Art Gallery of Alberta

Drove up to Edmonton to take in the new Art Gallery of Alberta.  My first impression when I looked at the promotional materials was its similarity to a Frank Gehry like the Disney Concert Hall in L.A. and the Peter B. Lewis Building on the Case Western Reserve University campus.

A look at it in real life confirmed my thought, it sure was a Gehry style architecture.  A little googling later led me to the information that its architect Randall Stout used to work at Frank Gehry’s studio.  CLICK HERE for an extensive interview of Randall Stout and some spectacular images of his portfolio.

I don’t have any sophisticated photo software to take out the traffic lights and the sewage repair work underway, so the following picture shows the real life street scene of the remarkable structure at its most authentic.  But for some sparkling clear views and a detailed description of the architecture, CLICK HERE.

And here are some pictures of the inside, like the above, were taken by my little Panasonic Lumix pocket camera, no touch-up or editing:

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The AGA is situated adjacent the Sir Winston Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton, a public open space linking the City Hall with the arts:

The Winspear Centre, home of the Edmonton Symphony is just across from the Square:

To finish off my day visit, I saw this colourful reflection of the slowly setting sun on the downtown buildings:

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Of course, I didn’t drive three hours from Calgary just see the the architecture, but the exhibits.  And that has to be another post.

Photos taken by Arti of Ripple Effects, March 2010.
All Rights Reserved

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Arti

If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

9 thoughts on “Art Gallery of Alberta”

  1. Love that last shot! I wonder how construction crews feel about building these types of buildings. :0)


    Ellen,

    There’s a little exhibit showing the construction process, but no human interest article on your question… as with all buildings of interesting architecture I suppose.

    Arti

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  2. What a work of art! I sure like the AGA. Must be quite an experience to walk through the building & check out the exhibits. Speaking of that, please show us what you saw; I look forward to your upcoming post.

    By the way, the last pic is brilliant, I love the mood of the setting sun. It could very well be New York or Boston.

    Thanks for sharing Arti.
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    Molly Mavis,

    That last pic looked much better in reality. My little Panasonic Lumix just didn’t capture it as much as I’d like to.

    Arti

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  3. Fantastic shots, Arti. The indoor ones have a disorienting effect with all those curves and angles. And the vibrant glow in the reflected windows is gorgeous.
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    you know, then may look disorienting, but actually the building isn’t that big, and all these shots I have here are the ceilings or overhead designs.

    Arti

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  4. It also reminds me of the Royal Ontario Museum, only the AGA has those curves while ROM is all pointy. Different architects though. I’ll post pictures of ROM soon.
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    Claire,

    Do you mean ‘The Crystal’? Actually, I thought the newly redesigned AGO by Frank Gehry may be more in-line with the AGA.

    Arti

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  5. The AGA is a striking and beautiful building. I love the curves. Does it focus on a particular art period?

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    Stefanie,

    No, it encompasses all periods. I’ll write up another post on the exhibits… it’ll surprise you.

    Arti

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  6. I’m glad you posted the architecture separately from the exhibit. I’ve never seen a building like that, with the curves. And as for your first image, I really didn’t notice anything but the building.

    And it must have been gorgeous to see the setting sun reflected on those buildings, just what the architects had in mind.

    BTW, we have a Zaha Hadid designed museum going up a couple buildings away from my university office, and it will be quite different from the stately red brick of the neighborhood. It looks like a chrome spaceship. I love it, but many don’t. It will be a modern art museum.
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    Ruth,

    I must use another post for the exhibits because there’s just too much to cover. Your new bldg. sounds very interesting, and just the right kind of architecture for modern art, isn’t it? I’ve my post up for the exhibits now… too bad I couldn’t take any pictures in the exhibition galleries.

    Arti

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  7. When I clicked in my eye was drawn to the first photo of the museum and I immediately thought of your earlier post on Gehry.

    I’ll be interested to hear your reaction to the exhibition space. I have to say – I find the building a bit off-putting. If I were walking down the street and just happend upon it, it’s not a building I would want to enter. It reminds me of a person wrapped up in a ball, as if to say, “Leave me alone!”

    Now, I have to confess that my own condition may be skewing my vision. My vertigo is almost gone, but if I scroll past those interior shots, my stomach turns over as though I’m on a roller coaster. I’ll give them another try later!

    The last image is beautiful. The Houston downtown skyline is all peach and green and teal glass, and can be unbelievably attractive at sunrise or sunset.

    That is an interesting question – how the construction workers feel about projects such as this. There could be an interesting article there!
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    Linda,

    That’s an interesting reaction to this piece of architecture. But, once you’re inside the galleries, looking at the exhibits, you’ll be much more grounded I think. However, as you get to the top floor, you’ll probably be put off and experience a new sort of vertigo… yes, more like the kind that goes with the Hitchcock movie. Wish you could actually experience that because I’m just too curious to see your response.

    BTW, Houston is said to be quite like our Alberta cities, Calgary in particular… due to our oil-sustained economies.

    Arti

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  8. Oh, much better tonight! I came to look at the building again before looking at the exhibit. The word that comes to mind is “fluid”.

    What does intrigue me is this – the building itself is such a complexity of forms and shapes – does it compete with its exhibits and perhaps diminish them? I’m off to read your next post and find out!

    Like

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