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Must-Sees This Week: January 28 to February 3, 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.)

St. Catharines

Rodman Hall Art Centre has two exhibitions opening on January 28 at 7 p.m.: Shawn Serfas’s new body of large-scale abstract paintings, Inland Series, and Amy Friend’s photo-based work that combines archival materials, found images and her own photographs.

Toronto & Area

Miles Gertler’s work often focuses on architecture, and in “Superlith,” a new exhibition opening at Corkin Gallery on January 28 at 6 p.m., he delves into revisionist history. Harbourfront Centre holds an opening reception for their winter shows, which include craft and design, geometry, abstraction, experimental photography and more. Next door to Harbourfront, the Power Plant holds an opening on January 29 at 8 p.m. for four artists: Leslie Hewitt, Carlos Amorales, Patrick Bernatchez and Aude Moreau. Katzman Contemporary showcases its inaugural performance art festival, “Duration & Dialogue,” which brings 26 national and international artists together in situ and online to investigate the concept of “duration” from January 29 to 31. Also on the performance front is the debut of “Monomyths,” a series that subverts Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey with “a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world.” Ursula Johnson and Cheryl L’Hirondelle kick off “Monomyths” at 4 p.m. on February 3 at the Progress Festival. “Measured,” featuring the work of Georgina Bringas, Marla Hlady, Karen Kraven, Kristiina Lahde and Francine Savard, opens at Diaz Contemporary on January 28 from 6 p.m. Vtape’s curatorial-incubator program continues with a session curated by Erin MacMillan about the domestic labour of women on January 29 at 6 p.m. The third and final instalment of “The Centre for Incidental Activisms (CIA),” which includes projects by Radiodress, Greg Staats and Syrus Marcus Ware, has a reception and AGYU Performance Bus featuring Farrah Miranda taking visitors from OCAD University (100 McCaul St) at 6 p.m. on February 3. Sarah Cale, whose paintings often involve ripped and reworked canvases and are currently on view in “Instants passing through the air I breathe,” gives an artist talk at the Varley Art Gallery on January 31. The Doris McCarthy Gallery is opening “Material Girls,” a large-scale group exhibition, on February 3 at 5 p.m. The show, circulated by the Dunlop Art Gallery in Saskatchewan, brings together a range of Canadian female artists (including Allyson Mitchell, Meryl McMaster and Sarah Anne Johnson) to look at notions of excess.


Jarvis Hall Gallery reopens at new location with an inaugural group exhibition featuring works by Mark Dicey, Marigold Santos, Bill Rodgers, Robin Arseneault, John Will and more on January 29 at 6 p.m.


The Walter Phillips Gallery opens a show “things you can’t unthink,” a group show of female artists, on January 29 with Sara Cwynar, Eunice Luk, Virginia Lee Montgomery and Erica Prince. The show promises to delve into the “inconsistencies and contradictions of philosophical fields.”


Risa Horowitz’s Imaging Saturn, a long-term project that “sees Horowitz become an amateur astronomer and astro-photographer,” opens at PLATFORM on January 29.


Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain presents wide selection of work by Mark Clintberg that includes his stained-glass sculptures, monoprints, text-based neon works, installations and more, on January 30 at 3 p.m. The results of the research and work residency by the group Theresa Transistor goes on view at the Darling Foundry in presentations on January 29 and the afternoon of January 30. In an exhibition of experimental collaboration, work by Ines Doujak, Pablo Lafuente and Alessandro Marques opens at SBC Gallery in “Sans peau / No Skin” on January 30 at 2 p.m. Walter Scott leads a workshop at Galerie Leonard and Bina Ellen on January 29 at 12 p.m., which will be followed by a performance, Wendy’s Revenge, at 6 p.m. An exhibition by Eman Haram that uses photography to reflect on culture opens at Oboro on January 30 at 5 p.m. Also on site at Oboro is Shyra De Souza’s installation using previously owned objects collected from local thrift shops (which viewers are allowed to contribute to). And an evening of performances related to Hans Ulrich Obrist‘s “Do It” project takes place at Galerie de l’UQAM on February 3 at 7 p.m.


Playtime is taken up by the group show “Free Play,” which opens at Museum London on January 30.


Janice Kerbel‘s Doug, nominated for the Turner Prize last year, gets its North American debut performance January 29 at 7 p.m. at the Contemporary Art Gallery. Martine Syms leads a presentation for Scrivener’s Monthly at Western Front on January 28 at 7 p.m.; her work, Misdirected Kiss, “looks at aspects of paralinguistics and the performance of speech as it relates to constructions of black identity.” Also at Western Front, Daniel Fish’s two-channel screening installation Eternal, which draws from the final lines of Charlie Kaufman’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, goes on view on February 2 at 8 p.m. “Like a Rolling Stone: An Exhibition About Rock and Rock” opens at Charles H. Scott Gallery on February 2. At Wil Aballe Art Projects, Patryk Stasieczek gives an artist talk related to his show “Burn Out,” which involves installations of photographic light, on January 30. SFU Gallery opens a recent video work by Allison Hrabluik, The Splits, which includes a cast of performers including “a hula hooper, a singer, a pizza dough thrower, speed skippers, tap dancers, gymnasts and dog trainers,” on January 30 at 1 p.m.


The Art Gallery of Windsor holds an opening reception for their winter show on January 29 at 7 p.m. The shows include a revisitation of historic Ottawa-based artist Alma Duncan, Wafaa Bilal’s “168:01,” which aims to restore the library of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad, and “Marginalia,” which extends the term usually reserved for writing in the edges of books to the built environment.


An opening is held on January 28 at 5:30 p.m. at the Ottawa Art Gallery for local artist Gayle Kells’s show “Lament of the World,” which looks at environmental issues through art, and for “Coast to Coast,” which presents highlights highlights of Canadian art from the Firestone family’s collection. Toronto artist Amanda Boulos opens a painting and video installation, Split Spit Mound, which delves into military conflict and personal history, at Studio Sixty Six on January 30 at 5 p.m.


NSCAD University art and activism resident Raven Davis presents a new work, It’s Not Your Fault, at the Khyber Centre for the Arts on February 1 at 8 p.m., beginning with a performance.

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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