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An afternoon of Kulcher - Off the Cliff

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Sun Jul 30th, 2017


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08:16 pm - An afternoon of Kulcher
So, as I wandered directionless away from the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit, I came upon the Canadiana galleries. Once past the puce-wall-papered Victoriana room, where oils crowd in three and four tiers to recall the Academy's favoured display method, we revert to the more breathable 'spacious white walls with one or two paintings only' mode. An Emily Carr, a Group of Seven, and on the right-hand wall Norval Morrisseau's eye-drawing Man Changing into Thunderbird.

And I followed them along towards the entry to the next room- turned my head a fraction to the right and jumped: my god there's a wolf in the middle of the room!! Not, of course: it's the outline of a wolf in metal, but definitely not what one expects. I went round the corner to look at it closer and MY GOD there's ANOTHER wolf!! staring at the first wolf from fifteen feet away. Those two distinct starts of surprise don't happen on a second visit, but they were definitely a highlight of the first.

It's John McEwen's The Distinctive Line Between One Subject and Another. I noted the name this afternoon at the AGO, assuming I wasn't allowed to take photographs, then googled on my phone. It turns out there aren't many photos of it online. Maybe it has an alternative title somewhere? But luckily one of my fave bloggers, Walking Woman, whom I fell out of touch with a while ago, devotes a whole entry to that room, including the Rita Letendre painting I wouldn't mind owning. (Letendre is also having a retrospective at the AGO, also with paintings not available online, most of which to me look like highways to somewhere or shores of some lake.) Iceland Penny seems to be a docent or something at the AGO; maybe I shall run into her there.

ETA: or no, I won't. Stopped reading her because now she lives in Vancouver, alas.

The thing about the AGO is you aren't allowed to wear your backpack on the back- quite reasonably so, given the crowds and the space backpacks take. But carrying them is a pain in the... arm, actually. So I packed my tiniest shoulder bag- the only one that won't shove neck vertebrae out of place these days- with phone and change purse (no room for wallet), and into change purse put $30, AGO card, ID (in case a car runs me over- though organ donor card was still in wallet so much good that would do) and the bank card with the smallest balance, and then pedalled down. I never leave home without a book but you can't take a book in weensy shoulder bag, so let's hope I don't get run over by a car.

Being an AGO member has its perks but the members' line isn't one of them. One staff only processing twelve people's membership purchases. Followed the helpful sign and went to the ticket purchase line which was no longer and moved immensely faster. After looking at my wolves again I wandered (no sense of direction, you recall) into Murray Frum's African collection (and where did you get a royal throne from Cameroon, Mr. Frum? I thought the days of robber colonialists was over); and eventually through the doors to the cafe under what passes for the eaves of the AGO, which is a section of glass looking out on the Victorian buildings on the other side of Dundas. A latte and small cookies and a much-needed sit down: not having acupuncture does open up a Sunday but is not kind to the scoliosis.

Then headed downstairs and to the back to look at the new Grange Park where the gigantic Moores have been moved to- not that I remember them from the front of the building, actually. Found there's now an entrance to the Grange from the AGO. The Grange in my day was an historical re-enactment site where you could watch butter being churned. It's now the Members Lounge! and it serves up-scale food!! and if I hadn't been full of cookies I might have been tempted by the Ending This Day O'Keeffe special menu. (Debit card, remember? Should have left it at home.) But I was good. Turned round and went back through the gallery and got my bicycle. Grange Park may be a nice place on a weekday, but a hot Sunday has too many small children and too many bicyclists on the walking paths and frankly this curmudgeon liked it better when it was a lot of green grass and a few benches with Chinese grandfathers and grannies and it was /empty/.
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