Toronto-based artist Jon Sasaki will present a new installation that recontextualizes the iconic images of the Canadian landscape famously depicted by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. Inspired by the artists childhood visits to the Art Gallery of Ontario
(AGO) and the National Gallery of Canada
, Jon Sasaki: Pine features work created and conceived on a visit to Algonquin Park, where Thomson created some of Canadas most recognizable paintings. The exhibition will be on view from April 6 through June 5, 2011.
Presented in collaboration with the Images Festival, Jon Sasaki: Pine includes three works: Jack Pine, 8 Camera Crane, a haphazard 360-degree shot of the view depicted in Thompson's 1917 painting Jack Pine; Northern River, 8' Camera Crane, a large digital photograph that shows the same camera and crane rendered practically immobile by pine trees in a landscape reminiscent of Thomson's 1915 painting Northern River; and Canoe Lake Water Cooler, a water cooler placed in the gallery that dispenses unfiltered water from Canoe Lake.
Like Tom Thomson, Jon Sasaki has created a series of works that resonate with the iconic Ontario landscape, says Michelle Jacques, the AGOs acting curator of Canadian art. But the tools of Sasakis artmakingcamera and cranedo not blend as invisibly into the surrounds of the idyllic park as Thomsons paint box once did. Sasakis photographs are compelling depictions of Algonquin, but they are also a gentle critique of the sometimes uncomfortable relationship between the traditions of art history and the tools of contemporary artmaking.
Jon Sasaki: Pine launches the second year of the Art Gallery of Ontarios Toronto Now series, a rotating series of contemporary art projects that puts the focus on Toronto artists and displays their work in the free, street-facing Young Gallery. Artists previously featured in the series include Dean Baldwin, Will Munro, and Allyson Mitchell. The next installation opens June 11 and will feature work by artist Libby Hague.
A reception to celebrate the opening of Jon Sasaki: Pine will take place in the Young Gallery on Wednesday, April 6 from 5 to 7 pm. The Young Gallery is adjacent to FRANK, the AGOs signature restaurant.