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Authority record

Chromazone (Group of artists)

  • Corporate body
  • 1981-1985

The ChromaZone/Chromatique Collective was a collaborative group of emerging Canadian artists that created and exhibited art in Toronto between 1981 and 1985. The Collective was founded in 1981 and consisted of six members: Andy Fabo, Sybil Goldstein, Oliver Girling, Tony Wilson, H.P. Marti and Rae Johnson.

Between September 1981 and May 1983, the collective operated out of their gallery space ChromaZone/ Chromatique, located at 320 Spadina Ave, Toronto. Their inaugural exhibition Mondo Chroma opened in September 1981. Between 1981 and May 1983, the Collective mounted 45 varying cultural events including exhibitions, poetry readings, banquets and fashion shows. In 1982, the Collective published their first publication ChromaZone/Chromatique (Prototype), and participated in Monumenta, a collaboration among four galleries, including ChromaZone/Chromatique, which showcased current representational art in Toronto through the work of 75 artists. In December 1982, the Collective curated and participated in OKROMAZONE - Die Anderen Von Kanada held at the Institut Unzeit in West Berlin as a direct reaction to the Canadian Government’s OKanada cultural festival in Berlin. This exhibition featured the work of 22 contemporary Toronto artists.

In May 1983, the Collective closed their gallery space to give the members more time to focus on their own work and larger collective projects. In October, the Collective exhibited together at the Norman MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina and later that month opened Chromaliving, a month-long exhibition of 150 artists in the vacant 10,000 square feet space at 131 Bloor St. W, Toronto, recently vacated by the Harridges Department store. This exhibition, co-curated by Tim Jocelyn and Andy Fabo, sought to showcase the merging of art and lifestyle and featured furniture, fashion and painting. In 1984, the group continued to present exhibitions including Kromalaffin, a show of comic book art (Grunwald Gallery, Toronto); ChromaZone/Chromatique, a traveling exhibition of members’ work (Concordia University and other venues across Quebec); Cross OT: Seven From Berlin, Berlin Super 8 and Berlin Video (several venues in Toronto); and Painting Beyond the Zone, a group exhibition of 30 emerging artists (Artists Resource Centre, Toronto).

In 1985, members of the Collective largely moved away from Toronto with Andy Fabo, Tim Jocelyn and Sybil Goldstein relocating to New York City, and H.P. Marti moving to Zurich. ChromaZone’s final exhibition Fire + Ice was an exchange of Toronto and Zurich artists held at Galerie Walcheturm in Zurich. The Collective officially disbanded in 1986, after the death of Tim Jocelyn from AIDS in December of that year. Sybil Goldstein founded and chaired the Tim Jocelyn Art Foundation after his death.

Conn, Gordon, d. 1977

  • Person
  • ca.1888-1977

Gordon Conn (ca.1888-1977) was an art collector and supporter of visual art in Toronto. He studied to be a musician and worked as a painter in his youth. Although he did not pursue a career as an artist, he maintained connections with many artists. He was a friend of the painter Kenneth Forbes (1892-1980) who painted Conn’s portrait in 1935. Together with Forbes, Gordon Conn founded the Ontario Institute of Painters devoted to the display of painting based on what Forbes called “traditional” art values. Conn turned over his studio in Wychwood Park in Toronto—The Little Gallery—to a series of one-man shows of its members. Near the end of his life, he donated paintings by artists represented in this collection to public art galleries in Ontario.

Curnoe, Greg, 1936-1992

  • Person
  • 1936-1992

Greg Curnoe (1936-1992), artist, lived most of his life in London, Ontario. He studied at the Special Art Program at H.B. Beal Secondary in London (1954-1956), the Doon School of Fine Arts (June-October 1956), and the Ontario College of Art (1957-1960). Curnoe married Sheila Thompson in 1965, and the couple had three children, Owen, Galen and Zoe. From Curnoe's early years, his hometown of London became the focus of his life and work, and he attracted much attention to its flourishing art scene. In 1962, he organized the first happening and the first artist-run gallery (the Region Gallery) in Canada. Curnoe played a key role in the founding of the Nihilist Party (1963) and the Nihilist Spasm Band (1965). He began making stamp books in 1962, and has been considered the first maker of artists' books in Canada. He founded the Forest City Gallery in 1973. Curnoe took up competitive cycling in 1971, and it remained a passion and ingredient in his art-making for the rest of his life. Over the course of his career, Curnoe was awarded numerous Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council Grants. From 1964, Curnoe exhibited nationally; in 1969 he represented Canada at the Sao Paolo Bienal in Brazil, and in 1976 at the Venice Biennale. He died in a traffic accident while cycling in 1992. Curnoe was the subject of a National Gallery of Canada retrospective in 1980, and the AGO exhibition Greg Curnoe: Life & Stuff in 2001. His work is to be found in all of Canada’s major public collections, as well as many private and corporate collections.

Curnoe, Nellie, 1909-1999

  • Person
  • 1909-1999

Nellie Olive Curnoe (née Porter, 1909-1999) was the mother of Canadian artist Greg Curnoe (1936-1992). She married Gordon Charles Curnoe (1909-1985) in 193- and had three children: Greg, Glen (b. 1939) and Lynda (b. 1943). For biographical information on Greg Curnoe, see the finding aid to the Greg Curnoe fonds at this library, or Judith Rodger’s chronology in the 2001 Art Gallery of Ontario catalogue Greg Curnoe: Life & Stuff.

Cutts, Gertrude Spurr

  • Wikidata Q19532720
  • Person
  • 1858-1941

Gertrude Eleanor Spurr Cutts (1858-1941) was a British Canadian artist and paintings restorer. Born in Scarborough, England, Gertrude Spurr attended the Scarborough School of Art, and the Lambeth School of Art, London. She immigrated to Toronto in 1890 and continued to paint, joining the Toronto Art Students’ League in 1896. In 1909 she married fellow artist William Malcolm Cutts (1857-1943) and travelled with him to St. Ives (Cornwall), England, where they stayed for three years. They then lived in Toronto from 1912 to 1915 before settling finally in Port Perry, Ont., where she died at the age of 83. Gertrude Spurr Cutts is believed to have worked as a restorer in the 1920s and 1930s.

Davis, Ann, 1946-

  • Person
  • 1946-

Ann Davis (1946-) is a Canadian art historian and writer. She published Somewhere Waiting: The Life and Art of Christiane Pflug in 1991 (Toronto: Oxford University Press).

Design (AGO Department)

  • Corporate body
  • 1972-

A formal design department did not exist at the Gallery until the 1970s, prior to which, design projects that provided visual identity for the Gallery and promoted exhibitions and events were completed without the assistance of a formal department, often with assistance from external contracts.
A Design Unit was first established at the Gallery in 1974, shortly after Scott Thornley joined the institution as Head Designer. The department was separate from the Publications department that was established in 1972, until they were amalgamated in 1981 as Publications & Design, a division of the Public Affairs branch. This department was responsible for all print and graphic material produced by the Gallery, including catalogues, posters, brochures, postcards, banners, and signage.
The department went through a series of name changes in the 1980s, becoming “Promotion” in 1983, “Graphic Design & Production” in 1986, and “Publication & Design” in 1989. The heads of the department between 1981 and 1990 included Denise Bukowski, Normand Terry, and Alan Terakawa. The Publications and Design department became a part of the Exhibitions division in the early 1990s, where it remained until the early 2010s.
During this period (1990-2010), there were a number of additional Designer roles established in different divisions, separate to the Publications and Design department. This included a Designer in the Marketing division.
In approximately 2011, the Publications and Design department separated, with Publications becoming “Publishing” and moving to the Curatorial division. Publishing was later briefly moved to the Digital division while publications were increasingly being released digitally, but the department returned to Curatorial shortly thereafter. As of 2023, Publishing remains part of Curatorial and the Design Studio is part of the Brand and Business division.

Duncan, Douglas, 1902-1968

  • Person
  • 1902-1968

Douglas Moerdyke Duncan (1902-1968) was a Canadian art collector and dealer, book collector and director of the Picture Loan Society in Toronto. He was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and studied at the University of Toronto. From 1925 to 1928 he trained as a bookbinder of fine books in Paris, then returned to Toronto to open a studio. In 1936 he was a member of the founding committee of the Picture Loan Society and soon after its director. Over the next thirty years, his taste in selecting work for inclusion in the society’s frequent exhibitions became increasingly influential. With his private income Duncan supported artists by purchasing their work, eventually amassing an important collection of Canadian art. After his death in Toronto in 1968, the collection was dispersed to public galleries across Canada, including over 600 works to the National Gallery in Ottawa.

Eaton, Wyatt

  • Person
  • 1849-1946

Charles Wyatt Eaton (1849-1896) was a Canadian painter, illustrator, author and teacher who spent much of his life in the United States. Born in Philipsburg, Canada East (now Quebec), he left to study in New York at the National Academy of Design around 1867 and subsequently (1872) in France at the École des beaux-arts in Paris. There, he was influenced by Jean-François Millet and the Barbizon painters. Returning to Philipsburg in 1876, Eaton began painting portraits locally and in Montreal. From 1877 to 1882 he taught drawing and portraiture at the Cooper Union in New York and helped found the Society of American Artists, of which he was president in 1883. He married Charlotte Collins of New York in 1887. During and after this period he produced portraits of American authors and poets (notably pen-and-ink drawings for Century Magazine) and prominent Canadians along with well-received genre pictures of the Quebec countryside in the manner of Millet. In 1895 he went to Italy to recover from illness and surgery. He returned to the United States the following year and died in Newport or Middletown, Rhode Island. He is buried in Philipsburg.

Education & Programming

  • Corporate body
  • 1926-

The first Educational Committee (later Education Committee) was established in March 1926 and a four-page plan for educational programs presented to Council in May of the same year. Art Classes for children began in 1930 under the tutelage and planning of Arthur Lismer, who was hired in 1927 to oversee art education classes. In 1930, educational programming also included public lectures, musical evenings, and printmaking classes for adults; lectures, talks, and classes for school teachers; free Saturday classes for children; school visits; loan exhibitions (mostly prints and reproductions); and circulation of the slide collection.

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