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Must-Sees This Week: June 16 to 22, 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.)


“On Cohabitation: Films by Yael Bartana” opens at Walter Phillips Gallery on June 22 at 5 p.m. It brings together a series of films that represent the dominant topics present in Bartana’s work, such as the politics of re-enactment and performance of identity, often in relation to shifting notions of statehood.


Presentation House Gallery hosts the North American premiere of the documentary #artoffline, which tackles the tough question of what happens to physical art in a digital age, at Vancity Theatre with a panel discussion on June 16 at 7 p.m. Lalakenis/All Directions: A Journey of Truth and Unity, a book that stems from the “Lalakenis” exhibition at UBC’s Belkin Gallery, brings together essays by Beau Dick, Chief Robert Joseph, Wanda Nanibush and Tarah Hogue, among others, launches at Macaulay and Co. Fine Art on June 18 at 2 p.m. At Franc Gallery, “Absence in Remembrance: The Japanese Canadian Internment,” a group exhibition featuring artists Lillian Michiko Blakey, Leslie Hossack, Emma Nishimura and Cindy Mochizuki, remembers and commemorates Japanese Canadian internment during World War II, opening June 19 at 6 p.m. Bridget Moser’s new performance Freak on a Leash goes on view at Western Front at 7:30 p.m. on June 16; expect moments of humour, existential anxiety, props and some dancing.


“Kinky, Ancient Chinese and Japanese Erotic Images,” which is basically what it says on the tin, opens at Art Gallery of Greater Victoria on June 18.


The Glenbow hosts a launch party weekend for three summer exhibitions that cover a range of ground: a selection of Edward S. Curtis’s photographs, “First Person: Contemporary Indigenous Portraiture,” a show of portraiture by contemporary Indigenous artists and an exhibition highlighting the role of the graphic novel. The Glenbow’s party takes place on June 18, beginning at 7:30 p.m., with musical performances by Cris Derksen and the Stoney/Nakoda powwow group Eya-Hey Nakoda. “Cream” features six artists, including Brittney Bear Hat, Wednesday Lupypciw, MT JR. (Mohammad Rezaei and Joleen Toner) and others whose works explore a transition between two forms or ideas, and it opens at Contemporary Calgary on June 16 at 7 p.m.


The Art Gallery of Alberta offers a free tour of “Allora & Calzadilla: Echo to Artifact,” the first major exhibition in Canada of the work of internationally renowned artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, on Thursday, June 16, from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. The show features a film, sculpture, sound pieces and a live performance, and new work based on the artists’ research into Western Canada’s prehistoric past.


“the Introverts,” a group exhibition that builds from a short story of the same title, features work by Mélanie Myers, Robert Taite and David Woodward, and opens at Forest City Gallery on June 17, from 8 to 10 p.m.


The Toronto Art Book Fair’s inaugural year will highlight over 150 national and international artists, publishers and more, including yours truly, so drop on by and say hello at Artscape Youngplace between June 16 and 19. At Diaz Contemporary, Montreal artist Marie-Claire Blais’s works, which combine plaster, painting and textile, open June 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. Mario Doucette and Liza Eurich’s printmaking goes on view at Open Studio, beginning June 17 from 6 p.m. The Pendulum Project hosts the group exhibition “Political Candy” at Studio 223A beginning June 16 at 6 p.m. Hazel Meyer and Cait McKinney’s show “Tape Condition: degraded,” works with the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives’s VHS collection, and opens June 16 at 7 p.m. At Erin Stump Projects, “Past~PRESENT~Future” brings together artists including Lois Andison and Faith La Rocque, and opens June 17 at 6 p.m. “Gender Play: We are hanging out right now,” a new performance by Aisha Sasha John and Julia Thomas that combines dance, music and spoken word takes place at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre on June 18 at 2 p.m.


The Confederation Centre Art Gallery’s summer exhibition opening gala reveals Landon Mackenzie’s “Parallel Journey,” a 40-year survey of abstract paintings on paper, on June 18 at 7 p.m.


“A Second Look” collects documents and residue from a recent performance-art series that occurred as part of Art In Fest in May 2016 at the Khyber Centre for the Arts. The show features Erika Ellsworth, Anni Spadafora, Daltry Rose Campbell-Lemire, Ridwan rau rau, Beck Gilmer-Osborne and Baby Morocco, and opens on June 21 at 6 p.m.


Hamilton Artists Inc.’s summer exhibition programming opens with Stephen Kelly’s solo exhibit “Open Ended Ensemble (Competitive Coevolution),” the group exhibition “Proximities,” featuring the work of Nahed Mansour, Lee Nutbean and Giles Whitaker, and “The Artist’s Palette Community Dye Garden” by textile artist Thea Haines, beginning June 18 at 2 p.m.


The rage for rocks continues with Stefan Herda’s “If you know what you’re looking for,” a recent body of work by the Toronto-based artist that uses found material and chemicals to create rock-like objects, which opens at Y+ contemporary on June 18 at 7 p.m.

Saint John

Francisco-Fernando Granados uses Third Space Gallery’s spaceless exhibition model to make a show focused on site-specific work developed with the Saint John YMCA Newcomer Connections Centre. The resultant exhibition, “1. Make a Line,” begins on June 17 at 4 p.m. with a performance, followed by an artist talk on June 20 at 7 p.m.


René Derouin’s “Ultimate territories,” which brings together works on paper and wood reliefs produced between 2000 and 2013, opens at the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke on June 18, and runs until September 25.


The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts kicks off the summer season with a blockbuster exhibition of prints and posters by famed French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, beginning June 18. At Galerie René Blouin, “Géométries,” a group show featuring work by Daniel Langevin, Francine Savard and Pierre Dorion, picks up on Montreal’s legacy of geometric painting, harkening back to the Plasticiens, opens on June 18. Galerie Dominique Bouffard hosts a 10th anniversary exhibition with work by a dozen of the gallery’s artists, beginning June 16 at 5 p.m. A performance of and conversation about Simone Forti’s An Evening of News Animations, which translates newspaper reports into improvised movement compositions, takes place at the Phi Centre on June 22 at 7 p.m. as part of DHC/ART’s performance series “Affinities.”

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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