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Must-Sees This Week: March 1 to 7, 2018

Art Souterrain, a large annual exhibition that literally happens underground, offers a break from winter when it opens its latest edition in Montreal on March 3

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.


Montreal’s annual Nuit Blanche takes place the night of March 3, with art and related activities taking over different pockets of Montreal. Art Souterrain, launching on this same night, returns for its 10th edition with the theme Labor Improbus and works by 94 artists in its underground and satellite networks, including Martin Parr, Mindy Ann Miller, Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge, Alejandro Cartagena, Adad Hannah and more.

Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery debuts “Qui parle?/Who Speaks?” on March 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Curated by Katrie Chagnon, this group exhibition across various mediums positions the contemporary artist as author, and it examines the the role of voice and language in these artists’ works. Featured artists are Suzy Lake, Jo-Anne Balcaen, Raymond Boisjoly, Isabelle Pauwels, Moyra Davey, Krista Belle Stewart and Ian Wallace. Over at Galerie Nicolas Robert, two new exhibitions debut on March 3: “Les faïences de l’abîme” by Philippe Caron Lefebvre and “Variations sur le plein, le vide, l’envers et l’endroit” by Caroline Cloutier. In “Les faïences de l’abîme,” the artist showcases new ceramic wall sculptures that delve into an imaginary realm of the bizarre and science fiction, while Cloutier integrates the mirror into her photographic works to create an effect of collage.

Groupe Intervention Vidéo hosts a screening of “Isolated Landscapes: Video by Prairie Women (1984—2009)” in partnership with Video Pool Media Arts Centre on March 7 at 7 p.m. Curated by Kathy Rae Huffman in collaboration with Platform and MAWA, this touring project presents a selection of video works created by women artists during this time period. Among those reflecting on the geographical and cultural aspects of the Prairie region are Thirza Cuthand, Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, Dominique Rey and Divya Mehra.

Four new exhibitions launch at Art Mûr on March 3. “Végétal” by Hédy Gobaa; “Autrement Dit…” by Patrick Bérubé; “Sentence, souffle et linceul” by Jannick Deslauriers; and the group exhibition of drawings entitled “Grâce du dessin.” A reception will be held on opening day from 3 to 5 p.m. Elsewhere, “The Flowering Songs” by Darby Milbrath opens at Projet Pangée on March 1, and it looks at how contemporary dance can influence visual art. Over at Galerie Laroche/Joncas, an opening reception for the group exhibition “Stratégies d’abstraction” will be held on March 3 at 3 p.m. with works by Robb Jamieson, Amélie Jérôme, Gilles Mihalcean and Sean Montgomery, among others.

In closings, Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain hosts its closing reception for Joey Morgan’s exhibition “Catch and Release” on March 3 at 4 p.m. This marks Morgan’s first showing in Canada in 12 years.


Ursula Johnson’s “The Indian Truckhouse of High Art” opens at Central Art Garage on March 2 with a reception at 7 p.m. In this exhibition, Johnson denounces the commodification and appropriation of Indigenous cultural production. Elsewhere, Sussex Contemporary presents the group show “Fountain of Desire” on March 2 with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Curated by Rosalind Breen, the exhibition features artists Emma Carney, Heidi Conrod, Elizabeth King and India d’Scarlett.


The long-awaited blockbuster exhibition “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” opens at the Art Gallery of Ontario on March 3. Meanwhile, Project Gallery opens “How to Hold Yourself,” a solo exhibition by Toronto-based artist Ness Lee, on March 1. Lee exposes vulnerability and transformative states in her latest works, featuring her trademark surreal style. “Channel 51: Igloolik – Atanarjuat” opens at Humber College’s North Space on March 5, the sister exhibition to “Channel 51: Igloolik – Chill Zone” currently showing at the college’s L Space gallery. Both exhibitions together celebrate 30 years of video production in Igloolik, and this specific showing will give a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Zacharias Kunuk’s groundbreaking film Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner.

Tangled Art Gallery presents work by Fiona Legg in “The Maze Project & A Distant Memory 2” on March 1. The Maze Project consists of a large-scale installation that acts as a metaphor for Legg’s experience as a self-identified Mad person, and the sculptural work A Distant Memory will be shown alongside it. Over at Loop Gallery, the group exhibition “WATER ADVISORY!” opens on March 3, organized in partnership with the Wellington Water Watchers. The works featured by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists—including Crystal Sinclair, Paul Morin and Erika James—seek to draw attention to the vitality of water and combine art with activism to express the urgency towards the current state of water. Elsewhere, two new exhibitions open Angell Gallery this week: Bradley Wood’s “The Spoils” and John Holland’s “The Mirror of the Machine.” Both debut on March 2 with a reception at 7 p.m.

Cooper Cole presents two new exhibitions starting on on March 2: “Between Dreaming and Living” by Vikky Alexander and “Meson” by Scott Treleaven. Meanwhile, at 401 Richmond, the group exhibition “Hearing Video,” including works by Vera Frenkel, Gordon Monahan and Andrew James Paterson, opens with a reception on March 3 from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space. Curated by Lewis Kaye, this experimental research project draws from Vtape’s archive to explore the audio, rather than video, aspects works. Then, the exhibition “Mountain Paintings,” featuring work by Caroline Larsen, Maria Calandra, Leah James and Brian Willmont, opens at General Hardware Contemporary on March 4.

Last but not least, the multimedia exhibition “Being Scene,” organized by Workman Arts, opens at the Gladstone Hotel on March 1. The show features over 130 works by artists addressing issues around mental health.


The MacKenzie Art Gallery presents “Mixing Stars and Sand: The Art & Legacy of Sarain Stump” on March 3. Curated by Gerald McMaster and Anthony Kiendl, this retrospective exhibition explores the legacy of Stump, a Venice-born artist who was heavily involved with the revival of Indigenous art in the Prairie region in the 1960s. The multimedia exhibition will feature more than 200 works by Stump—including writing, photographs and ephemera—as well as a new commissioned work by Edward Poitras, one of Sarain’s former students.


The Vancouver Art Gallery opens “Bombhead,” an exhibition on the emergence and ongoing impact of the nuclear age through the work of artists, designers, filmmakers, photojournalists and physicists, starting on March 3. Guest curated by John O’Brian, the show combines atomic ephemera with artworks drawn primarily from the Vancouver Art Gallery’s collection. Artists in the exhibition include Carl Beam, Harold Edgerton, Gathie Falk, Robert Filliou, Betty Goodwin, Jenny Holzer and Roy Kiyooka, among others. The show is means to complement the gallery’s current solo exhibition of Takashi Murakami. Two other shows also open at the gallery on March 3: “Living, Building, Thinking: art and expressionism” and “A Cultivating Journey: The Herman Levy Legacy.”

Two new exhibitions open at Equinox Gallery on March 3.  One is the group exhibition “Made Still.” This show will feature works exploring the art historical still-life tradition, and include works by Adad Hannah, Fred Herzog, David Hockney, Robert Mapplethorpe, Eadweard Muybridge and Andy Warhol, among others. Bobbie Burgers’ abstract floral paintings also debut in “New Work.” A reception will be held for both shows on opening day from 2 to 4 p.m.

Western Front hosts its next Scrivener’s Monthly event, “Sharon Lockhart and James Benning Talking About Process,” on March 1 at 7 p.m. A screening of Lockhart’s film Rudzienko and Benning’s L. COHEN will preface a discussion between both LA-based artists.


“Littoral Landscape” by Tracy Peters opens at Gallery 1C03 on March 1. In this exhibition, Peters has created mixed-media installations that explore the shorelines of Lake Winnipeg and examine its erosion and transformation over time. Alongside this exhibition, Sylvia Matas’s project “A huge space, largely empty” will also launch in the gallery space on March 1. The project is a deconstructed bookwork centered around an unidentified lake.

Over at Platform , the exhibition “I wondered when my body would deflate” by Hannah Doucet opens on March 2. Using various mediums such as video, photography and sculpture, Doucet examines the transformation of the body during illness. Elsewhere, “Sea Levels” by printmaker Laine Groeneweg opens at Martha Street Studio on March 2. Groeneweg will give an artist talk the next day on March 3 at 3 p.m.


The initiative Change for Climate: Art for Change presents a panel on March 1 at 5:30 p.m. at the Art Gallery of Alberta. The topic of the panel is “The Power of Art to Influence Social Change,” and it includes artists and scholars Brittney Bear Hat, Debra Davidson, Natalie S. Loveless, Peter von Tiesenhausen (currently showing at the gallery) and Sheena Wilson. Moderation will be provided by Joan Greer.

Peter von Tiesenhausen will also give an artist talk at the Peter Robertson Gallery on March 2 at 7 p.m. This event is part of the programming for Tiesenhausen’s current exhibition “Carbon Capture,” which continues until March 10 at the gallery. Over at Bugera Matheson Gallery, Linda Craddock’s “Levitas” also debuts on March 1 with a reception at 6:30 p.m.


A solo exhibition by Erik Olson, entitled “Into The Trees,” opens at Viviane Art on March 2. Taking inspiration from Italo Calvino’s novel The Baron in the Trees, Olson considers the natural world in a new series of paintings and sculptures.

In closings, these are the last days to catch the exhibitions “Duet” by William Robinson and “Reservoir” featuring Jen Reimer, Magnus Tiesenhausen and Peter von Tiesenhausen, which both wrap on March 3 at Truck.


The opening performances for Lara Kramer’s residency and installation at Artspace, entitled “Phantom, stills & vibrations,” will take place on March 3 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Throughout this two-week residency, Kramer’s performances and sound installation examine the generational impact of her family members attending Pelican Lake Indian Residential School, as well as Indigenous peoples’ relation to settler society.

Over at Evans Contemporary, the exhibition “Vent” by Laura Findlay debuts on March 2. In these latest paintings by the artist, Findlay depicts the mountain as metaphor for evolution, destruction and continuity.


Centre [3] for Print and Media Arts presents “VibraFusionLab: Bridging Practices In Accessibility, Art and Communication,” a group exhibition artists who work with “vibrotactility”—the combination of visual, audio and tactile components in creative work—in the aim of improving accessibility to their art. Opening on March 3, the featured artists are Marla Hlady, Gordon Monahan, Alison O’Daniel, Lindsay Fisher, Ellen Moffat, David Bobier and Lynx Sainte-Marie.


The exhibition “inbetweenness” by Navarana Igloliorte opens at the Owens Art Gallery on March 2 with a reception at 7:30 p.m. Featured in this show are seven short films by Igloliorte which render different teachings and stories that emphasize our relationality to ourselves and the natural world.


Hermes presents “Being-in-the-Breathable: Weathering” by Robert Bean and Barbara Lounder on March 2. This exhibition displays the artists’ experience of periodic research in the Lake District of Cumbria in England using various mediums, and acts as a continuity of previous projects undertaken in this area. A reception will be held at 6 p.m. on opening day.


Galerie 3 presents “Les cycles d’essorage” by Martin Bureau on March 2. Featuring recent watercolour and acrylic work, Bureau investigates theories of catastrophe in our current age of the Anthropocene, and the impact humans continue to have on their environment.


Centre Bang presents the solo exhibition “La chambre des demi-jours” by Claudie Gagnon starting on March 1. Presented in two sections, the first section of the show will feature the immersive luminous sculpture installation La chambre des demi-jours, while a series of video works inspired by renown paintings will be screened alongside the work.

These must-sees are selected from submissions and press releases sent to at least two days prior to publication. Listings can be found at

This post was corrected on March 1, 2018. The original stated that “Who Speaks/Qui Parle?” at Galerie Leonard and Bina Ellen was to open on March 3. The actual date is now March 7.

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