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Must-Sees This Week: March 24 to 30, 2016

Lots of great art exhibitions open across the country this week. Here are our recommendations for upcoming shows, and a few reminders about shows that are closing. (And remember to visit our Exhibition Finder, or download the Canadian Art Finder in the App Store or Google Play for even more worthwhile shows that are already open.)


Emerging Canadian artists in diaspora Nedda Baba, Diana Hosseini and Nikkie To explore, construct, and challenge identity in “There and Here,” opening March 26 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Hamilton Artists Inc. On the same afternoon, the gallery also debuts “Vocales Digitales,” a solo exhibition by media artist and composer Erin Gee, featuring installations exploring the potentials of human voices in electronic bodies as well as electronic voices in human bodies.


Publicly releasing hundreds of early images of BC for the first time, “NANITCH: Early Photographs of British Columbia from the Langmann Collection” begins March 30 at Presentation House Gallery. Gathered from the archives of Vancouver gallerist Uno Langmann, the show raises questions about the role of the camera in colonization. (Accordingly, nanitch means “to look and watch” in Chinook jargon.) Elsewhere, the new Audain distinguished artist-in-residence Charles Stankievech gives a lecture March 30 at 8 p.m. at Emily Carr University, and Western Front celebrates its recent purchase of its own historic building just before that talk on March 30 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Earlier in the week, on March 26, a performance by Emiliano Sepulveda takes place at 12 p.m. at Gallery 295, with a related curatorial talk on the same day from 12 to 2 p.m.


In “War. 11 portraits,” Taras Polataiko asks wounded soldiers in Kyiv, “What is needed here?” The project opens at Latitude 53 on March 24 at 7 p.m. alongside Paul Bernhardt’s “The Reflex”—a show featuring paintings that also address armed conflict and political concerns playing out on the world stage, albeit with a video-game twist. Some paintings of a more historical ilk—namely by David Milne and Goodridge Roberts—are part of the group show “View From a Painting Place” opening March 26 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Douglas Udell Gallery. The show also features work by Reta Cowley and Ann Kipling.


Though best known for her photographic work, Sarah Anne Johnson has ventured into performance in recent years—the latest of these, Hospital Hallway, is on offer beginning March 30 at 8 p.m. at Plug In ICA. As with some of Johnson’s other projects, this piece draws on her grandmother’s experience as an unwitting participant in the MK-ULTRA mind-controlling drug experiments of the 1950s that were linked to the CIA. An elaborate, enclosed set positions audiences above the artist as she takes the role of her grandmother, a patient pushed into a nightmarish “treatment.” Elsewhere, at Gallery 1C03, Elvira Finnigan and Lisa Wood examine the culture of the university cafeteria through various media such as performance, installation, photography, video, drawing and painting in “Cafeteria.” The show opens with a reception March 30 at 4 p.m. followed by an artist talk at 6 p.m.


Documenting the process of aging in women—both physical and psychological— forms a focus for Natalia Lassalle-Morillo, an artist-in-residence at Darling Foundry. Find out more when Lassalle-Morillo gives a talk March 24 at 6 p.m. at the foundry.


Renowned Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas—recent recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship—travels from New York to discuss Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History, her notable visual history of the Kurdish people. Her lecture takes place March 30 at 7 p.m. at Ryerson University’s George Vari building. Elsewhere on the talks front, artist Alison Kobayashi and writer Tess Takahashi discuss live documentary, identity contortion, reenactment, play, staging, research, family dynamics and more over drinks at Gallery TPW on March 24 at 8 p.m. The talk is being held in conjunction with Kobayashi’s exhibition “Say Something Bunny!” Also on St. Helens, a solo exhibition of new paintings and sculpture by Marvin Luvualu Antonio opens at Clint Roenisch, from 6 to 9 p.m. On the same night in Kensington Market, Aaron Moore, Francisco-Fernando Granados, Alex McCalla and Sydney Allen-Ash gather at the Pendulum Project to discuss migration and identity at 7 p.m. Last but not least, Jade Rude’s exhibition at Zalucky Contemporary opens March 26 from 2 to 5 p.m. And if ceramic art is your thing, the Gardiner Museum is offering free admission this holiday weekend—check the website for details.

Fogo Island

The first solo show in Canada for French-Portuguese artist Wilfrid Almendra is an immersive installation featuring sculpture, radio transmission, and a series of objects that morph painting and drawing in an ambiguous play of transparency. These new works can all be found at the Fogo Island Gallery, with the first full day of the show slated for March 25.


Get insight into recent research and creation projects by five New Brunswick artists—sophia bartholomew, Marjolaine Bourgeois, Julie Caissie, Julie Lynne Drisdelle, and Elise Anne LaPlante—in a talk taking place March 30 at 5 p.m. at Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen.


Human, bee and bovine biologies form points of intersection for artist Cole Swanson. In recent years, he has, for instance, created pigments out of charred cattle bones for drawing purposes, rendered cowhides at insect-like scale, and gilded tiny fly wings with gold. A book launch and artist talk on March 30 at the Art Gallery of Guelph—held in conjunction with Swanson’s exhibition there, “Out of the Strong, Something Sweet”—will reveal more about these converging points of interest.


Quebec-based artist Giorgia Volpe is featured in the first survey of her career, “Weaving the Existing,” which enjoys its first full day at MSVU Art Gallery on March 24. Volpe often relies on weaving, a technique that runs through her entire oeuvre. Fibres—paper, plastic, recycled material, textiles—are used to create works in which the material, traces of text and other motifs nuance the meaning. Because Volpe completes few “finished” works, her art is often shown in a temporary state, awaiting further transformations. This exhibition represents the suspension in time of her process.


This year’s Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts winners—Edward Burtynsky, Marnie Fleming, Philip Hoffman, Jane Kidd, Wanda Koop, Suzy Lake, Mark Lewis and Bill Vazan—are in a special exhibition opening March 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Canada. A storage locker is repurposed as an art space in “Compound” by Pamela Leszczynski, on public view at Just Right Self Storage on March 26 and 27 as a pop-up of Studio Sixty Six.


Time and its vicissitudes are the topic of exploration in “Temporal Anxiety,” a group show featuring Aleksander Johan Andreassen of Norway, Ulf Lundin of Sweden, Mirka Morales of the USA and Daliah Ziper of Germany. The show opens March 26 at Deluge Contemporary Art. The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria hosts tours of “Emily Carr and the Young Generation” on March 26 at 2 p.m., and of “Recent Asian Acquisitions” on March 27 at 2 p.m.


Canadian artist Dan Hudson is obsessed with both the strategies of anthropology and the video-installation genre—his latest work, 360, combines both in a remarkable 12-channel video installation based on a year-long cycle of observations from the streets of Berlin. Join him for an artist talk at Nickle Galleries—which is hosting 360 and other works—on March 24 at 12 p.m.


Spaces for feminism within art history are a recurring point of investigation for Vancouver-based artist Allyson Clay. For instance, a new exhibition at the MacLaren Art Centre features interventions Clay has performed on Doreen Ehrlich’s classic textbook Masterpieces of 20th Century Painting. In one intervention, Clay immerses the book in a stream and documents it underwater. In another, Clay paints shapes derived from works by women artists across the book’s water-damaged spreads and over the gallery walls. As Clay notes, “I am laying a map of leaking borders—traces from the spaces of women—across pages of a familiar and internalized art history.” The show opens March 24 from 7 to 9 p.m.

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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