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Top Picks this Week: April 18 to 24, 2013

There’s lots of great shows and events happening across the country this week. Here’s our picks for what to see where.

Kelowna-born, UVic-trained artist Erin Shirreff has seen a rapid ascent in recent years. Now based in New York, the artist—who has created films based on representations of the Canadian landscape—is showing this spring at White Cube in London and Art Basel Hong Kong, among other venues. Tonight at 7 p.m., the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver opens the first presentation dedicated exclusively to the artist’s film and video work.

A trio of appealing shows open this week in the GTA. First up are small-scale works by Jessica Stockholder opening at Barbara Edwards Contemporary on April 19, including a conversation between the Vancouver-raised, Chicago-based artist and critic Sarah Milroy on April 20 at 11 a.m. Next up is the first Canadian solo exhibition of Berlin-based artist Agathe De Baillancourt, which opens April 20 at 4 p.m. at General Hardware Contemporary (also check the project space there for new works by Toronto’s Nicole Collins). Last but not least is Gabrielle de Montmollin’s jocular, yet politically pointed, exhibition “Stephen Harper Hates Me,” which begins on April 24 at Red Head Gallery.

The Asia Contemporary Speaker Series, co-presented by the Canadian Art Foundation and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, wraps up tonight with a lecture by Vancouver curator and Yishu editor Zheng Shengtian at the Glenbow Museum at 7 p.m. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the rise contemporary Chinese art. The project Wreck City is likely to be a must-see for the Cowtown art scene; billed as the city’s largest-ever art installation, it sees nine houses scheduled for demolition on 5 Avenue N.W. transformed by a group of 100 artists and 8 curators. The launch is April 19 at 7 p.m. On the more traditional gallery scene, the always-noteworthy Chris Cran shows new works at Trépanier Baer with an opening tonight at 6 p.m.

Halifax artist Steven Higgins recently had a show largely comprised of drawings and prints tour the nation. Now, he hopes to make some of those two-dimensional works come to life in three dimensions. During his past couple of months as artist in residence at the MSVU Art Gallery, the public could partake of his building process; on April 20 at 2 p.m., he will unveil the finished work, which promises to be on a scale rarely seen in Halifax. Also happening in the city April 19 to 20 is the Atlantic Symposium: New Directions for Art Writing, where writers, editors and publishers (including Canadian Art online editor Leah Sandals) will discuss the ecology of art, professional practice for writers, and other topics.

Though based in Vancouver for many years now, Myfanwy MacLeod was born and raised in London, Ontario. An exhibition opening April 19 at 8 p.m. at Museum London traces 15 years of her work, but also includes new pieces that reflect on her version of youthful idealism, which includes references to Led Zeppelin song titles, muscle cars, and the aesthetics used in heavy metal and popular fantasy imagery. (There will also be a walkthrough with MacLeod on April 21 at 1 p.m.) On a different heavy metal front in the region, Windsor sculptor Zeke Moores, shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award in 2011, opens a solo show at the Art Gallery of Windsor April 19 at 7 p.m. Recreating objects like shipping blankets, pallets and even portapotties in bronze and aluminum, Moores transforms the accoutrements of hard labour into high art. Also opening at the AGW is a show by Hajra Waheed and an international video show.

For listings of art exhibitions, openings and events across Canada, please visit 

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