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  Irving Zucker Sculpture Garden 

Current Exhibitions


Gallery Level One is closed during the exhibition change over.

Fearful Symmetry: The Art of John Scott
On view February 6 to May 15, 2016
Organized by Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College, Iowa. Curated by Daniel Strong.

click image to enlarge

Fearful Symmetry: The Art of John Scott will include 28 works on paper in a vast installation in the AGH’s largest rooms reserved for contemporary art exhibitions.
Born and raised in Windsor, a child of the North American working class and of the 1960s, activism has never subsided in John Scott’s work. His imagination has been fed by science fiction, the Space Age and Motor City manufacturing might and blight. Sympathy for the worker as a human tool in the global industrial complex pervades what some have called his apocalyptic vision.

Viewers may be familiar with Scott’s consistent and eerily prescient style in his works on paper, plotting intersections of humanity and technology, religious fervor and military might, utopian visions and dystopian outcomes. His articulation of these themes through sculpture may be less familiar, and this poignant material aspect of his practice will serve to generate new readings of his four-decade-long practice.

We are thrilled to be featuring his work Trans AM Apocalypse No. 3, (1998-2000), an actual car, which the artist painted matte, incising on the surface words from the Book of Revelation that refer to the apocalypse. This work is on loan from the Art Gallery of Ontario, who are partnering with us to perform some necessary conservation to the surface of the car during the exhibition. Check back for the dates in February 2016 during which you can visit the exhibition and meet an AGO conservator to learn more about this rare and compelling project.

This is the second part in a two-part exhibition; the first was hosted by McMaster Museum in Fall 2015.

Dark Commander: The Art of John Scott

Exhibition Catalogue available at the
Shop at AGH

Exhibition Related Programming

Opening Reception
Saturday, February 20, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Contemporary Artist Talk: John Scott in Conversation with Robert Enright
Thursday, February 25, 6:30 p.m.


Free admission courtesy of Orlick Industries.


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


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Featuring works by permanent collection artists Tom Thomson, Michael Snow, William Brymner, Emily Carr and many others.

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

Kim Adams was here working on the Bus in December 2015; stop by to see if you can notice the new additions!

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.

2016 Members Exhibition of the Central Ontario Art Association: Rhapsody in Colour
January 23 to April 24, 2016

The Art Gallery of Hamilton is proud to present the works of the members of the Central Ontario Art Association, for the first time at the AGH. Over fifty years old, and with a current membership of over 150 artists, the COAA is an independent, non-profit organization that aims to nurture fellowship in the visual arts. This juried exhibition highlights the members’ diverse artistic practices, embracing all media and all levels of artistic development.


Free admission to
courtesy of:

Orlick Industries

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