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Must-Sees This Week: June 25 to July 1, 2015

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.)


In his exhibition “Still Move,” at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Brooklyn-based artist Brendan Fernandes presents an immersive, repetitious installation of a single video work, showing dancers working through tension with rubber balls. “Still Move” opens with a reception with live performances on June 26 at 5 p.m. alongside Scott Rogers’s “Where is Our Twentieth Century Promised.”


On June 26, starting promptly at 7 p.m. and moving between the New Gallery and Royal Canadian Legion No. 1, 2015 Sobey Art Award nominee Lisa Lipton will present a one-night performance in conjunction with Sled Island Music Festival. At Truck Contemporary, Toronto-based experimental-film artists Loop Collective celebrate a major anniversary with a film program that opens on June 26 at 7 p.m., which is followed at 8 p.m. by the opening of “Leaning From a Steep Slope,” a group exhibition investigating place. Methods of exchange—across media, disciplines and audiences—are taken up in “If Everyone Claps in Unison, Can I Still Call it Applause? / A Moment Ago in the Future,” which opens on June 27 at 8 p.m. at Untitled Art Society, in partnership with Sled Island Art and Music Festival, and features Calgary-based artists Ashley Ohman and r.p.m.


Canada is not a hotspot for Baroque masterpieces, but a new exhibition at the Art Gallery of Alberta, “Illuminations: Italian Baroque Masterworks in Canadian Collections,” opening on June 27, aims to change that. Also at the AGA, artist Wil Murray and curator Kristy Trinier discuss Murray’s new exhibition “On Invasive Species and Infidelity,” on June 26 at 6:30 p.m. Peter Robertson Gallery gets into the summer spirit with the “Summer Heat Group Show,” opening on June 27.


With seemingly economical graphite marks, Holly Fay conjures the atmosphere of imagined worlds; sketchy and slightly schematic in nature, her exhibition of drawings, “Floating Worlds,” opens at the Sherwood Gallery at Dunlop Art Gallery, with an artist talk and reception on June 27 at 1 p.m.


The illusory qualities of photography—the medium’s ghostly function as a trace—is taken up in a group exhibition opening at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery on June 25, “Phantom Presence: Contemporary Photography in New Brunswick.”


A permanent-collection exhibition of work by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven goes on view at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on June 27. At Urban Shaman, Dylan Miner hosts the performance “The Elders Say We Don’t Visit Anymore,” which tries to create a space within the gallery to share tea and company, beginning on June 25 at 1 p.m. At Martha Street Studio, Miner looks at Indigenous sovereignty, asking how it can be imagined “outside the machinations of Canadian and US political structures” in “The Silence of Sovereignty,” beginning with a reception on June 26 at 5 p.m., with an artist talk the next day at 5:30 p.m.


In “are you experienced?,” which goes on view at the Art Gallery of Hamilton on June 26, curator Melissa Bennett calls on Nadia Belerique, Jessica Eaton, Olafur Eliasson, Dorian FitzGerald, Hadley and Maxwell and Do Ho Suh to make an appeal to the senses, arguing that “experience creates meaning.” Hamilton Artists Inc. celebrates their 40th anniversary in appropriately raucous manner with music, cocktails, giveaways and art on June 27 beginning at 7 p.m.


Studio 21 gets into the swing of things with a summer group show “Atlantica: Summer Group Exhibition,” alongside a mini-exhibition of work by artist and critic Gary Michael Dault in “Four Seasoned Landscapes,” on June 26. Rob MacInnis’s slightly glamorous, invariably entertaining portraits of barn animals open at Gallery Page and Strange on June 26 at 5 p.m.


On June 25, Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto Art Centre and host venue Justina Barnicke Gallery co-present “The Flesh of the World,” a group show with a robust roster which take Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the 2015 XVII Pan American and Parapan American Games as a starting point to consider the body. “Surface and Stratagem,” opening June 26 at 6 p.m. at Division Gallery, looks like a deft, playful group show that nudges at new relationships between sculpture, photography and assemblage. Urban neuroses and retail therapy are hot topic at Jeanne Randolphe’s “Shopping Cart Pantheism” at Paul Petro Contemporary Art, opening June 25 at 7 p.m. MOCCA’s last hurrah at their Queen West location starts at 8 p.m., June 25 with artist Dean Baldwin requesting we come clad in deck shoes, transforming the space into a fictitious, tongue-in-cheek “Q.W.Y.C.” (Queen West Yacht Club). Recently featured in the New York Times, Caroline Larsen mounts a set of new oil paintings, “Tropical Blooms,” that call textiles to mind at General Hardware Contemporary, opening June 25 at 6 p.m. Another exhibition that takes the Pan Am Games as a launch pad plus a dose of surveillance paranoia, “Sportsmanship Under Surveillance,” opens at a new space, Sur Gallery, on June 27 6 p.m. Stephen Bulger Gallery opens a straight-shooting exhibition, “Canadian Modernism” featuring John Vanderpant and contemporaries, opening June 25 from 5-8 p.m. Finally, visiting artists Sasha Pierce and Jim Verburg give artist talks June 26 from 6–7 p.m. at Open Studio, after which the opening reception for their exhibition begins.


Western Front co-presents a Scrivener’s Monthly with 221A (where the event will take place) on June 26 at 7 p.m., featuring London-based artist Nils Norman discussing play. The Burrard Arts Foundation offers an alternate history of colour beginning June 25 at 7 p.m. with “Towards a Fictional History of Colour,” a group show with artists whose painting involves “pouring, soaking, covering, washing, staining, inflating and negating.” The Contemporary Art Gallery continues their offbeat events (on the heels of a “yoga boogie” session) with an artist talk and DJ session by Tad Hozumi on June 27 at 4 p.m. At Robert Lynds Gallery, Rachel Vanderzwet, Mandy Lyn Perez and Nathalie Quagliotto come together in the group exhibition “Out Of Town Guests,” which opens June 30 at 7:30 p.m.


Following the opening of his exhibition at the institution, Jon Rafman will give a talk with  curator Mark Lanctôt at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal on June 25 at 7 p.m. Marion Wagschal’s graphite drawings open at Battat Contemporary on June 25 at 6 p.m. Jazz music is the primary subject of Hank O’Neal’s photographs, which open at the Joyce Yahouda Gallery on June 27 at 4 p.m. Basketball is fused with art in a performance by Julia Borderie hosted by the Darling Foundry at the Place Publique on June 25 at 7 p.m. Just prior, at 5:30 p.m. on June 25 at the Darling Foundry, Alsatian artist Livia Johann and Spanish artist Fernando Garcia will discuss their residency experience at the venue. At New Eldorado “Amours chiennes” by Natalie Lafortune opens on June 26 at 6 p.m.

North Bay

At White Water Gallery, Duke and Battersby’s “Curiosity Built the Cat” offers a survey of the collaborative duo’s work from the past decade and a half, including the Canadian premier of the duo’s video work Dear Lorde, which received the overall award at the 2015 European Media Arts Festival. “Curiosity Built the Cat” has an opening reception on June 26 at 7 p.m.


At Cape Breton University Art Gallery, legacies of mining are taken up in an exhibition featuring work by artists Victoria Ward and Gary Blundell alongside a group community exhibition. The show stems from a workshop that took place in 2014 at the Glace Bay Miners Museum, and it opens on June 26 at 6 p.m., with an artist talk the following day at 2 p.m.


At the Orillia Museum of Art and History, colonialism is taken up in two exhibitions. In “Nation 2 Nation,” Michael Belmore, Michael Farnan, Nadia Myre, Travis Shilling and Osvaldo Yero are brought together to consider conceptions of “nation.” On the other side of the spectrum, “touch: Champlain at 400” revisits explorer Samuel de Champlain’s travels through Huronia.


“Between Différance, And Now,” an exhibition at Studio Sixty Six tackling the rather large topic of meaning formation, has a talk by the show’s artists Anna J. Eyler and Nicolas Lapointe on June 25 at 6 p.m. Gallery 101 has been hosting a durational “anarchive performance,” Channel Surf, involving a “paddling arts residency, floating school and ambulant atelier,” over the past two weeks, and the performance will be fêted in an event on June 27 at 6 p.m.

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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