Thursday, August 9, 2012

Art Metropole's first space

241 Yonge Street was the first location (and namesake) of Art Metropole, founded in 1974 when the trio of General Idea returned to Toronto from New York. The third story space, across from the Toronto Eaton Centre, housed their studio, and the operations for FILE megazine. The building reportedly housed one of the city's first galleries, and later an art supply store. It is now home to a Money Mart outlet.

General Idea had received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to establish "a collection agency devoted to the documentation, archiving, and distribution of all the images. Art Metropole intends to keep abreast of the tide, housing, and distributing evidence of activity and imagery: magazines, publications, videos, correspondence, snapshots, memories, and the ephemeral flood." The collection continued until 1996, when it was purchased by Jay Smith and donated to the National Gallery of Canada.

In 1978, Art Metropole relocated to 217 Richmond Street West, and nine years later moved to King Street West, where it remained until this summer. A streamlined version of the gallery/retail operation re-opened last week on Dundas Street West (see below post).

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