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Must-Sees This Week: April 14 to 20, 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.)


Presentation House Gallery holds a reception for “Nanitch,” an exhibition of rarely seen historical photographs of British Columbia from the Uno Langmann Family Collection of BC Photographs, on April 16 at 7:30 p.m. The Contemporary Art Gallery presents a new commission by Toronto-based French artist Jérôme Havre that considers racialized stereotypes and ideologies projected onto bodies, opening April 15. Dina Goldstein’s “Gods of Suburbia”, an 11-piece photographic series focused on religious faith in a contemporary context, opens at South Main Gallery on April 14 at 7 p.m., followed by an artist talk on photo tableaux on April 16 at 2 p.m. Also a part of Capture Photography Festival, Gallery 295 opens two shows on April 15 at 7 p.m.: Mike Bourscheid’s large-scale sculpture and photography work in “You inherited that from your father! We dance our name,“ and Gerri York’s project “Alley 1_(112 E. Pender St.),” which looks at pictorial space in photography.


Agnès Riverin’s three-part project Planisphère Nord, which looks at “spacetime, memory and grief,” opens at Centre d’artistes Voix Visuelle on April 14 at 5 p.m. Slightly unreal locations are mapped in Gabriela Avila-Yiptong’s exhibition “In the Beginning,” which pulls from her own photographs, often collaged with found images and altered, opening at Studio Sixty Six on April 14 from 6 p.m.


Barbara Hobot, Kristiina Lahde, Jennifer Rose Sciarrino and Adrienne Spier are brought together in “For the lack thereof, because you don’t think of me often,” a show that focuses on the absent or the unseen, and opens at the Idea Exchange on April 15 at 7 p.m.


James Carl’s survey at TrépanierBaer formally opens with an artist talk on April 16 at 2 p.m. At TRUCK, Jessie Rose Vala opens “The Passion of the Great Nothing,” a three-channel video piece that takes radioactive fallout spreading across the Pacific Ocean as its setting.

St. Catharines

“Vai e Vem / Back and Forth” brings together two Brazilian and two Canadian artists in a cross-continental exchange, and opens with a reception at Brock University on April 15 at 5 p.m.

Thunder Bay

Anishinaabe artist Frank Shebageget details a kind of local history through his architectural and dioramic work, which often involves repetition, in “Home,” opening at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery on April 15 at 7:30 p.m. Also opening at the gallery: an exhibition of work by Northwest Coast artists in the permanent collection looks at traditions of storytelling and features artists including Marianne Nicolson, Jim Johnny and Bill Reid.


A major retrospective of Kelowna-based artist John Hall, known for his highly realistic canvases and works depicting everyday objects, opens at the Kelowna Art Gallery on April 15 at 7 p.m. The opening is followed by panel discussion with Hall on realism on April 16 at 1:30 p.m.


Chronological time is upset in “The Time Travellers,” a group show featuring Sarah Crawley, Annie MacDonell and Mandy Malazdrewich that opens at the Platform Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts on April 15 at 7 p.m. Jaimie Isaac gives a research lecture, also at Platform, on decolonizing and Indigenizing exhibition spaces on April 18 at 7 p.m. Karen Asher’s slightly absurd, intimate photographs open in “The Full Catastrophe” at Ace Art Inc. on April 15. Kathy Rae Huffman gives a lecture on “Enhanced Vision-Digital Video exhibition, the first online video exhibition presented by the ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community, Enhanced Vision,” at Plug In ICA on April 14 at 7 p.m.


At the McMaster Museum of Art, “The Working Eye” offers a selection of works on paper from the private collection of Roald Nasgaard and Lori Walters, and that of Christopher Varley, and opens April 16.


“When Raven Became Spider,” a group show focused on supernatural characters in Indigenous stories and contemporary comic books, and featuring artists including Joi T. Arcand, Julianne Beaudin-Herney and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, opens at the Dunlop Art Gallery on April 15 at 6 p.m.


“Loin des yeux,” curated by Claire Moeder, opens at Optica on April 16 at 3 p.m., showcasing work by seven artists from Quebec, the United States and Europe that play with perception. Ahead of Papier16, “Couper/Coller” looks at the use of collage, and goes on view at Galerie Simon Blais on April 14. The Never Apart spring exhibition showcase opens on April 16 with a party from 6 to 11 p.m. One highlight to catch is the portrait series POSTER BOYS by Richmond Lam and Eve Thomas, which sees women dressed up as teen male heartthrobs from Tiger Beat circa 1993.


The Art Gallery of Ontario opens an exhibition of work by famed Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi, renowned for his spare, sunlit interiors and portraits, on April 16. The former editor of Canadian Art opens Richard Rhodes Dupont Projects on April 16 with an exhibition of work by Josh Thorpe. On April 14 at G Gallery, Angie Keefer will read from her text from Kara Hamilton’s imagined auction catalog, followed by a book signing. Images Festival also opens this week, with exhibitions, screenings and live presentations of contemporary moving-image culture around Toronto, starting with a citywide art crawl on April 14. For our festival recommendations, check out our picks piece, but some other highlights include Heather Phillipson at Trinity Square Video, Oliver Husain at Gallery TPW and Guy Wouete at Vtape. Raymond Boisjoly’s new body of work opens at the Koffler Gallery on April 14 at 6 p.m., and considers the relationship of image to text. Photographer Robert Bean’s new exhibition opens at Circuit Gallery as part of the Contact Photography Festival on April 14, with an informal artist talk on April 16 at 1 p.m. Multi-disciplinary artist Carlos Motta’s exhibition “Beloved Martina…” reflects on the restrictive gender binary at Mercer Union on April 14 at 6:30 p.m. Dance and performance art merge in the Toronto Dance Theatre’s event, “Singular Bodies,” beginning April 14 at the Winchester Theatre, and including artists Bridget Moser, Walter Scott and Johanna Householder.

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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