Jun 5, 2024

The year in review

As Foyer turns one, revisit some of the year's most-read stories

Arnold Newman. Dorothy Hawkins

Arnold Newman. Dorothy Hawkins, [fashion editor], 1957. Gelatin silver print, 27.9 × 35.6 cm. Art Gallery of Ontario. Anonymous Gift, 2012. © Arnold Newman Properties/Getty Images (2024). 2015/1122

What a difference a year makes. This time last year, in 2023, we launched Foyer into the world. 12 months and over 150 compelling stories later, we’re still moving steadfastly in our mission of exploring art through a lens of curiosity and inclusivity.    

We wouldn’t have reached this milestone without the continued support and engagement of readers like you. Here, we’ve skimmed the surface and gathered a collection of interviews, profiles, deep dives, and art-forward stories for you to rediscover. Click on the links to get started. Happy reading!    


Artists have a lot to say – conversations with the people shaping our world   

Our conversation with Wolfgang Tillmans kicked off a series of interviews with some of today’s most boundary-breaking artists. The interview with Tillmans, which sheds light on the acclaimed artist's approach to photography, is among our most-read Foyer stories of the year. He explained at the outset of his exhibition at the AGO, "I engage and think about the world with two eyes, which are brilliantly designed to receive three dimensions."   

Read our interviews and profiles with notable artists like Sarindar Dhaliwal, June Clark, KAWS, Miles Greenberg, Blue Curry, Priyanka, OKAN and more.   


Ties that bond – human stories about art  

Our most engaging stories were those with human narratives, and rightly so. In one of the most read of the year, Kristen Haring, youngest sister of Keith Haring, opened up about having a big brother on a meteoric rise in 1980s New York, allowing us to better understand who Keith really was. "It was so wonderful to watch him achieve the goal he'd long had — to be a working and exhibited artist," she recounted, "Even in 1982, when his success was just beginning, it was a huge step for 24-year-old Keith."   

Learn more about people and their perspectivesDiane Liverpool recalls when she photographed a music icon, Eric Newman discusses his father, photographer Arnold Newman, Betsy Wollheim talks about her father and his involvement with Casa Susanna, Rae RezWell and Peter Owusu-Ansah share their experiences as Deaf artists, and Sharon Marley reveals what it was like growing up in reggae’s royal family.  


The medium is the message – how art gets made   

Whether it's Sarindar Dhaliwal's poetic works on paper, Keith Haring's chalk drawings, or Arnold Newman's stirring portraits, the materials and processes used to make art often tell a story to themselves. We dug into these intricacies throughout the year like when we ventured into KAWS's world through graffiti, sculpture, toys, painting, and fashion.   

Read more about art and process: Arounna Khounnoraj on making the old new again, rolled paper and embroidered horsehair in 16th-century Europe, and Michael McMillan moves a 1980s Caribbean-Canadian front room into the AGO. 


From the Bronx to the world – hip hop 50 years on    

Coinciding with 50 years of hip hop and leading up to the highly anticipated exhibition The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century opening at the AGO at the end of 2024, we began exploring the ever-evolving art form. Multihyphenate Ian Kamau offered his take on the state of hip hop this side of the border. "Toronto has always seen itself as the little cousin of New York, Los Angeles, or Atlanta. We are not from those places; we're from Toronto. It has taken this long, and lots of investment from the States, for Toronto to start to feel proud of itself […] I hope that pride can translate to more development, more infrastructure, and better artist development that comes from the city itself."   

Tap into hip hop and its many forms. The legendary DJ Mel Boogie breaks down her career, artist and busker Erik Flow brings his flavour to the streets, MCs Sydanie and Tamir Holder make a name for themselves.  


Just about art   

The exhibitions and installations loved by AGO visitors and Foyer readers alike got covered plenty. On the exhibitions front, we recently got acquainted with four women artists who made their mark on European art history, two Impressionists Mary Cassatt and Helen McNicoll and a king, for example. Photographers Kreshonna Keane and O’shane Howard described how photography helped them define what ‘home’ feels like.  

Our RBC Art Pick series honed into great AGO Collection works such as Suzy Lake’s 11-panel archival pigment print and a stunning and complex painting by Jean Paul Riopelle. We sent our readers on a scavenger hunt through the Gallery to find hidden gems like Francisque Joseph Duret’s Fisher-boy Dancing the Tarantella.    


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