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Must-Sees this Week: October 13 to 19, 2016


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

The fifth annual Vancouver Art/Book Fair takes place October 14 to 16 at the Vancouver Art Gallery as part of Artists’ Books Week. Other related events of that week: David Khang’s launch of The Tank, the Poem, and the Uniform on October 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Malaspina Printmakers, and Jo Cook’s lecture Anecdotal Marginalia: The Inner Life of a Library on October 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Emily Carr University.

Tim Gardner, the BC artist known internationally for watercolours addressing contemporary masculinity and landscape, ventures into a new medium—oils—with his latest exhibition at Monte Clark Gallery, opening on October 15. The collective Postcommodity performs at Presentation House Gallery on October 13 at 8 p.m. in conjunction with the exhibition “Screens and Thresholds.” French artist Guillaume Leblon has created what promises to be “a radical transformation” of the white cube in his solo show “Untangled Figures,” opening at the Contemporary Art Gallery on October 13 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Elsewhere, Lucy Lippard lectures on October 15 at 7 p.m. at the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema. The fiction of Ocatvia Butler is discussed and celebrated by essayist Lynell George and filmmaker Julia Meltzer on October 13 at 7 p.m. at Western Front. French curator Mélanie Bouteloup delivers a talk October 14 at 7 p.m. at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre. The Canadian premiere of Mehmet Can Mertoğlu’s film Albüm takes place October 13 at 4 p.m. at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Also, the Richmond Art Gallery will launch Vancouver artists Diyan Achjadi and Shawn Hunt’s “Cultural Conflation,” an exhibition of multimedia drawings, collages and sculpture meditating on migration patterns and colonial iconography, with a reception on October 14 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Montreal and Area

The widely anticipated Biennale de Montreal launches on the evening of October 19 with a mix of national and international artists, including Moyra Davey, Valérie Blass, Geoffrey Farmer, Brian Jungen and Janice Kerbel, among others. In the lead-up, there are a variety of talks and performances, among them Luc Tuymans and Kerry James Marshall in conversation on October 17 at 7 p.m. at the Musée des beaux-arts de Montreal and Moyra Davey speaking at Place des Arts on October 19 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Also on the big-shows front: the North American premiere of “Bjork Digital” opens at DHC/ART on October 15, featuring the musician’s collaborations with world-renowned filmmakers and programmers. And the multi-venue Pierre Ayot retrospective continues with “Push and Pull,” a group show opening at Galerie Joyce Yahouda on October 15 from 4 to 6 p.m., as well as “Face à face,” a print-based show opening October 15 at 2 p.m. at Galerie Graff.

Grief and loss anchor Nadine Bariteau’s print-based installation at Atelier Circulaire opening October 13 at 5:30 p.m. Laurent Mulot videograms made on a Gaspé cargo ship open at Galerie Joyce Yahouda on October 15 from 4 to 6 p.m. Chinese-Canadian choreographer Wen Wei Wang presents the intimate performance “Made in China” at MAI on October 14 and 15 at 8 p.m. Vintage film posters created by the late Milos Reindl are to be installed at Victoria Park for a month; vernissage is October 15 at 5 p.m. The vernissage for a solo show of photo works by Fiona Annis takes place October 13 at 7 p.m. at Plein Sud.


Halifax’s annual late-night art festival Nocturne, curated this year by Michael D. McCormack, happens at a variety of venues across the city on the evening of October 15. Watch out for Rachael Shannon’s Breastival Vestibule at Halifax Central Library; Ursula Johnson’s IKATK:Ee-got-tk (She Protects) at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; and Mommy by Emily Falencki at Halifax Port Authority.


Internationally renowned Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar presents a lecture on October 13 at 6 p.m. at the University of Calgary’s Rosza Centre. Jaar’s lecture kicks off the Public Art and Social Practice Workshop Series, a collaboration between Illingworth Kerr Gallery, City of Calgary and Nickle Galleries that will culminate in a public art commission being offered to a Calgary artist.


The first Canadian solo show for Texas-based musician and artist Daniel Johnston opens at Lisa Kehler Art + Projects on October 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. Also on the town: check out an artist talk with Eleanor King, Canada’s newest Glenfiddich Prize recipient, on October 15 at 2 p.m. at Gallery 1C03. It’s the Atlantic artist’s first talk in Winnipeg, and relates to her sound-based works on display at the gallery, held in conjunction with the send + receive festival. Gonda, a film by Austrian artist Ursula Mayer, screens at Plug In ICA on October 13 at 7 p.m.


Photo works by Greg Staats—reaching from 1995 to the present day—open on October 14 at 5 p.m. at the Woodstock Art Gallery. There is also an artist and curator talk on October 15 at 2 p.m.—the latter being a great opportunity to learn more about the Haudenosaunee restorative aesthetic in Staats’ art.


Alex Bierk’s exhibition “Forerunners” opens on October 14 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Artspace. An attempt to reconcile past and future, Bierk’s show directly addresses hometown and adolescence, in part by mentorship work with five secondary-school artists in the area. The title of the show derives from a poem Bierk’s mother wrote when she was 17.


Comox Valley Art Gallery celebrates their current MAP: Make / Art / Place fall program with two new artists’ projects that call attention to how we construct, inhabit and relate to place and community. Justin Langlois’ text-based installation project Affirmations, or Otherwise includes Talking Points for the End of the World—pamphlets for a two-person public performances. Sandra Semchuk’s new project The Stories Were Not Told is comprised of photo-based, video, text and archival documentation of 24 Canadian WW1 internment camps, examining the impact on containment on prisoners and their descendants, of which most were Ukrainian civilians. Both projects launch on October 15, with workshops at 11 a.m., artist talks at 1 p.m., and receptions at 2 p.m.

Toronto and Area

Billed as the first major exhibition to spotlight Syria since the civil war began, “Syria: A Living History” opens to the public on October 15 at the Aga Khan Museum. Created in collaboration with UNESCO, the Louvre in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the ROM, among other institutions and collections, the exhibition promises a unique insight into Syria’s cultural traditions and diverse contributions to world heritage over 5,000 years. It’s accompanied this weekend by a lecture from Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria’s director-general of antiquities and museums—check it out October 16 at 2 p.m.

Saskatchewan artist Clint Neufeld, known for evocative ceramic sculptures of engines and auto parts, opens a new show “1/2 Price Fireworks” at General Hardware on October 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. “Monica Tap: Green Thumb” presents new paintings by the artist on October 15 from 2 to 5 p.m. at MKG127. “Kim Dorland: In Know that I Know Nothing” opens October 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Angell Gallery. On October 14, Diaz Contemporary debuts John Massey‘s Black on White, a suite of 10 large-scale digital prints completed between 2012 and 2016; opening is 6 to 8 p.m. “Douglas Walker: New Works” launches at Parts Gallery on October 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. Michael Pittman has his first Toronto solo show at Abbozzo Gallery opening October 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. Osheen Harruthoonyan’s “A Circle of Bluebirds” opens at Lonsdale Gallery on October 15 from 2 to 5 p.m. South African photographer (and Die Antwoord collaborator) Roger Ballen is featured in a show opening October 13 at Izzy Gallery.

Sudbury-born, San Francisco–based artist Keith Hennessy gives a performance lecture at the Blackwood Gallery alongside the opening for the group exhibition “I stood before the source” on October 19 at 6:45 p.m. “I stood before the source” features Abbas Akhavan, Emma Charles, Carol Condé and Karl Beveridge, Will Kwan and many other artists.

Lorna Mills and Nicole Del Medico discuss digital art on October 18 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Gamma Space. In a commercial/artist-run/project space crossover, Katzman Contemporary, Younger than Beyoncé and kontort collaborate on shows by Yi Xin Tong, Wyn Geleynse, Tau Lewis and others at Katzman’s Miller Street space; artist tours start at 2 p.m. on October 15, followed by openings at 5 p.m. New pay what you can or best offer paintings by Jay Isaac open October 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Weird Things. Cardboard found in Chinatown becomes the ground for paintings and installations by Tessar Lo opening at Mi-Yu on October 14 from 7 to 11 p.m.

“foraged, ain’t free,” a solo exhibition of mixed media sculptures by Tau Lewis, investigating the fraught relationships between nature and urban black bodies, opens on October 13 from 6 to 11 p.m at Studio 223A. This will be followed by “City Limits,” a panel discussion with Karimah Gheddai, Lisa Smart and the artist on October 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Xpace.

The performance festival 7a*11d launches its 11th edition on October 13 with performances by Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Johannes Zits and Elizabeth Chitty, among others, at various venues. For the month of October, Lillian Allen has programmed a series of performances Friday nights at the Art Gallery of Ontario in conjunction with the exhibition “Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries”; October 14 features Duke Redbird, Larissa Lai, Robert Priest and Catherine Black. A multimedia exhibition honouring Marshall McLuhan kicks off on October 13 at the Kelly Library on the University of St. Michael’s College campus. Three German curators—Eva Birkenstock, Simone Neuenschwander, and Kristina Scepanski—discuss their practices October 15 at 3:30 p.m. at University College. Artist Josh Thorpe presents a new public artwork, Flag Field, on October 13 at 6 p.m. at Maple Claire Park near St. Clair and Keele. There’s a curator’s talk on October 16 with Amish Morrell at 3 p.m. at Doris McCarthy Gallery about “Outdoor School,” an exhibition investigating interstitial wild spaces.

On the last-chance-to-see front, a number of exhibitions wrap on October 15: Sam Cotter’s “Carousel” exhibition at Zalucky Contemporary; Chris Cran’s “Anon Anon” at Clint Roenisch; “What would the community think?” at Xpace; and Kate Newby and Andrea Pinheiro at Cooper Cole.


The 19th edition of the Antimatter festival of media art, kicking off October 14, will allow Victoria audiences to experience more than 160 single channel video and film works from 30-plus countries. Deluge Contemporary Art will be the venue for all screenings as well as performance events including Apparitions by Alex MacKenzie and living is mostly wasting time by Michaela Grill and Sophie Trudeau. The group exhibition “kernel panic” will be open to the public during the day at Deluge, Brandon Poole’s exhibition “The Principle of Original Horizontality” will be on view at the fifty fifty arts collective and Daniel Laskarin’s audio sculpture to know a thing can be experienced at the Ministry of Casual Living’s window in Odeon Alley. The public video installations Cleopatra Burst and 117711 can be seen in the transom window of Deluge and the window of the adjacent Legacy Gallery after dusk.

Saint John

“Claude Roussel: Eros and Transfiguration” opens at the New Brunswick Museum Exhibition Centre on October 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. Organized by Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen at l’Université de Moncton, the show looks at plastic-sheet works by one of Acadie’s most influential contemporary artists.


Part artist talk, part workshop, Christos Pantieras’s talk on October 15 at 10:45 a.m. at the Aberdeen Pavilion, Lansdowne Park, will guide participants through the making of a waste mold. It’s all part of the Maker Faire event, as well as a program related to Pantieras’s current show at Gallery 101, which is based in sculpted multiples.


Clara Furey offers a contemporary dance performance on October 13 at 5 p.m. at the Musée d’art de Joliette. The museum is open late that evening; also check out the exhibitions “Marcel Barbeau. Vibrato,” “Yan Giguère. Croisements,” “Charles Stankievech: Timbral” “Pierre Ayot: Femmes de toilette,” and “An Te Liu: Naine blanche.”


Tammy Salzl gives an artist talk titled “Tranquility to Unease” on October 14 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at dc3 art projects. The talk is part of MacEwan University’s Visiting Artist Series. “Steve Driscoll: And a Dark Wind Blows” turns Peter Robertson Gallery into an artificial lake and boardwalk, alongside which is installed landscape paintings by the artist. Opening reception is October 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. On October 14, SNAP Gallery sees the openings of Colin Lyons’s “A Modern Cult of Monuments” and Graeme Dearden’s “To Do,” with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m.


In “The Clothing Project,” eight women artists visually examine the symbolism and language of clothing using fabric, printmaking, photography, assemblage and mixed media. The opening is October 16 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Red Door Gallery.


The provisional constructions created to reserve curbside parking space form the inspiration for Carlo Cesta’s recent sculptures featured in “50 Gallons,” an exhibition at the Boarding House Gallery that is being celebrated with a reception on October 15 at 2 p.m.


Join 2016 Eastern Comma writer-in-residence Don McKay during in an open house event at rare ECO Centre on October 18 from 4 to 6 p.m.—intersections between art and science will be a particular focus given McKay’s work around geopoetry. Fellow writer-in-residence Marlene Creates will also be presenting her project “Tuning and Being Tuned by a Patch of Boreal Forest in Newfoundland” in the space on October 17 at 5:30 p.m.


The season-long Caligari Project continues this week with a screening of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, presented with a new live musical score by Regina composer Jason Cullimore. Take it in October 16 at 7 p.m. at the Conexus Arts Centre. On a related note, expressionist music Schoenberg, Berg and Webern is performed by soprano Helen Pridmore, pianist Katherine Dowling and members of the Regina Symphony Orchestra on October 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Regina Public Library.


As part of “Fichu,” her solo exhibition, Emily Smit-Dicks will hold an artist talk at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery on October 16 from 1 to 3 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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