TORONTO – The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) has commissioned artist Brian Jungen to create a large scale work of public art for the south-west corner of Dundas and McCaul Streets in Toronto. Scheduled to be unveiled in the fall of 2020, it will be the first public artwork commissioned by the AGO in its history and will immeasurably change the face of the Dundas-McCaul neighbourhood.
This major commission is made possible in part through a generous contribution from the New Chapter program of the Canada Council for the Arts. It will take the former place of Henry Moore’s beloved Large Two Forms, which occupied the highly visible street corner for 43 years until moving to the newly revitalized Grange Park in 2017.
“Brian Jungen is one of the most important artists working today,” says Stephan Jost, the AGO’s Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO. ”He has created innovative and culturally relevant works of art for more than 30 years, and his exhibition at the AGO this summer has been exciting and successful. I am confident this new work will be fully embraced by our community.”
“I am excited and honoured to be invited to make a new sculpture for such an iconic site in the heart of Toronto,” says Brian Jungen.
An artist of Indigenous and European heritage, Jungen (b.1970) is internationally renowned for his sculptures and installations made from repurposed consumer goods. Using a multidisciplinary art-making approach, he explores a long history of cultural inequality and expresses both a concern for the environment and a profound commitment to Indigenous ways of knowing and making. His extensive body of work engages equally with Indigenous materials and traditions as with pop culture and Western art history.
Jungen’s new sculpture for this vibrant outdoor space will be the only public artwork of its scale in the city by an Indigenous artist. It will be fully accessible, adding a welcoming presence to the busy streetscape of Dundas Street West.
“The New Chapter fund was created as part of a historic re-investment in the arts,” says Simon Brault, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts. “This project by Brian Jungen emphasizes the Council’s commitment to showcasing the diversity of artistic expression across our country, and creating a lasting legacy for all Canadians.”
“Works of public art create a city’s cultural fabric,” says Adam Vaughan, Toronto MP for Spadina – Fort York. “The Government of Canada continues to invest in initiatives like these, that enrich communities across the country. I am delighted to see such a significant work by Brian Jungen purposefully conceived for the people of Toronto and all visitors to the city.”
Jungen’s work is currently on view at the AGO in the critically acclaimed exhibition Brian Jungen Friendship Centre, transforming the Sam and Ayala Zacks Pavilion into an Indigenous meeting place that highlights different aspects of Jungen’s personal experiences. The exhibition closes on Aug. 25, 2019.
The sculpture Large Two Forms by Henry Moore was acquired by the AGO in 1973 and installed at the south-west corner of Dundas and McCaul Streets in 1974, in conjunction with the opening of the AGO’s Henry Moore Sculpture Centre. In 2017 it was relocated to a prominent position in the newly revitalized
Grange Park, south of the AGO, which allows for a 360 degree view of the sculpture and a more accessible plinth for visitors to fully explore it.
More information about Brian Jungen’s sculpture and plans for its unveiling will be released at a later date.
The AGO acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.