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Must-Sees This Week: June 11 to 17

Lots of great art exhibitions open across the country this week. Here are our recommendations. (And remember to visit our Exhibition Finder for worthwhile shows that are already open.)


Montreal-based artist Dominique Pétrin has covered the walls, floors and pillars of Contemporary Calgary‘s City Hall location in wallpaper of hand-silkscreened works. The result is a colourful, cacophonous exhibition, “Three Withdrawal Movements for an ATM,” which opens on June 11 at 7 p.m.


“Eye to Eye” at Presentation House Gallery, which opens June 13 at 7 p.m., brings together a surprising range of artists—from Eugène Atget to Raymond Boisjoly—to illustrate the relationship between subject and photographer in portraiture. Sonny Assu’s “Day School” revisits the painful legacies of residential schools, opening at Equinox Gallery on June 13. Maegan Hill-Carroll’s photographs go on view at Wil Aballe Art Projects in “Muniment Monument” alongside Matt Trahan‘s “Scribes and Thieves”; both open on June 11 at 7 p.m. At the Vancouver Art Gallery, a large show of Italian painting from Glasgow museums and “Residue: The Persistence of the Real” open on June 12. Tyler Coburn presents a reading from his book I’m that angel a part of his residency at the Western Front on June 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. Winsor Gallery opens “Concurrent” on June 13 at 2 p.m.; it’s a show that experiments with chance, as artists invited to participate in the show were allowed to invite another artist to participate. Vancouver artist Elizabeth Fischer, known especially for her musical career, opens “Orphans and Dogs,” a show of her paintings, drawings, posters and more, at UNIT/PITT on June 12 at 8 p.m.


An exhibition of Jock Macdonald’s painting, “Evolving Form” will open at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria on June 13, having traveled from the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa. Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin will be visiting Open Space, and participating in a community feast and screening of her film Trick or Treaty on June 14 beginning at 6 p.m., and a conversation on Indigenous arts on June 15 at 5 p.m.


Verticale’s lecture club continues, this time lead by Thomas Bégin, who will explore ideas of fiction and notions of the utopian. The club continues to meet at the bottom of the Rosaire-Gauthier Park. June 17, 6 p.m.


At Studio Sixty Six, artists Nicolas Lapointe and Anna J. Eyler open a two-person show, “Between Différance, and Now,” which references Minimalism to explore “shared understandings of the sacred that have existed over time and across cultures,” and has a vernissage on June 11. Tasman Richardson’s immersive exhibition “Necropolis” opens at the Karsh-Masson Gallery on June 11 at 5:30 p.m.


After a long period of construction, the Musée d’art de Joliette opens its doors to the public this weekend with open hours from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on June 13 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 14.


The second iteration of “Playlist,” a summer group show, opens at Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran on June 13 at 2 p.m., featuring Michael Assiff, James Kerr, Sara Magenheimer, Roula Partheniou and Jon Rafman. Based on the outcomes of their residencies at the Guido Molinari Foundation, Manon De Pauw and Sara A. Tremblay open a show there on June 11 at 6 p.m.


Tricia Middleton’s work largely consists of colourful accretions of material—wax, odd objects, glitter, branches and cotton balls. In the Spring 2015 issue of Canadian Art, Chris Hampton describes these pieces as “anxieties she’s built into her sculpture.” Visitors to AXENÉO7 will have a chance to take all this in when Middleton’s exhibition, “Injurious Nature” opens on June 17 at 7 p.m.


Tacita Dean recently spoke to Canadian Art about creating her work JG, which makes its Canadian debut at the TIFF Bell Lightbox alongside a commissioned project by Daniel Young and Christian Giroux on June 12, 8 p.m. Kunstverein Toronto opens exhibitions by Glenn Lewis and Derya Akay on June 11 at 6 p.m., replete with an intriguingly titled “kimchi performance” by Lewis. New work by Iris Häussler opens at Daniel Faria Gallery on June 11; notably, “Ask the Frog” abandons the artist’s past approach to fiction and storytelling. A group exhibition opens at Clint Roenisch Gallery on June 11 featuring Nadia Belerique, Diane Borsato, Lili Huston-Herterich and Karen Kraven (who’s having quite the showing in Toronto, at present). YTB Gallery hosts an evening of live performance of video on June 11, with doors opening at 9 p.m. Curators Adrienne Crossman and Zach Pearl lead a talk about working with media art at InterAccess on June 13 at 12 p.m. (important note: it includes brunch).


Museum displays have received a fair amount of attention in the past decade, but we’re not finished just yet: the topic will be picked up at the Blackwood Gallery in Sameer Farooq and Mirjam Linschooten’s show, “The Figure in the Carpet,” which opens alongside “Always Already,” a show of recent acquisitions that features work by Alison Kobayashi, Ryan Park, Roula Partheniou, Jon Sasaki and Josh Thorpe. Both open on June 14 at 1 p.m.


Sarah Burwash and Gillian Dykeman upend the stereotype of the Canadian woodsman in “Reunion in Feral Forest,” which opens at DNA Artspace on June 13 at 7 p.m.


Gilbert and George are as well known for their particular manner as their work—almost always together, they are rarely seen in anything other than a uniform of suits and they espouse slightly affected conservative political views. It’s a set of personae that’s intriguing at best, grating at worst, and the focus of their 1981 film The World of Gilbert and George, which will be screened at the Nanaimo Art Gallery in conjunction with the exhibition “Spirit Gum” on June 16 at 7 p.m.

Thunder Bay

Sonny Assu‘s thoughtful blend of consumerist critique and Indigenous iconography will go on view at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery in “Continuum,” which opens on June 12. Featuring installation work, sculpture, photography and painting, the show aims to address political and ideological issues, while undoubtedly maintaining Assu’s signature material appeal.

St. John’s

At Eastern Edge Gallery, Jamie Ross’s recent book Rousings, which explores queer ancestry, is featured in the gallery in a space where visitors can reflect on these histories, while Jade Yumang opens “Citations,” a show of sculpture formed from an erotic magazine embroiled in a legal scandal in 1972 (bonus points if you can place the publication). A reception for both will be held on June 13 at 7 p.m.


Heather Benning’s newest photographic series will premiere at Slate Fine Art Gallery on June 11 at 5 p.m. Titled Kil(n) Hand, the images highlight Ontario’s tobacco-growing region, focusing on “the loss of hand work in the agricultural industry.”


Amalie Atkins creates otherworldly videos and images where expansive prairie landscapes become the backdrop to deeply poignant, but nevertheless simple, human relationships. Atkins’s solo exhibition, “Wundermärchen,” opens at the Kenderdine Art Gallery on June 16.


At ViewPoint Gallery, Roxanne Smith will lead a talk about private moments in photography—scenes where the subject seems unaware of, or disinterested in, the photographer—on June 12 at 7 p.m.

Dawson City

The Midnight Sun Camera Obscura Festival will be taking advantage of Dawson City’s 24-hour “midnight sun” from June 17 to 21, featuring artists’ projects (made from or related to camera obscuras) installed in and around Dawson City and exhibition projects opening at the ODD Gallery and the Yukon School of Visual Arts’s YSOVA Gallery.

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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