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Jinny Yu debuts new abstract paintings in first AGO solo exhibition, opening June 21

Artist to give remarks at opening reception on June 22, 2024, at 2 p.m.


Opening at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) on June 21, 2024, Jinny Yu: at once marks a luminous return to colour by acclaimed artist Jinny Yu. Featuring new abstract paintings and works on paper made over the past two years, the exhibition is Yu’s first solo exhibition at the AGO.  Curated by Georgiana Uhlyarik, Fredrik S. Eaton Curator of Canadian Art, AGO, the exhibition launches in the J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous and Canadian Art with an opening reception on June 22 at 2 p.m.

A celebrated artist and educator who divides her time between Berlin and Ottawa, Yu describes her work as a reflection of “tensions between the sense of belonging…and sense of non- and/or un-belonging.” Born in Seoul, Korea, Yu’s large-scale abstract paintings have brought her international renown and her site-specific installation Don’t They Ever Stop Migrating? was exhibited during the 2015 Venice Biennale. 

at once marks the first museum presentation of works from Yu’s new series, Inextricably Ours (2021- ongoing) and features nine oil paintings on aluminum and thirteen works on paper. In each artwork, geometric forms of varying shades - orange, yellow, red, green, pink and purple – shift and float. Inspired by Edwin A. Abbott’s 1884 satirical novella Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, which described a two-dimensional world inhabited by geometric figures, in each artwork, Yu uses a different configuration of colours and geometric forms to explore potential relationships between figure and ground, volume and flatness, guest and host.

“In these exciting new works Yu continues to ask questions about the history and dynamics of colonialism – finding in geometry and colour, a new formal and conceptual language to consider what it means to be a guest on Indigenous land,” says Georgiana Uhlyarik, Fredrik S. Eaton Curator of Canadian Art, AGO. “Radiating with colour and energy, these artworks both challenge and underscore the two-dimensional constraints of painting. I am so pleased to share them with our audiences.”

Jinny Yu: at once opens Friday, June 21, 2024, at 5 p.m. for AGO Members, and to Annual Pass holders and the public on Saturday June 22, 2024.  Admission to Jinny Yu: at once is free for all Ontarians under 25, Indigenous Peoples, AGO Members and Annual Passholders. On view through January 5, 2025, same day tickets can be booked in person and online. For more details on how to book your tickets or to become a Member or Annual Passholder, visit

Programming highlights:
On June 22, 2024, at 2 p.m., artist Jinny Yu and AGO curator Georgiana Uhlyarik celebrate the opening of the exhibition with remarks and a reception. Admission is free with General Admission. For more details visit

On Saturday, September 14, the AGO celebrates the publication of Jinny Yu, a bilingual 120-page monographic catalogue from Goose Lane Editions featuring essays by Patrick Flores, Ming Tiampo and Georgiana Uhlyarik, and a foreword by Marie-Eve Beaupré. The publication addresses Yu’s production beginning with Don’t They Ever Stop Migrating? (2015) presented during the Venice Biennale, until her solo exhibition at the AGO. The launch will feature a roundtable conversation with the artist, quantum physicist Shohini Ghose and AGO curator Georgiana Uhlyarik. More details to come. Visit for updates.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1976, Jinny Yu’s previous work has been shown widely, including exhibitions in Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy, Portugal, South Korea, UK and USA. She was an artist in residence at La Napoule Art Foundation in France, BoxoPROJECTS in Joshua Tree, the KIAC in Dawson City, ISCP in New York, Seoul Museum of Art Nanji Studios, and at the Banff Centre for the Arts among others. Yu, Professor of painting at the University of Ottawa, was awarded the Mid-Career Artist Award by Ottawa Arts Council in 2013; Laura Ciruls Painting Award from Ontario Arts Foundation in 2012; and was a finalist for the Pulse Prize New York in 2011 and 2014. Her exhibition Don’t They Ever Stop Migrating? was presented during the 56th Venice Biennale (2015).

Jinny Yu: at once is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario.  

@AGOToronto | #SeeAGO    

Contemporary programming at the AGO is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts

Located in Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the largest art museums in North America, attracting approximately one million visitors annually. The AGO Collection of more than 120,000 works of art ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art to significant works by Indigenous and Canadian artists and European masterpieces. The AGO presents wide-ranging exhibitions and programs, including solo exhibitions and acquisitions by diverse and underrepresented artists from around the world. The AGO is embarking on the seventh expansion it has undertaken since the museum was founded in 1900. When completed, the Dani Reiss Modern and Contemporary Gallery will increase exhibition space for the museum’s growing modern and contemporary collection. With its groundbreaking Annual Pass program, the AGO is one of the most affordable and accessible attractions in the GTA. Visit to learn more.

The AGO is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts, and generous contributions from AGO Members, donors, and private-sector partners.


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