Aug 23, 2021

By Christine Ross

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Called one of the most talented painters of his generation, Matthew Wong received critical acclaim for his work before his death at the young age of 35.

Now, the Art Gallery of Ontario is paying tribute to the late Toronto-born artist with the first ever museum show of his work.

“If you haven’t heard of this artist or seen his work before, you will certainly be transformed by seeing them, they’re quite extraordinary,” says AGO Deputy Director and Chief Curator Julian Cox.

Cox says the self-taught artist condensed a lifetime’s career into a few short brilliant years until his death by suicide at 35 in 2019.

Diagnosed with autism and tourette’s syndrome, Wong is critically-acclaimed for his melancholy landscape paintings.

Very often, Wong would title his works by the particular time of day or night that he wanted to conjure up in the image. for example, some of the titles include midnight, 5:00 a.m., dawn, daybreak, 12:30 a.m. or autumn nocturne.

The exhibition BLUE VIEW features more than 40 works, the majority oil on canvas. Remarkable career when you consider Wong only started painting in 2013 after becoming dissatisfied with photography.

“You just have to see them in person, to appreciate the quality of their execution and their physical presence.”

Visit AGO for more information on the exhibition.

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