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David Moos marks his seventh anniversary as head curator of modern and contemporary art at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto next month. But there won't be an eighth: Monday it was announced that Moos, 45, is leaving the AGO in late May to become an independent art adviser, based in Toronto.

Moos, educated at McGill and Columbia universities, son of prominent Canadian art dealer Walter Moos, 84, joined the AGO in spring 2004 after serving as contemporary art curator at the Birmingham (Ala.) Museum of Art.

Moos's exit from his $122,000-a-year job will be at least the fourth high-level departure from the AGO in the last nine months. Previous resignations include those of the gallery's former chief curator, its director of corporate services and its curator of modern art.

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In a brief interview, Moos said his job switch has been "in my mind for some time . . . [In the years ahead]I see myself as working very closely with a select group of collectors to build collections of international and Canadian art at the highest level."

Such a level is "uncommon in this city and this country, but is, when one travels internationally, not so uncommon . . . It's an exhilarating moment."

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