July 25, 2010

Exhibition at the AGO

One of the cultural events in Toronto that can’t be missed this summer regardless of the heat and reserved camping spots is the Drama and Desire exhibition at the AGO.

Words like “drama” and “desire” can give you an idea of the emotional intensity that awaits you beyond the entrance. Luxuriant shades of red, scenes from classic plays, capturing the atmosphere of the stage – the abundance and diversity of the theater world is presented in a few rooms.

My biggest sources of joy consisted of the room with the brilliant Degas, the three paintings by Ingres, and Sargent.

I always feel that Degas created his artworks specifically for each person. Even a whole crowd of people is looking at his pieces, it feels like the narratives of his works speak to an individual.

Ingres, though he was quite liberal with the way he portrayed human anatomy, was excellent at capturing details.

Sargent built his compositions by using the emotional power of color.

I was a little bit disappointed with the area that contained works by Lautrec and Redon. It would have made more sense to see some grand, monumental canvases in a room that was so close to the exit – something that could give an impression of wrapping the whole thing up with a dramatic finish. Seeing those subtle, quiet works at the end gave me the feeling that the exhibition wasn’t completely well-planned.

During my visit to the exhibition this week, I was very amused by three ladies that kept running into me. Despite my serious attitude towards the art, their chuckles and their little phrases – “I’d put this up in my bedroom.” “Okay, it’s over now – we can go get coffee” – I was happy to hear them, because they were having so much fun.

I myself left with a feeling of elation, as it always happens after I encounter something beautiful.

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