Toronto-based artist Libby Hagues new installation at the Art Gallery of Ontario
(AGO) extends beyond gallery walls and onto the AGOs Dundas Street façade. Libby Hague: Sympathetic Connections, on view June 11 through September 11, is part of the AGOs Toronto Now series of rotating contemporary projects by Toronto artists. The installation transforms woodblock prints into paper sculptures that connect across the walls, ceiling, and external windows of the AGOs Young Gallery.
Sympathetic Connections combines representational and abstract forms in a room-spanning three-dimensional installation. Colourful sculptural forms crafted from Japanese paper fill the gallery, dangling from walls and cascading down from the ceiling, while a wall-mounted print of a nuclear power plant looms in the periphery, an image inspired in part by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan earlier this year.
Libby Hagues playful, yet foreboding narratives give physical form to fictional worlds that simultaneously mirror and manipulate reality, says Michelle Jacques, the AGOs acting curator of Canadian art. Sympathetic Connections provides a timely exploration of our problematic relationship with the natural environment, invoking universal themes of responsibility and dependency, vulnerability and rescue, and risk and luck.
Libby Hague: Sympathetic Connections continues the AGOs 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, Allyson Mitchell, and most recently Jon Sasaki. The next installation opens September 17 and will feature work by artist Paul Butler.