EJ 144

This past weekend I visited the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).  I love visiting galleries and museums not only to view the outstanding art and exhibits but to be witness to the architecture of the building that houses the outstanding art.  Often the architecture is as much a spectacle as the art.  The most recent renovation to the AGO, architect Frank Gehry’s design made the connection between art and architecture.  Upon entering into the first part of the gallery you walk into a large open hub; Walker Court.  Immediately you are hit by the spectacle of the architecture; the dramatic spiral staircase, the abundance of Douglas fir and the high arched doorways.  As gallery-goers entered and walked around this space I noticed that most were looking up taking in the amazing sights.  Often overlooked in public spaces though are details that although do not take centre stage are just as interesting.  In Walker Court were 2 upholstered benches.  Unlike all the art in the gallery, I was able to touch and inspect these benches.  So I got down on my hands and knees and discovered that the tag on the bottom (no easy feat) indicated that the bench was made in Denmark by Erik Jørgensen www.erik-joergensen.com.  The bench – EJ 144 (One for Four) was designed by Anne-Mette Bartholin Jensen and Morten Ernst.  The big horizontal surface, smooth black fibre-glass construction and transparent base gives “the appearance of a membrane separating heaven from earth”.  The bench is also available in a single version, EJ 141 (One for One).  I am sure the intention of placing these 2 benches in this outstanding space was a well thought out design decision because what you sit on to experience art and architecture is just as important. 

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