Lots of great art exhibitions and events are taking place across the country this week. Here are our recommendations for debuting shows and events, and a few reminders about shows that are closing. Visit our Exhibition Finder for more listings of worthwhile shows that are already open.
Papier, one of the largest fairs in Canada solely devoted to the medium of paper, fires up today and runs until April 22 at Arsenal art contemporain Montréal. A celebration of Canadian contemporary art, this year’s fair has 40 participating gallerists and will feature 300 artists, from emerging to well-established. A series of engaging panel discussions are also scheduled throughout the weekend. Not to be missed is the roundtable “Beyond Medium” on April 21 at 1 p.m. with artists Maryse Larivière, Chloë Lum and Celia Perrin Sidarous, moderated by Canadian Art’s Yaniya Lee.
Over at the DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art, Bharti Kher’s “Points de départ, points qui lient” debuts with a reception on April 19 at 5:30 p.m. “Ceci n’est pas un bong,” an exhibition organized by High Art celebrating the legalization of cannabis, launches at Studio 313 Céramique on April 19. Featuring decadently painted bongs, participating local artists include Claire Milbrath, Luc Paradis and John Player, among others. Meanwhile, Marie-Michelle Deschamps and Eleonore False present “Je relis tes lignes” at Diagonale on April 21.
CIRCA art actuel is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a combination of group exhibitions, performances and talks around the theme “Fire and Origins.” The celebrations kick off on April 25 with an exhibition at Maison de la culture Frontenac with two more exhibitions to come in May at CIRCA and Maison de la culture du plateau Mont-Royal. Elsewhere, VOX Centre de l’image contemporaine presents two new exhibitions on April 19. Loretta Fahrenholz will present her latest films, while the show ““Créer à rebours vers l’exposition”: The case of Montreal, plus or minus?” will critically revisit the 1972 exhibition created by Melvin Charney for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
In closings, the exhibition “Qui parle ? / Who Speaks?” at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery wraps on April 21.
VIVO Media Arts Centre presents the innovative Wetland Project by Brady Marks and Mark Timmings in a month-long installation on April 20. The artists recorded the sounds of a Saturna Island marsh for a 24-hour period, and they subsequently conceptualized an algorithm to translate the sounds into colour codes. The result is an immersive five-channel audiovisual installation that gives new life to the wetland. The sound recording will also be broadcast on select radio stations for Earth Day on April 22 in a 24-hour cycle.
John Wood and Paul Harrison’s new performance Very Clear Instructions debuts at the Polygon Gallery on April 20 at 7 and 8 p.m. Presented in collaboration with the Contemporary Art Gallery and Ballet BC, the performance continues the trajectory the artists set out on in the exhibition “I DIDN’T KNOW I DIDN’T KNOW IT” at the CAG in 2016, where they improvised dance works with dancers from Ballet BC. Over at Kimoto Gallery, Christian Nicolay presents “No Where Now Here” as part of the Capture Photography Festival. An opening reception will be held on April 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. Elsewhere, “Nonlocal” by Brody Albert opens at Access Gallery with a reception at 7 p.m. on April 20. Albert will give an artist talk the following day on April 21 at 2 p.m.
The SFU Galleries host a closing reception for Cathy Busby’s WE CALL on April 19 from 7 to 10 p.m. Launched in April 2017, Busby’s installation was created from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and shows how institutions are being called upon through these documents. A panel discussion will take place between the artist, advisory committee members June Scudeler, Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill and Roxanne Charles, as well as Gitksan Wet’su’wet’en Education Society (GWES) staff members Kirsten Barnes, Andy Busby and Bonnie McCreery to reflect on the project and its effects on SFU Galleries as an institution.
Also in closings, Julia Feyrer’s “Background Actors” at Catriona Jeffries ends on April 21.
An exhibition of new works titled “Bad Paleontology” by Walter Scott—the artist behind the beloved Wendy series—opens at Erin Stump Projects on April 20. Meanwhile, MKG127 presents the group show “This Must Be the Place” on April 21, showcasing paintings that explore the dynamics of representing space. The featured artists are Stephen Andrews, Cynthia Daignault, Brenda Draney, Erin McSavaney, Brian Rideout and Monica Tap. In link with media artist Nancy Paterson’s retrospective “The Future: Before” at InterAccess, Esmé Hogeveen will present the lecture “Where Are We Now? Feeling Our Way in Post-Cyberfeminist Space” on April 21 from 3 to 4 p.m.
A few exhibitions are launching this week as part of the upcoming Contact Photography Festival. Critical Distance Centre for Curators presents “Forward Facing” in partnership with the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective–Collectif des commissaires autochtones on April 21. Curated by Cass Gardiner, this multimedia exhibition centred on intersectionality within Indigenous identity features artists Dayna Danger, Lacie Burning and Jade Nasogaluak Carpenter. A reception and tour with Gardiner will take place on opening day from 2 to 4 p.m., followed by a performance with Danger, Burning and Kandace Price at 5 p.m. Over at Stephen Bulger Gallery, two new exhibitions launch on April 21 as part of Contact: Sunil Gupta’s “Friends and Lovers: Coming out in Montreal in the ‘70s” and “Queering Family Photography.” Also included in the festival is Rachel Burns’s “Until Now,”opening April 21 at General Hardware Contemporary.
As part of their annual “Grow Op” exhibition on urbanism and landscapes, the Gladstone Hotel has organized its first international artist residency. In partnership with Artscape Gibraltar Point, the inaugural featured artists are Emily Jan and Adrian Stimson who will show their work as part of the exhibition’s theme “After the Flood” from April 19 to the 22. Elsewhere, at Tangled Art Gallery, Roberto Santaguida’s “My Head Lay on a Trusty Word” debuts on April 19. In this documentary film exhibition, Santaguida presents travel stories from his personal experiences.
The group show “I believe in living” launches at the Untitled Art Society on April 21. Curated by Ellyn Walker, the exhibition makes its starting point Assata Shakur’s poem “Affirmation,” and features works by artists who inject care and create poetic responses in the face of oppressive injustices. Participating artists are Basil AlZeri, Rana Bishara, Christina Battle, Richelle Bear Hat & Brittney Bear Hat, Rehab Nazzal, Abdi Osman, Tiffany Shaw-Collinge and Rinaldo Walcott. Meanwhile, the Lily presents “Amulets” by Edwin Isford on April 20, in which the artist will showcase work centred around male body image. Over at Alberta Printmakers Gallery, “Makeshift Tales” by Elizabeth D’Agostino launches on April 20. An opening reception will take place at 7 p.m. where D’Agostino will also give an artist talk.
The collaborative duo DaveandJenn’s “Thinner Skin, Thicker Hide” debuts at the Cambridge Art Galleries on April 20 with a reception at 7 p.m. Shifting between implications of the micro and the macro, the artists will present an intricate world-making and site-specific installation in their signature approach, using a range of different materials.
The exhibition “tet; mâni; ute|here : Melissa Tremblett & John Jeddore” opens on April 21 at Eastern Edge Gallery. Curated by Joanna Barker, the exhibition’s two artists explore the ongoing ramifications of the the 1949 Terms of Union between Newfoundland and Canada, which erased Indigenous peoples’ presence from the area.
In link with their current exhibitions, the Confederation Centre for the Arts hosts a panel discussion with UQAM Gallery director Louise Déry and artists Erik Edson, Norma Jean MacLean and Chih-Chien Wang on April 19 at 7 p.m. The featured speakers will discuss their practice and respond to the centre’s current shows.
The group show “Natural/Urban Environments: Extending Parameters in Contemporary Canadian Landscape Art” opens at the University of Winnipeg this week, featuring 13 artists from the university’s collection. Curated by Geneviève Riou and Aaron Demeter, artists featured include Wanda Koop, Linus Woods, Caroline Dukes and Bill Lobchuk, among others.
In closings, Bambitchell’s “Silent Citizen” at AKA artist-run ends on April 21.