Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dean Baldwin, "The Dork Porch" at the Art Gallery of Ontario, March 27 - May 23, 2010

Opening and Cocktails
Friday March 26, 2010, 6:00-8:30pm
Art Gallery of Ontario – Young Gallery
317 Dundas Street West
Dean Baldwin has transformed the street-front Young Gallery at the AGO into a fanciful yet functional interpretation of a backyard deck, which he calls The Dork Porch. His installation is constructed from building materials, vintage finds, found objects and edible items. Visitors can view The Dork Porch from its exterior, or following the opening launch, they can book one of its tables and become part of the artwork while they enjoy a meal (call FRANK Restaurant 416 979 6688). Every two months, a new artist will be featured allowing visitors to see a changing schedule of new exhibitions free of charge. The Young Gallery is accessible through FRANK Restaurant.

Titled Toronto Now, this rotating series of exhibitions will feature a different local artist every two months, giving Torontonians the opportunity to view the wealth of artistic talent in their city. The series will inhabit the Young Gallery, a free, street-level space adjacent to Frank restaurant, facing Dundas Street.

The series will focus on local practitioners, either Toronto-born or based, with guest appearances by artists with a special connection to the city.
The local focus of Toronto Now ties into AGO Executive Chef Anne Yarymowich's ongoing commitment to feature local, seasonally-inspired foods, and Dean Baldwin is taking full advantage of this synergy by inviting visitors to dine inside his installation, which will carry Frank's menu and be staffed by its servers.
"Toronto Now aims to showcase the broad and diverse artistic talent that our city has on offer," says Matthew Teitelbaum, the AGO's director and CEO. "As the AGO's only street-front, free space, the Young Gallery is distinctly visible and accessible, making it the ideal space for this series, and emphasizing the vital connection between the AGO and its city."
"Dean Baldwin's well-known whimsy and sense of play, combined with his ongoing artistic focus on food and drink, make him the ideal artist to launch Toronto Now," says Michelle Jacques, the AGO's associate curator of contemporary art. "The Dork Porchchallenges the viewers expectations of both the fine-dining and art museum experiences, reflecting Baldwin's considerations of art, audience, and consumption.
Yarymowich says that she is "thrilled" about Baldwin's choice to incorporate Frank into his installation: "Frank was always envisioned as a place where art, food, and talk intersect; and local food and wine take centre stage. Toronto Now is the perfect complement to our vision."

The artists featured in Toronto Now will be in impressive company situated next to Frank; the restaurant already features paintings by Canadian artists Lawren Harris, Joyce Weiland, and Paterson Ewen, as well as a large-scale sculpture by American artist Frank Stella, which hangs from a skylight above the restaurant and down into caféAGObelow .
The Dork Porch will be on display in the Young Gallery until May 23. Toronto Now will be open during Frank's regular hours. For more information or to make a reservation, visitors can contact Frank by phone at 416-979-6688 or online at www.ago.net/frank.

Toronto Now is generously supported by The Contemporary Circle. Contemporary programming at the AGO is supported the Canada Council for the Arts.
With a permanent collection of more than 79,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. In 2008, with a stunning new design by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, the AGO opened its doors to the public amid international acclaim. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase made of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block along the Gallery's façade; and the feature staircase, spiraling up through the roof of Walker Court and into the new contemporary galleries above. From the extensive Group of Seven collection to the dramatic new African art gallery; from the cutting-edge works in the Vivian & David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art to Peter Paul Rubens' masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, a highlight of the celebrated Thomson Collection, there is truly something for everyone at the AGO.

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