December 14 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.: Openings for “Beat Nation” and Althea Thauberger at the Power Plant, 231 Queens Quay West, Toronto
Vancouver gets much of the credit for two choice shows opening at Toronto’s Power Plant this week. “Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture” was a deservedly big hit at the Vancouver Art Gallery this past winter and spring. Now, a touring version—sadly, more limited in size, but still touting a big-idea theme and lots of tempting works—hits Toronto. (Fans will want to catch Skeena Reece’s talk on Sunday at 2 p.m. too.) Alongside “Beat Nation” is the North American premiere of Vancouverite Althea Thauberger’s Marat Sade Bohnice, an experimental documentary/video installation about the staging of Peter Weiss’s 1963 play Marat/Sade at the Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital in Prague.
December 14 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.: Opening for “De-Accessioned” at Cooper Cole, 1161 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Over the past year or so, young independent curator Lucas Soi has been trying to shake up the art scene in Toronto with new residencies, panels and group shows. Examples include workshops on the Toronto Islands led by rising lights like Monique Mouton and Niall McClelland, as well as a panel on the idea of the artist’s image at YYZ. This week, he kicks off a group show at Cooper Cole featuring Georgia Dickie, Matthew Brown and Charles Gute, among other artists. Though it takes the idea of art in transit as its point of departure, it will be up to the viewer to see if it really goes places. (Also notable on the private-galleries scene in Toronto this week is an opening for Patrick Howlett at Susan Hobbs Gallery on Saturday.)
December 15 at 7 p.m.: Opening for Chris Foster at Eastern Edge, 72 Harbour Drive, St. John’s
To many Maritimers, Chris Foster may be known as Khyber Centre chair of programming. But true to the artist-run centre ethos, he’s also an avid creator. This winter, Eastern Edge in St. John’s is featuring “Frontiers in Real Estate,” a show of Foster’s screen prints and scale models exploring “remote Northern landscapes, unexpected industrial ruins and imagined makeshift dwellings.” The content of some Foster prints recalls Tony Romano and Tyler Brett’s post-apocalyptic community projections, while the style bespeaks the warmth and graphic relish of indie comics and small-scale storybook publishing. Worth a look.
December 15 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Opening for Jessica Campbell at Laroche/Joncas, 372 rue Ste-Catherine Ouest, Montreal
Currently enrolled in an MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Canadian artist Jessica Campbell is one of a number of young painters who creates visual delight out of awkward or seemingly uncouth compositions. Often starting off as a depiction of an interior, her panels integrate abstraction and brushwork in a way that is both whimsical and edgy.
December 15 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Opening for “My Winnipeg: Winter Kept Us Warm” at Plug In ICA, 460 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg
Plug In’s year-long tribute to all things Winnipeg continues this week with the opening of the third of four exhibitions devoted to the city. This chapter, a gallery release explains, “exposes the underbelly of the city’s social, political and libidinal experiences as they consort and co-mingle in the galleries.” Among the major works is a room-sized installation by Jeff Funnell featuring notes, texts and drawings from the 1980s murder inquest of Manitoba Cree chief J.J. Harper. A log-cabin diorama by Kent Monkman and Guy Maddin’s Cowards Bend the Knee (presented for the first time in five peep-show-like cubicles) are also among the highlights.
For more listings of openings, exhibitions and art events across Canada, visit canadianart.ca/calendar.