Lots of great art exhibitions open across the country this week. Here are our recommendations. (And remember to visit our Exhibition Finder for worthwhile shows that are already open.)
Seasonal exhibitions turn over at the Contemporary Art Gallery, with the opening of Shannon Bool’s Michelangelo’s Place. A commissioned work (the final of her series of marble benches), this project measures the impulses behind indexical marks—the need to scratch a name into a historic site. It opens alongside Julia Dault’s “Blame It On the Rain,” which presents the New York–based artist’s drawings and sculptures, focusing on the physical negotiations involved in their making. Both shows open with a reception on April 30 at 7 p.m. At Field Contemporary, the purposefully overwhelming paintings of Steven Hubert open up in “The Rich Interior Life” on April 30 at 7 p.m. A book launch kicks off at Unit/Pitt Projects on April 30 at 7 p.m.: Unlearning Walks by Zoe Kreye and Catherine Grau, La fête permanente by Didier Morelli and TRACTS by Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte.
At Open Space, Todd A. Davis presents a new light installation, Diamonds, which deals with surveillance culture, senses of hospitality and the negotiation of shared spaces. It goes on view on May 1 at 7 p.m.
At Atelier Circulaire on April 30 at 5:30 p.m., Louis-Pierre Bougie opens “Around the bestiary,” an exhibition of engravings, mixed-media work and an artist’s book, which plays with the thin line between beasts and humans. Painter Jennifer Hornyak revisits the human figure in her new exhibition, which opens at McClure Gallery on April 30 at 6 p.m. Theorist Sabeth Buchmann and artist Constanze Ruhm will speak about their research, and an upcoming collaborative project at VOX on April 30 at 7 p.m.; the event is co-presented by the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, SBC Gallery and VOX. At Dazibao, an exhibition by video-art veteran Nelson Henricks, “A Lecture on Art,” opens on April 30 at 7 p.m., preceded by a screening of works from Vtape at 5:30 p.m.
The brightly coloured landscape paintings of Steve Driscoll go on view in “Actually, Everything is Just About the Same,” which opens on May 1 at Peter Robertson Gallery. At the Art Gallery of Alberta, pairings of Modernist and postmodernist artists—think Barbara Hepworth with Brian Jungen, Arlene Stamp with Kenneth Noland—form the basis of “The Double Bind: Conversations Between Modernism and Postmodernism,” which opens on May 2.
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery opens a mammoth exhibition highlighting their permanent-collection holdings, which include pieces by Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable, John Singleton Copley, Eugène Delacroix and more. The show has travelled to Palm Beach, Florida, Calgary, Winnipeg and more, and opens in Fredericton on May 2.
At Library Gallery, the work of six young painters—Dee Barsy, Sandra Jia Min Chen, Natasha Gusta, Patrick Klassen, Marijana Mandusic and Michael Mogatas—who have been drawn together largely under the banner of studio-based practice, opens on May 1 at 6 p.m. In association with Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art, a retrospective of work developed through Wapikoni Mobile, an organization that brings mobile film studios to First Nations communities, begins on April 30 at 7 p.m. with a screening and presentation by Cassandre Pérusse at Cinematheque.
Cartoon-based work has had a strong showing of late, and SAW Gallery continues that trend with a presentation of Michael DeForge’s work in “All Dogs Are Dogs,” which opens on April 30 at 8 p.m. At the Central Art Garage, three Ontario artists get a group show—Maura Doyle, Kevin Rodgers and Frank Shebageget—which opens on May 1 at 7 p.m. “North of the 45th,” opening at Gallery 101 with performances and a roundtable later in the afternoon, takes up questions of life and artistic production in Northern Ontario, featuring Amanda Burk, Sarah Link, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Riaz Mehmood, Laurent Vaillancourt and Debajehmujig.
David Thauberger, whose flat paintings of isolated prairies architecture and landscapes have “have become part of our national visual history,” opens an exhibition of paintings and prints at Slate Fine Art Gallery on May 2 from 4 to 7 p.m.
At the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Lora Moore-Kakaletris, who received the CIBC Wood Gundy Emerging Photography Award for Best Overall Submission for her work Andreas, has her first solo show, “Water,” which opens on May 1 at 7 p.m.
It’s a busy week in Toronto, with plenty of Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival exhibitions opening up, but only Jesse Harris’s opening, which begins on April 30 at Cooper Cole (and is not a part of Contact), suggests a dress code for the opening, which begins at 6 p.m. (stripes). At Clint Roenisch Gallery, works by Jimmy Limit open on April 30 at 6 p.m. Poet Lisa Robertson and artist Hadley Howes will read the entirety of Cinema of the Present at Mercer Union on May 1 at 7 p.m. (expect it to take a full two hours). On May 2 at 7 p.m., Maryse Larivière’s “Love Sex Dreams: Your Delusion, My Reality” opens at 8-11, while a concurrent project by Larivière is on view at Kunstverein Toronto on May 2 and 9 from 12 to 5 p.m. Barbara Edwards Contemporary also opens a show of painting by Shawn Evans on May 1.
And then there’s the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival—the following are really just a small offering of some of the shows that are opening. On April 30 Birch Contemporary opens an exhibition of work by Nicholas Pye at 6 p.m. Also on April 30, Scrap Metal Gallery brings Edson Chagas’s work into focus. On May 1, Marlene Creates reflects on Newfoundland’s relationship to ice and snow at Paul Petro Contemporary Art. On May 2, a group show focusing on the photographic studio opens at Gallery 44 at 2 p.m.; Katzman Contemporary presents work by Randy Grskovic and Wil Murray at 5 p.m.; and Daniel Faria Gallery opts for a more collage-based approach to the medium with work by Elizabeth Zvonar.
The Art Gallery of Mississauga sees a large change over, with three new shows opening: Chih-Chien Wang’s meditative and quiet photography, the group exhibition “The View From Here” and Susan Campbell’s reflections on design in the urban landscape all open on April 30 at 6 p.m.
Artist Geneviève Cadieux and curator Vincent Bonin lead an artist and curator talk and tour on May 2 to mark the opening of Cadieux’s new solo show, “Here you may see the best portrait that, later, I was able to make of him. Passages to Abstraction.” The programming begins at MSVU Gallery at 12 and continues at Dalhousie Art Gallery at 2 p.m.
“Séance Fiction,” a group show that positions the artist as medium, chanelling past and present, opens on May 1 at the Walter Phillips Gallery. It features Hannah Doerksen, Maggie Groat, Tamar Guimarães with Kasper Akhøj, Soda_Jerk, Guy Maddin, Heather and Ivan Morison and Shana Moulton, alongside some A+ wordplay.
Hamilton Artists Inc. presents a group exhibition, “There is no There,” featuring Jen Aitken, Josée Aubin Ouellette, Liza Eurich, Jenine Marsh, Derrick Piens and Beth Stuart. It opens on May 2 at 2 p.m.
Jennifer Lefort opens a solo exhibition at Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario that involves works spray painted directly on the walls, created during an artist’s residency at the gallery. The show opens on April 30 at 5 p.m.
Our weekly must-sees, published each Thursday, are chosen from opening and event announcements sent to email@example.com at least two days prior to publication. For listings of art openings, exhibitions and events, visit canadianart.ca/exhibitions.