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Must-Sees This Week: January 22 to 28, 2015

Many interesting art exhibitions are opening across Canada this week; here are our best bets. (And remember to visit our Exhibition Finder for our recommendations of shows that are already open.)


Photographer Larry Towell, recipient of a prestigious Henri Cartier-Bresson Award, opens an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Windsor pulling from the gallery’s collection of his work. Comprised exclusively of black-and-white images, the exhibition spans several decades and continents. It begins on January 24 with an opening reception on January 30 at 7 p.m.


A solo exhibition of Kristiina Lahde’s geometric works, which often play with measurement, opens at the Koffler Gallery on January 22 at 6 p.m. Also at Artscape Youngplace, Typology Projects opens an exhibition on January 22 at 6 p.m., featuring work by Mary Hambleton and Sara MacLean. At A Space Gallery on January 23, Tings Chak and Sheena Hoszko focus on Canada’s migrant detention practices in “Detention,” which opens at 6 p.m. On a lighter note, Jon Sasaki leads a performance involving stacked bouncy castles at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art on January 23 at 6 p.m. Also at 6 p.m. on January 23, Division Gallery opens a solo exhibition of Brendan Flanagan’s digitally based paintings and sculptures. At the Power Plant, a group exhibition drawing on the work of cultural theorist Stuart Hall opens at 8 p.m. on January 23.


The Robert McLaughlin Gallery gets a little self-reflexive with Margaret Rodgers’s “Closeups,” a series of mixed media interventions into photographs depicting Oshawa’s history from the Thomas Bouckley Collection. The exhibition begins on January 23, with an opening reception much later on February 6 at 7 p.m.


Two exhibitions open at Optica on January 24 at 3 p.m.: Michael Blum’s “Palazzo Chupi” documents the artist’s 2008 response to a proposed building by New York painter Julian Schnabel, and Marc-Antoine K Phaneuf’s “Études préparatoires. Dessins d’explosions 2012-2015” animates archival images with explosive-inspired graphics. Galerie Roger Bellemare opens an exhibition of Abstract Expressionist Fernand Leduc‘s paintings on January 24. An exhibition of Ed Pien’s spontaneous ink drawings goes on view at Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain on January 23 at 5 p.m.


The Khyber Centre for the Arts—which is no longer at risk of eviction—opens an exhibition by Toronto-based artist Nathalie Quagliotto titled “Maturity Correlation.” Built from yellow public playground swings, the project is participatory and playful. It opens on January 23 at 7 p.m.


At the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s downtown location, a group exhibition titled “Gleaners” builds on the Jean-François Millet painting of the same title, and the idea of giving new life to something previously discarded. It features work by Mary Atkinson, Joar Nango, Kara Uzelman and Agnes Varda, among others, and opens on January 23 at 7 p.m.


What if the personal information distributed across your social media platforms were transformed into art projects? This provocative, slightly unsettling question forms the basis for Nathan McNinch and Kevin Day’s exhibition “A Scanner Ubiquity.” Their answer to this question results in pieces of kinetic sculpture, which go on view at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art on January 23.


The city has a busy slate of openings with the Contemporary Art Gallery’s schedule alone. The gallery opens two exhibitions and one large off-site commission by Shannon Bool at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station on January 23. One of the exhibitions, Grace Schwindt’s “Only A Free Individual Can Create A Free Society,” is a film installation that draws from German politics, choreography and the artist’s childhood memories. The other, Krista Belle Stewart’s “Motion and Moment Always,” looks at First Nations women’s self-representation and sovereignty. An opening reception will be held at the gallery on January 22 at 7 p.m. “Far Away So Close Part II,” an exhibition that looks at the political power of gesture opens at Access Gallery on January 23 at 7 p.m., and features work by Kathleen Ritter and Guillermo Trejo.


In “In Another Place, and Here,” photographs are used to examine relationships between space and identity. Artists include Nadia Huggins, Meryl McMaster and Krista Belle Stewart, and the exhibition opens at the Art Gallery of Great Victoria on January 23 at 8 p.m.


The 2015 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art opens at various locations on January 24, including transit screens across Canada. This inclusion of public transit is highly appropriate, as the biennial’s title, “Future Station” draws from an abandoned transit platform beneath Edmonton’s civic centre. With over forty artists and three locations, the biennial aims to represent life as an artist in Alberta.

Our weekly must-sees, published each Thursday, are chosen from opening and event announcements sent to at least two days prior to publication. For listings of art openings, exhibitions and events visit

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