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Must-Sees This Week: December 12 to 18, 2013

There lots of great exhibitions opening this week, and interesting art events happening too. Here are our best bets.

In 2009, Brenda Draney won the RBC Canadian Painting Competition with her spare, raw canvases that left much open to interpretation. On December 14, new paintings by Draney go on view in “Suspend,” an Art Gallery of Alberta exhibition that investigates the relationship between Edmonton, where she now lives, and Slave Lake, where she grew up. One the same day, fans of historical painting also get a treat with the gallery’s debut of “Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums.” It’s the only Canadian stop for this touring exhibition, which traces achievements in Italian painting and represents the major creative centres of Bologna, Florence, Milan, Naples, Rome, Siena and Venice. Works by Bellini, Botticelli and Titian will all be on tap.

Alternate universes meet artist-run culture in “Science Fiction 21: The Last Frontier,” which opens at Or Gallery on December 13 at 8 p.m. Curated by Candice Hopkins as the 21st instalment of an 88-part (!) science-fiction series at the gallery, it features works by Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen, Brian Jungen and Charles Stankievech. Elsewhere, Trench Contemporary Art presents “Archiving,” a show of Vancouver artists including Glenn Lewis, Vincent Trasov, Michael Morris, Ron Stonier, Enn Erisalu, David Marshall and David Mayrs that draws work from nearly four decades. It opens December 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. BC-born, Brooklyn-based artist Danna Vajda has shown of late at New York’s Sculpture Center and Art in General; on December 13 from 6 to 9 p.m., her exhibition “upagainstacurtainwall” opens at CSA Space. Finally, Western Front hosts “Reflections from a Damaged Life: A Talk on Art and Psychedelia” by curator and art historian Lars Bang Larsen on December 14 at 7 p.m.

Performance art comes unhinged at Doored’s One Year Jubilee at Double Double Land December 16 at 8 p.m. The evening, hosted by Life of a Craphead, will feature performances by Jesi the Elder, Bridget Moser, Laura McCoy, Neil Lapierre and others. On the object-based front, Cooper Cole kicks off a new group exhibition, “Endless Vacation,” on December 14 from 6 to 10 p.m.; the show includes art by Vanessa Maltese, Mark DeLong and Jenine Marsh, among others. No Looking After The Internet, a monthly “looking group” hosted by curator and critic Gabrielle Moser teams up with Jacob Korczynski of If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want to Be Part of Your Revolution for Neither Reading Nor Looking After the Internet. Presented at Prefix on December 12 at 7 p.m., it invites participants to consider images through language and selected texts. A new book featuring narratives and photographs by artist Eldon Garnet launches at Christopher Cutts Gallery on December 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. And a panel on the resurgence of oil painting, featuring artist Kim Dorland, curator Katerina Atanassova, critic Robert Enright and author and advisor David Silcox, takes place at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection on December 14 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., with a discussion also happening in Dorland’s solo exhibition from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Sculpture fans won’t want to miss Barbara Edwards Contemporary‘s solo exhibition of new works by Jessica Stockholder. Though best known for large-scale sculpture and installation—including a large outdoor installation now on in Los Altos, California—Stockholder’s small works on paper also delight with their formal and material explorations. Opens December 12 from 6 to 9 p.m.

This week, Maryse Larivière and Nadège Grebmeier Forget will mount an intervention into Vox‘s current exhibition “Works With Photography” by Jon Knowles. Titled Guilda, Ilona, Andrea, it opens December 13 at 10:10 a.m. Elsewhere, Leisure (Meredith Carruthers & Susannah Wesley) will be on hand at Battat Contemporary to discuss their research behind their new body of work, Shared Armature, on December 14 at 2 p.m.

Sandra Meigs will give an artist talk and tour of her current exhibition at Open Space, “The Basement Panoramas” on December 14 at 3 p.m. As John Luna noted in a review for our site earlier this year, the show is rare opportunity to see a significant Meigs show in her own hometown, and it represents a very significant body of work. The talk marks the end of the show’s run; it closes the same day.

These picks were selected from press releases sent to at least two days prior to publication. For listings of art exhibitions, openings and events, please visit

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