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Must-Sees This Week: January 18 to 24, 2018

A major solo exhibition by UK-based Canadian artist Allison Katz starts off our cross-country look at new art shows and events

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.


The new exhibition “Diary w/o Dates” by the Montreal-born, UK-based artist Allison Katz takes over both venues at Oakville Galleries this week. Best known for her unique painting sensibility, the artist will unveil posters, ceramics and a sand painting in addition to works on canvas. These will collectively respond to the gallery’s architecture, while also seeking to expand how painting is conceptualized as a medium. An opening reception will take place on January 21 at 2:30 p.m.

A roundtable discussion entitled “All Our Relations: The Art of Land and Indigenous Stewardship” will be hosted by the Jackman Humanities Institute on January 19 from 4 to 6 p.m. as part of the programming for the exhibition “#callresponse” currently on view at the Blackwood Gallery. Moderated by Michelle LaVallee, the speakers include Beatrice Deer, Lisa Myers, Canadian Art’s Indigenous editor-at-large Lindsay Nixon, and Eve Tuck. The discussion will approach the meaning of stewardship from different perspectives, and look at how it conflates with art practices and notions of sovereignty.

Over at Ryerson Image Centre, five new projects will debut on January 24: “Collaboration: A Potential History of Photography”; “Jim Goldberg: Rich and Poor”; “ ‘Soon we were en route again…’: The Margaret Corry Albums (1947–1963)”; the multi-channel installation “Ivan Sigal: Karachi Circular Railway”; and “Jorge Ayala: A Su Propio Ritmo (At Its Own Rhythm).” A reception will take place on opening day form 6 to 8 p.m.

Artist Nicole Collins make a splash this week with two new solo exhibitions of her work opening in the city. Curated by Mona Filip, “Furthest Boundless” at the Koffler Gallery opens on January 18, and “One Shot” opens at General Hardware Contemporary on January 20. Over at Daniel Faria Gallery, Steven Beckly’s “Meirenyu” opens on January 18 with a reception at 6 p.m. A transliteration of the word mermaid in Mandarin, “Meirenyu” centres this mythical creature as a way to explore our current relationship to oceans and waters.

Presented by the Onsite Gallery, OCAD University hosts the talk “Marc Mayer: Art in Canada” on January 24 at 7 p.m. The current director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada will discuss the national institution’s revised approach to its curation and programming, and his take on the future of museums.

At Markham’s Varley Art Gallery, January 19 marks the opening of two new exhibitions with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. A solo exhibition of work by the Iraqi-born, New York-based artist Wafaa Bilal debuts under the title “Wafaa Bilal: 168:01” alongside the exhibition “Inscapes” featuring landscape works from the gallery’s permanent collection.


“Sweetgrass and Honey,” a new exhibition of work by Skeena Reece, opens on January 19 at the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art. This exhibition highlights Reece’s performance practice and will feature new work by the artist, including an installation that excavates the racism within Hudson’s Bay history. Reece will perform her piece Looks Like a Suicide on January 19 at 7 p.m., launching the exhibition’s opening reception.

Then, on January 20, the gallery will present an artist talk with Bracken Hanuse Corlett at 2 p.m. as part of the respondent series programming for “Sweetgrass and Honey.” Corlett was commissioned to paint a mural for the exhibition, titled Stekyawden Syndrome, which was executed in collaboration with Reece.


A celebration of life will be held for artist Al Neil on January 21 at 2 p.m. at Western Front’s Grand Luxe Hall. Neil passed away on November 16, 2017.

Earlier in the week at Western Front, a show with Ellie Epp and Juliette Blightman, curated by Jacob Korczynski and entitled “going to go out now,” opens on January 18 at 7 p.m. Both artists take as their focus the interconnected question of space and place. Later on January 20, the centre will host L.A.-based writer Chris Kraus, author of  After Kathy Acker: A Literary Biography, as she discusses the work of Acker at 6.p.m.

An exhibition by Oliver Husain opens at Republic Gallery with a reception on January 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. The Toronto-based filmmaker presents his film Were Here, which continues his exploration of fragmented histories but looks specifically at how artists use their practice to address trauma and the effects of history. Over at Equinox Gallery, two new exhibitions launch on January 20: Marie Khouri’s new sculptures debut in “Bronze,” and Vancouver modernist Jack Shadbolt’s paintings from 1949 until 1959 will be presented in “The Ghost Universe.” Both exhibitions will run until February 22.

Also opening on January 20 is Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens’s “When the Guests Are Not Looking” at the SFU Audain Gallery space. This new project manifests Ibghy and Lemmens’s installation and performative examination of the expectations that audiences have towards artists and institutions. A reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on opening day, followed by a talk with the artists at 4 p.m. Out at the West Vancouver Museum, an exhibition of celebrated BC potter and sculptor Thomas Kakinuma opens on January 24.


Christine D’Onofrio’s exhibition “Real Tears” opens at Deluge Contemporary Art on January 19 with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Curated by the Vancouver gallery Wil Aballe Art Projects, this project is manifested as a hologram—complicating the boundary of fictiveness and reality in new media.


The exhibition “Re Present: Photography from South Asia” opens at the Kamloops Art Gallery on January 19. The show will examine the histories of photography across South Asia, tracing the medium’s trajectory starting from the 1800s.


Optica centre d’art contemporain presents “Vies performatives / Performing Lives,” curated by Zoë Chan, starting on January 20. The exhibition brings together video works by Canadian and international artists Bertille Bak, Lisa Jackson, Yoshua Okón, Helen Reed and May Truong.

In closings, La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse will host a celebration for the ending of Jillian McDonald window project Hunger on January 18 from 5 to 7 p.m.


Works by Tag Andersson debut at DNA this week, opening on January 18 at 7 p.m. Working with collage and painting, Andersson investigates the potential of colour, shape and form. The exhibition will run until March 10.


January 19 marks the opening of the exhibition “After Weather: Rick Silva + Justin Waddell” at Stride Gallery. In this new show, Silva and Waddell consider the implications of time, weather and how technology mediates our predictions. Later, on January 20 at 4 p.m., Vancouver-based writer and curator Steffanie Ling will read from her latest art writing and poetry and share her perspective on the art of writing about exhibitions.

Meanwhile, at Jarvis Hall Gallery, an artist talk with Sondra Meszaros and Tyler Los-Jones will take place on January 20 at 2 p.m. Meszaros and Tyler will discuss their respective exhibitions currently on view at Jarvis Hall and the points of connection between their practices. Both their exhibitions have been extended until February 3 due to high interest.


The University of Lethbridge Art Gallery presents Meryl McMaster’s “Confluence” this week. The touring exhibition showcases both McMaster’s latest photographs as well as earlier works. An opening reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on January 18.


Bev Pike’s “Grottesque” opens at the Dunlop Art Gallery on January 19 at 7 p.m. The Winnipeg artist will present her latest series “Underground Living,” portraying grottos and caves in large-scale paintings done with gouache on paper. The exhibition runs until March 25.


“The Length of Grief: The daughters of Métis Mothers” is an exhibition by Amy Malbeuf opening January 19 at 8 p.m. at AKA. Inspired by two Métis women’s intuitive responses to grief, the exhibition accesses personal, familial, ancestral and collective narratives and experiences of loss. The project also explores Indigenous feminism and Indigenous concepts of time as they relate to the strength and resilience of Indigenous women.


“Histoires de souche & other family stories…” is an exhibition by Marie Hélène Allain and Alisa Arsenault opening January 24 at 5 p.m. The exhibition takes place at the Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen and is organized in partnership with the New Brunswick Museum.


Vida Beyer’s exhibition “Seasons (Waiting on You)” opens on January 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Khyber Centre for the Arts. An artist talk also takes place on January 22 from 2 to 3 p.m., as well as a performance—“If You Can’t Love Yourself how the HELL are you going to love somebody else?” (For Dan Graham and RuPaul)—on January 23 from 6 to 8 p.m.


On January 21 at 2 p.m., the Thunder Bay Art Gallery hosts a panel and reception for “Converging Lines: Recent Art From the Northwest.” The panel features exhibition artists Kristy Cameron, Elliot Doxtater-Wynn, Shaun Hedican and Cree Stevens sharing and discussing their art, influences and life.

“Converging Lines” features the work of regional Indigenous artists and draws inspiration from the connective, emanating power lines found in the works of established Anishnaabe artists such as Norval Morrisseau, Roy Thomas and Ahmoo Angeconeb.

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 January 18, 2018. The original copy misspelled Allison Katz as “Alison Katz” in display copy, and incorrectly referred to Chris Kraus as “he.” Further, the copy misidentified the location of Meryl McMaster’s exhibition; it is at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, not the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.

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M. Turner says:

Chris Kraus is not a “he.”

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