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Must-Sees This Week: January 19 to 25, 2017

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 even more worthwhile shows that are already open.

Vancouver and Area

Guadeloupe-born multidisciplinary artist Jimmy Robert will collaborate with Vancouver-based dancer, teacher and artist Jane Ellison on his newest performance, accompanied by a solo exhibition of his sculpture, drawing, video and photo-based works, in “Wanna talk about reading?” at the Western Front, with a reception on January 19 at 7 p.m. The Burnaby Art Gallery opens “Hank Bull: Connexion,” bringing together work from the veteran Vancouver artist’s last four decades of practice, beginning January 19 from 7 to 9 p.m.

This is one of the last weeks to see work by preeminent American photographer Walker Evans, whose images indelibly captured the Great Depression, at the Vancouver Art Gallery, as his showing closes January 22. Erdem Taşdelen has not one but two current exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Gallery, and the shows transform a wide range of source material into video, prints and more—hear more about his multidisciplinary practice in an artist talk at the CAG on January 19 at 6:30 p.m. Artist and filmmaker K8 Hardy has two screenings and events related to her feature film Outfitumentary: a screening and artist introduction at DIM Cinema, at the Cinematheque, on January 25 at 7:30 p.m.; and a screening and Q&A at Emily Carr University on January 26 at 7 p.m. SFU Gallery begins a talk series that offers a look inside the university’s collection: it begins with Bryan Myles, manager and acting director of the Bill Reid Centre, on January 19 at 12:30 p.m.


The Ottawa Art Gallery hosts a goodbye party on January 20 at 7 p.m. in its Arts Court location before its big move. And, be sure to take a look out next week, when the OAG kicks off a year of programming at off-site spots around the city. Loss, that inevitable part of life, comes into focus at Gallery 101 in a show that brings together work by Michèle Pearson Clarke, Jinyoung Kim and others, beginning January 21 at 3 p.m.


Fred Herzog is one of Canada’s most renowned street photographers—with “Shadowland,” a selection of his images taken between 1958 and 2000 (many of which haven’t been seen publicly before) goes on view at the Audain Art Museum starting on January 20.


Maryse Larivière opens a solo show at DNA Artspace that promises a dream-like experience and includes a series of sculptural, collage, quilt and book works, beginning January 20 at 7 p.m. January 21 marks the last day to catch the group show featuring the paintings of Tom Humphreys, a text- and photo-based installation by Aaron Aujla, and mixed-media sculpture by Paul Pascal Theriault at Carl Louie.


“Sovereign Acts II” brings together work by Rebecca Belmore, Lori Blondeau, Dayna Danger, Robert Houle, James Luna, Shelley Niro, Adrian Stimson and Jeff Thomas at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery—be sure to make the talk by curator Wanda Nanibush on January 21 at 2 p.m., and keep posted on upcoming programming, which includes multi-lingual tours, a concert by Odaya, an Indigenous women’s singing ensemble, a critical commentary by Canadian Art’s Indigenous editor-at-large Lindsay Nixon, a conference by art historian Richard Hill and more.

At the Fondation Guido Molinari, “Spectres” will see Jean-Pierre Gauthier, working with Pascal Audet and Emmanuel Lagrange Paquet, create mechanical systems that respond and relate to Molinari’s studio, going on view January 19. Halifax-based artist Lisa Lipton shows her experimental feature film, THE IMPOSSIBLE BLUE ROSE, at Diagonale, beginning January 19 at 6 p.m.

Change is in the air for SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art: for 2017, the space will be renamed and operate as the Wood Land School, organized and programming by Duane Linklater, Tanya Lukin Linklater and cheyanne turions with Walter Scott—look for the project’s “first gesture,” which will be held in honour of Annie Pootoogook and feature readings by Heather Igloliorte on January 21 at 4 p.m. Years of correspondence between the artist and friends have been worked into Roberto Santaguida’s cinematography project, which will be the subject of a walk, screening and finissage beginning at the north exit of the Verdun metro station on January 21 at 1 p.m. L’inconnue opens Brian Kokoska’s first solo installation in Canada—he has previously shown paintings in Canada, but rarely installations—which will include “sentimental belongings from deceased family members, altered collectibles and other memorabilia,” beginning January 19 at 6 p.m.


Launching with an artist’s talk on January 19 at 7 p.m. and an opening reception on January 20 at 7 p.m. at the Plug In ICA, Angie Keefer’s “FIRST CLASS, SECOND THOUGHTS, INTERMINABLE SWELL” brings together three new works, and turns the street-front gallery into a “production studio and showroom.” Letch Kinloch, founder of Winnipeg’s artist-book library Also as Well Too, leads a talk on their research on January 23 at 7 p.m. hosted by Platform Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts at the Winnipeg Cinematheque Theatre.


The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba enters a new exhibition season with a reception on January 19 at 7:30 p.m. Two shows are kicking off at the AGSM, both of which deal with the representation and remembrance of war. “Through the Lens” highlights World War I photographic archives in Brandon, while “To Bury the Sun” focuses on the contemporary with work by Dianne Bos, Sarah Crawley and Steve Gouthro on themes of remembering.


Lebanese-American nonagenarian Etel Adnan was brought to the world’s attention at the last Documenta—and now Ontarians have a chance to take in her work at the Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens, beginning January 22 at 3:30 p.m. At Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square, work by Irish-Canadian-American artist Les Levine made during the mid-1960s to the early 1970s goes on view.

Toronto and Area

“Illusion of Process,” a group show with works by Marvin Luvualu Antonio, Miles Collyer and Maggie Groat, opens at the Art Gallery of York University on January 19 from 6 to 9 p.m.—try to make the opening in time for Luvualu Antonio’s performance, A Death in the Tunnel, at 7:30 p.m. Writer Fan Wu leads one of Mercer Union’s critical conversation events, with the aim of trying to “weave a queer scene,” on January 25 at 7 p.m. Heather Hart’s Northern Oracle, an installation that includes placing a rooftop into the gallery, opens at the Doris McCarthy Gallery January 25 at 5 p.m. Acclaimed British artist Isaac Julien opens two film installations at the Royal Ontario Museum on January 21, followed by an artist talk on January 24 at 7 p.m.

“Nasty,” a group exhibition on the idea of female as embodied threat, opens at Daniel Faria Gallery on January 21 from 2 to 5 p.m., featuring work by Nadia Belerique, Valérie Blass, Shannon Bool, Aleesa Cohene, Kara Hamilton, Kristine Moran, Jennifer Murphy and Elizabeth Zvonar. January 21 is also the last day to catch Jess Dobkin’s performance The Magic Hour at the Theatre Centre.

Susana Reisman’s “Standardizing Nature,” which looks at some of the ways that humans standardize nature for consumption, opens at the Varley Art Gallery alongside a show of painting by Paul Fournier with a reception January 22 at 2 p.m. Cooper Cole opens the first Toronto solo exhibition by Scott Treleaven, beginning January 20 alongside a showing by Georgia Dickie. The first survey of Montreal-based painter Leopold Plotek, who has mentored a generation of Canadian painters, spans five decades of Plotek’s work, and opens at the Koffler Gallery on January 19 at 6 p.m.


Shary Boyle steps into a organizational role at the Esker Foundation, bringing together work by artists including Shuvinai Ashoona, Pierre Aupilardjuk and Jessie Kenalogak that nod towards the spiritual or extraterrestrial realms—the resultant show, “Earthlings,” opens January 20 at 6 p.m.


Diana Lynn VanderMeulen’s `*crystal, rest installation can be recommended in a handful of words: a disco-drone, shimmering lights, a synthetic waterfall and a holographic landscape. It’s on view at Idea Exchange Art and Design, beginning with a reception January 20 at 7 p.m.


Lyn Carter’s “11th Line,” titled after the country road on which she lives, brings the dominant graphic-design element of her life—the stripe—into the Art Gallery of Peterborough, opening January 21 at 2 p.m. Sharing the gallery with Carter’s sculptures will be Peterborough artist Steven Vero’s landscape paintings, and “That’s Kinda Like What It Was Like,” a show of work from the AGP’s permanent collection, including work by artists like Micah Lexier, Gordon Smith, Jeannie Thib and Andy Warhol, that hovers between representation and non-representation.


Tribe Inc. and AKA Artist-Run join together to begin a yearlong series “surveying multidisciplinary approaches to protest, resistance and activism.” This begins with “She is spitting a mouthful of stars,” which includes work by Amy Malbeuf, Annie MacDonell, Goth Shakira, Gregory Scofield, Adrian Stimson, and opens January 20. Ahead of the exhibition, Annie MacDonell gives an artist talk on January 19 at 12 p.m. at the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery. At 330g, Cape Breton–based artist Susan Mills opens a one-of-a-kind artist book titled Interaction of Tantra, beginning January 20 at 7 p.m.


The Agnes Etherington Art Centre launches a group of winter exhibitions to the public on January 19 at 6:30 p.m. “Picturing Arctic Modernity: North Baffin Drawings from 1964” brings together a collection of drawing gathered by Terry Ryan, an artist and arts advisor who worked in Cape Dorset. “The Unvarnished Truth: Exploring the Material History of Paintings” takes a scientific look at Modern and Old Master works. “The hold: studies in the contemporary collection” brings together work by Martha Fleming, Gustav Klimt, Pablo Picasso, Lisa Visser and others that are conducive for thinking.

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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