleonic wars. It seems a perfect complement!

It's mind boggling how one person could amass such amazing collections in his lifetime. It must have been an all-consuming obsession.

1 comment:

Gavan said...

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