Friday, July 26, 2013

FRANK - Discovering the Taste of Italy

Back in May, I was invited to Art Gallery of Ontario's (Twitter: @agotoronto, Facebook: AGO - Art Gallery of TorontoRevealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art exhibition which took place from March 16 to June 16. Yeah I know this post is long sorry guys!

(Giotto di Bondone,  Italian, about 1266 – 1337, The Peruzzi Altarpiece, The North Carolina Museum of Art)

Presented in partnership with the world renowned J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art was a large-scale exhibition that brought together an unrivaled collection of more than 90 paintings, including Giotto’s five-panel Peruzzi Altarpiece, two painted and hand-written copies of Dante’s Divine Comedy and Bernardo Daddi’s Virgin Mary with Saints Thomas Aquinas and Paul, along with numerous manuscripts, sculptures and stained glass from the 14th century.

(Left: Bernardo Daddi, Italian (Florentine), about 1280 – 1348, The Virgin Mary with Saints Thomas Aquinas and Paul, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
(Right: Bernardo Daddi, Italian, Triptych with the Crucifixion, National Gallery of Scotland) 

 Subdivided into various themes, the exhibition explored how the Florence's burgeoning economy of the time fostered a unique demand for artworks both religious and civic, the collaborative nature of artistic production, the workshops of artists and a closer look at the stories behind the works and their subjects and insight into conservation research.

(Pacino di Bonaguida Italian, active 1302-1340, Tripytch with the Crucifixion, the Lamentation, and the Ascension of Christ, The ALANA Collection) 

Sasha Suda, the coordinating curator led the tour and provided a lot of insight and anecdotes that we wouldn’t otherwise have known about had we been left on our own. Thanks for the great tour! It was refreshing to hear from someone who is so connected and passionate about the works in the gallery!

A huge thank you goes to Sasha Suda, assistant curator of European art at the AGO, for guiding us through the fascinating exhibit!

(Left: Puccio Capanna, Italian, Madonna and Child with Angels and Female Saints, Musei Vaticani)
(Right: Master of the Dominican Effigies, Italian, Pentecost / Leaf from the Laudario of Sant'Agnese, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles)

After the tour, I was invited to an exclusive dinner at FRANK.

FRANK, the AGO restaurant, is a distinct Frank Gehry-designed space. Its casual, chic décor includes modern Danish furnishings and a contemporary installation of Frank Stella's (!) work.

 Restaurant manager Fabian Ramirez (left) and chef de cuisine Jay Tanuwidjaja (right).

Crafted by chef Tanuwidjaja, the evening's Florentine tasting menu took inspiration from the Revealing the Early Renaissance exhibit. 

PINOT GRIGIO, Luigi Righetti-Veneto

Wild mushroom truffle tea 
Wild mushroom & polenta bruschetta

Grilled Asparagus & Prosciutto with Lemon garlic vinaigrette

CHIANTI CLASSICO, Podere Elise-Impruneta

Spaghetti Puttanesca with Scallop

Pan seared Black Cod with tomato basil risotto


FRANK Bistecca Florentine 
Shaved fennel, arugula, radicchio with lemon & olive oil, mixed olives medley

Affogato and Tiramisu

A video of chef Tanuwidjaja talking about some of the featured dishes on the Taste of Florence menu.

Weekly prix fixe menus are available for lunch and dinner at FRANK that are themed around the current exhibitions completing the gallery experience. The next feature exhibit will be "Ai Wei Wei: According to What?" which opens on August 17.

*This meal was complimentary. The opinions and views expressed on this post are my own*

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