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AGO acquires works by four artists at Art Toronto 2011
Scott McFarland, Corner of the Courageous, Repatriation Ceremony for Private Tyler William Todd, Grenville St, Toronto, Ontario, April 14, 2010 (1), 2011. Inkjet type print, 58 x 165". Edition of 3, 2/3. Monte Clark Gallery.

TORONTO, O.N.- Art Toronto 2011 launched last night with an Opening Night Preview Gala to benefit the Art Gallery of Ontario. Two drawings by Margaret Priest, a large photographic work by Scott McFarland, a video projection by Nick and Sheila Pye, and a triptych of photographs by Chris Curreri have been purchased for the AGO’s permanent collection with funds raised at the preview.

“The AGO is honoured to be adding pieces to our contemporary collection by both emerging and established artists,” said Elizabeth Smith, executive director of curatorial affairs at the AGO. “The pieces we purchased represent a diverse range of timely subject matter, each rendered beautifully and distinctly. All are outstanding additions to the AGO’s collection of contemporary Canadian art.”

Two pieces by Margaret Priest from her House series, Barcelona Pavilion V (2011) and Implosion on Land (2010) are intricate, photo-realistic drawings that occupy a concentrated area on paper dealing with architectural surfaces and physical space. Scott McFarland’s large panoramic photograph Corner of the Courageous, Repatriation Ceremony for Private Tyler William Todd, Grenville St, Toronto, Ontario, April 14, 2010 (1), (2011) shows a procession along the Highway of Heroes, observed every time a Canadian soldier dies in Afghanistan. Nick and Sheila Pye’s The Bride (2011) is a looped, life-size video projection, suggesting themes of the body and feminine identity. A triptych of photos by Chris Curreri titled A Model in a Sculptor's Studio (2010) deals with issues of the body in space, depicting a dancer in various poses in interaction with physical objects.

The works were chosen by the AGO’s selection committee, comprising Smith, Sophie Hackett, assistant curator of photography, Michelle Jacques, curator of Canadian art, and Georgiana Uhlyarik, assistant curator of Canadian art, in association with the AGO’s contemporary committee.

This year marks the 5th consecutive year that the AGO has purchased artwork on the opening night preview with funds raised at the annual event. Approximately $265,000 was raised to support these acquisitions as well as the Gallery’s ongoing education programs.

Margaret Priest (b. 1944, U.K.) holds an MFA from the Royal College of Art. A Canadian resident since 1976, she is University Professor Emeritus at the School of Fine Art and Music, University of Guelph. Her work is featured in the collections of the Tate Gallery in London, the British Council, and Yale University.

Sheila Pye (b. 1978, Hamilton, Ont.) and Nick Pye (b. 1976, Torquay, U.K.) create works in photography and film both together and independently. Sheila Pye completed her MFA in film production at Concordia University in Montreal, and currently lives in Madrid, Spain. Nick Pye lives and works in Toronto, and holds an MFA from Concordia University. Their piece The Bride premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this year.

Scott McFarland (b. 1975, Canada) holds a BFA from the University of British Columbia. His work is represented in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, U.K., the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, NY, as well as the SFMoMA, San Francisco.

Chris Curreri (b. 1978, Toronto) completed an MFA at Bard College and is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Photography Studies program. Curreri has exhibited work internationally and his work is represented in the Canada Council Art Bank’s permanent collection.

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