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Must-Sees This Week: February 8 to 14, 2018

Quebec City is hosting the North American premiere of a major new survey on Alberto Giacometti—direct from Tate Modern in London, with some rarely seen works included

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.


An exhibition of Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti’s work opens at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec on February 8. Travelling from the Tate Modern in London, this is the first North American showing of the retrospective.

This show will display some 150 works by the artist, including his trademark sculptures and also his lesser-known oeuvre of paintings. Starting with works created in Paris during his early career in the 1920s, Giacometti’s connection to leading thinkers Samuel Beckett and Jean-Paul Sartre at the time will also be explored.


The Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery hosts a screening of John Akomfrah’s The Stuart Hall Project and Deanna Bowen’s sum of the parts: what can be named on February 11 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Carleton University’s Daniel McNeil will contextualize both works in relation to both each other and to the resistance against neoliberalism.

Over at the Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides, the exhibition “Cartes sur table” by Marie-Claude Bouthillier opens on February 8, with a reception being held on February 10 at 2:30 p.m. The exhibition will unveil new works by the artist.

In closings, these are the last days to catch Jeanie Riddle’s exhibition “Open Letter to the Women” at Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran, which wraps on February 10.


At Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, MacArthur Fellow and artist Rick Lowe will be in conversation with Sally Frater on February 12 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Urban Field Speaker Series.

An exhibition of Althea Thauberger’s work entitled “Althea Lorraine” opens at Susan Hobbs Gallery on February 8. In this exhibition, the Vancouver-based artist is working with the National Film Board’s archives, specifically the NFB projects initiated by then-executive producer Lorraine Althea Monk around Expo 67. By positioning herself as Monk, Thauberger questions the implications of nationhood, identity and the idealized Canadian citizen in these productions. The show features an extension of Thauberger’s video project L’arbre est dans ses feuilles [The Tree Is in Its Leaves], as well as poetry by Montreal writers and texts by cultural historians.

Over at the Blackwood Gallery, the final and fifth circuit of the “Take Care” project opens on February 12. This iteration, called “Collective Welfare,” features works by Steven Eastwood, Sheena Hoszko and Carolyn Lazard. In this circuit, the notion of care will be emphasized as a social phenomenon and will investigate the institutional roles of the hospital, the prison and the hospice in their administration of care.

A solo exhibition by painter Dana Slijboom, titled “Ranch Dressing,” debuts at Towards Gallery on February 9. In this show, the Toronto-based artist continues her exploration of translating digital imagery and affects into painting. Aryen Hoekstra’s “Good Cook” debuts at Georgia Scherman Projects with a reception on February 8 from 6 to 8 p.m., centering the kitchen as a site of experimentation. A series of new work by John Marriott opens at MKG127 in “Play of Light / Assemblies” on February 10. An exhibition of work by Nan Goldin also debuts at the Caviar 20 Pop-Up Gallery this week.

On February 11, the Koffler Gallery hosts “Boundless Questions: Artists in Conversation” at 2 p.m.—a discussion between psychoanalyst David Dorenbaum and artists Nicole Collins, Erika DeFreitas and Tim Whiten on how art can help navigate difficult psychological questions.


An official opening reception for the new winter exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Hamilton will be held on February 11 from 3 to 5 p.m. These new exhibitions look at the state of the environment, specifically water, and include “Edward Burtynsky: Witness,” the group exhibition “Water Works,” the interactive installation “The Living Room: RESERVOIR: Stories of Water” and the Hamilton-based collective TH&B’s project about the Great Lakes, “Declaration.”

Over at the McMaster Museum of Art, an artists’ roundtable will be hosted in link with the current exhibition “#nofilterneeded: Shining light on the Native Indian/Inuit Photographers’ Association (NIIPA), 1985–1992” on February 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. The featured speakers are Rick Hill, Yvonne Maracle, Brenda Mitten and Greg Staats, some of NIIPA’s founding members, and the roundtable will be moderated by curator Rhéanne Chartrand.

Elsewhere, at the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, an opening reception for the exhibition “BALIKBAYAN” by the Kwentong Bayan Collective (Jo SiMalaya Alcampo and Althea Balmes) will be held on February 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. The exhibition showcases a timeline of caregiving labour performed by racialized women in Canada. The next day on February 10, the collective will give an artist talk and guided tour of the exhibition from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.


A big attraction in Ottawa this week is the National Gallery’s Contemporary Art Symposium, which takes place February 9 from 9 to 4 p.m. and includes Shannon Bool, David Hartt, Robert Houle, Maria Hupfield, Hajra Waheed and Stan Douglas, among others. The day prior, on February 8 at 6 p.m., enjoy a conversation between New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl and NGC director Marc Mayer.

Andrew Ooi’s “Anatomy of Resilience” launches at the Karsh-Masson Gallery on February 8 with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The exhibition will showcase both painted objects and paper works, and explore how art can serve as a testament to overcoming adversity. An installation of work by Karine Giboulo will be presented in “Broken Circle” at the Ottawa School of Art’s Orleans Gallery on February 9.


Vicky Sabourin’s “Warmblood” debuts at Access Gallery with a reception and performance on February 9 at 7 p.m. Curated by Katie Belcher, this exhibition by the Montreal-based artist weaves installation with performance to materialize a layered narrative unfolding as a tableau vivant. The artist will give a talk the following day on February 10 at 2 p.m.

The SFU Galleries host a screening and panel surrounding the project “Mirrored In Stone”—a film and artist-residency commission led by Marianne Nicolson and Althea Thauberger—on February 12 at 6 p.m. In collaboration with the Dzawada’enuxw First Nation, the project involves five youth artists-activists from the Dzawada’enuxw community as well as additional guest participants. A screening of works created by the participants will be presented, as well as a discussion with Nicolson, Thauberger and other guest artists including Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Kamala Todd, Scott Benesiinaabandan and Wendy Red Star, among others.

Western Front presents a screening of works by Robert Schaller accompanied with live music on February 13 at 7 p.m.—paying tribute to the artist’s knack for creating “visual music.” Over at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, the next monthly iteration of the performance The Readers will take place on February 14 at 2 p.m. In link with the exhibition “Beginning with the Seventies: GLUT,” artists and writers have been invited to respond to their experience of the gallery.


Jarvis Hall Gallery presents works by Mark Dicey in “PAPERWORK,” opening with a reception on February 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. As the exhibition title suggests, new paper works by the artist will be unveiled. Over at VIVIANEART, curator Katherine Ylitalo will host a tour of the current photography exhibition “Winter Garden” on February 10 from 2 to 3 p.m., as part of the Exposure Photography Festival.

In closings, “DOUBLE TAKE: Evan Penny & John Hall” at TrépanierBaer Gallery ends on February 14.


On February 9 at 7 p.m., the Baked Ham Community Speakers Series will present talks by Beverly Glenn Copeland of Sackville and Sym Corrigan of Halifax. Corrigan, an artist whose practice ranges from installation to performance and media-based works, will discuss some of her interests in playground design from the perspective of a visual artist and a parent. Copeland is a composer and musician who will speak on human potential.


A solo exhibition by Dagmara Genda at ace art will feature something unusual: a large-scale performative book work, weighing 150 pounds, that will unfold during the course of the exhibition. Everything That’s Lost is an attempt to organize and classify the ephemeral through the metaphor of snow. The artist was gifted a picture book on the arctic and proceeded to cut out every image of snow and scan them into a computer. She then laser-cut the archive of shapes from white pages that she bound into a new, larger book. Opening and artist talk take place February 9 at 7 p.m.

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

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