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  Irving Zucker Sculpture Garden 

Current Exhibitions



AGH Members receive Free Admission to all exhibitions.

are you experienced?
Nadia Belerique, Jessica Eaton, Olafur Eliasson, Dorian FitzGerald, Hadley+Maxwell, Do Ho Suh
On view June 26 2015 to January 3 2016
Curated by Melissa Bennett


Hadley+Maxwell | When That was This (detail), 2015 | cinefoil, steel, magnets, 6-channel sound, LED light-programming, dimensions variable, 20:30 | Installation view, are you experienced?, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Canada 26 June 2015 - 03 January 2016 | photo by Mike Lalich

The AGH strikes out into our next century with a massive contemporary art exhibition. Bringing together artists from across the globe, the show offers works that appeal to the senses, making a point that an engagement with art can sometimes occur more readily if one does not have preconceived notions of what it should be. In this exhibition, experience creates meaning.

are you experienced? is made up of spectacular installations by six internationally renowned artists: Nadia Belerique, Jessica Eaton, Olafur Eliasson, Dorian FitzGerald, Hadley+Maxwell and Do Ho Suh. Works have been commissioned, made site-specific, and fill large rooms floor-to-ceiling in this sprawling display. The work of Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson is pioneering, driven by his interests in perception, movement, embodied experience, and feelings of self; his work has been exhibited at the Tate Modern and the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Venice Biennale, among many others. Eliasson and the other exhibition artists strive to make the concerns of art relevant to society at large.

Through immersive and interactive installations, photography, video, painting, sculpture and sound art, the artists engage viewers and invite participation. Familiar objects and images are presented in new contexts, suggesting alternative modes of understanding. The artworks appeal to the viewer’s psychological and intuitive senses, or memory, with the goal of promoting visual and aural awareness and engagement.

This exhibition is made possible through the international loan of artworks, and never-before-seen works in private collections. It is curated by Melissa Bennett, AGH Curator of Contemporary Art. A fully illustrated 192-page catalogue accompanies the exhibition, with essays by AGH Curator of Contemporary Art Melissa Bennett and invited scholars: Jennifer Fisher and Jim Drobnick, Sally McKay, Gabrielle Moser, Alana Traficante, as well as artist interviews. Published by Black Dog Publishing, London UK.

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are you experienced?
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Free admission courtesy of Orlick Industries.


Art for a Century: 100 for the 100th
Curated by Dr. Benedict Leca, Tobi Bruce and Melissa Bennett


click image to enlarge

While the AGH Centennial celebrates the people, spaces and activities that have made the Gallery one of the most dynamic independent art museums in Canada, we should never lose sight of its prized permanent collection, which we hold in trust for the people of Hamilton. As the foundational treasure that propels our enterprise as a museum, the collection ranks among the finest in Canada.

What began 100 years ago with the donation of 29 paintings in memory of Hamilton-born artist, William Blair Bruce, now numbers 10,000 works. While other ‘encyclopedic’ museums present a broader range of objects, the specificity and depth of the AGH collection in three core areas—Canadian historical, Canadian and global contemporary, and European art—are its strength.

Art for a Century: 100 for the 100th, which gathers selected masterpieces from the permanent collection chosen by Dr. Benedict Leca, Director, Curatorial Affairs, Tobi Bruce, Senior Curator of Canadian Historical Art and Melissa Bennett, Curator of Contemporary Art, exemplifies the sustained level of quality of the three collections. From late 19th-century landscapes to masterworks from the Group of Seven, from Baroque masterpieces of Dutch and Italian art to important French 19th-century academic painting, from a full offering of contemporary art of the last decades to a rich selection of African material, the AGH collection covers these significant domains with distinction.

The works presented in this exhibition are arranged to suggest occasional formal or thematic resonances. The display occupying the entire second floor is an invitation to our Members and visitors to wander, discover, and contemplate anew the treasures that will continue to enlighten for the next 100 years and beyond.


Kim Adams: Bruegel-Bosch Bus
Permanent Installation

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Repeatedly in his work, Canadian artist Kim Adams has explored the patterns of a mobile society, creating works of art that are eccentric hybrids of the readymade. Blending humour, satire and seriousness, he builds “worlds” as a means of social critique. Adams’ installations exist comfortably in the space that divides life and art. His works have been presented in two very different social worlds: in a densely social environment such as a park or street and in a museum setting like the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Neither setting is privileged.

A magnificent visual masterpiece, Bruegel-Bosch Bus consists of a 1960 Volkswagen that appears to pull a post-industrial universe displaying a cornucopia of fantastic and seductive worlds that play with our senses. It was produced over a 7-year span. This futuristic diorama is a permanent fixture in the AGH Sculpture Atrium overlooking the Irving Zucker Sculpture Garden, past Hamilton City Hall and the Niagara Escarpment. Reminiscent of a previous installation by Adams titled Earth Wagons that presented a micro-model North American society fixed on leisure and entertainment, the Breugel-Bosch Bus encapsulates the next whole world picture, a world in which reality and unreality, logic and fantasy, banality and sublimation of existence, form an inexplicable unity. This ‘bus’ is a Kubrickesque megalopolis made of icons symptomatic in present society and draws upon urban fantasies, phantasmagoric, post-apocalyptic landscapes, and a plethora of different times and cultures. Buildings from different epochs are aligned side by side and space becomes an imaginary territory where chaos prevails.


The Jean and Ross Fischer Gallery
Free admission courtesy of Orlick Industries.

Women's Art Association of Hamilton
119th Annual Juried Exhibition

On view September 19 to November 29, 2015

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The Art Gallery of Hamilton is proud to celebrate the achievements of the Women’s Art Association of Hamilton by presenting their annual juried exhibition. As one of Hamilton’s oldest and most important art associations, WAAH shares longstanding ties with the AGH, going back to the founding of the Gallery more than 100 years ago. The strong relationship between WAAH and the AGH continues through the annual hosting of an exhibition of work by WAAH Members, carefully selected by a jury.


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