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Must-Sees This Week: January 15 to 21, 2015

There are a lot of great art exhibitions opening this week, and interesting art events happening too. Here are our best bets.


Opening at 5 p.m. on January 21 at Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran, Juan Ortiz-Apuy’s “Out of this light, into this Shadow,” embraces the fantastical and pulls from the genre of magic realism. At Oboro, “Border Stitching,” a solo exhibition featuring Vessna Perunovich’s investigations into boundaries opens on January 17 at 5 p.m. Part three of “Speculations. Risquer l’interprétation,” opens at Galerie Leonard and Bina Ellen on January 20. At Centre Clark on January 15, Jillian McDonald’s video piece Valley of the Deer, which she created in Scotland at the Glenfiddich International Artist’s Residency, opens at 8 p.m.

At Art Mûr, Neil Harrison’s diagrammatic paintings open alongside Michelle Lundqvist’s gradient canvases on January 17 at 3 p.m. Elsewhere, at Art Diagonale, Valerie Kolakis’s sculpture goes on view in “Chara,” which opens on January 15 at 7 p.m. Marc-Antoine K. Phaneuf pushes the limits of photocopies in “Catalogue des apocalypses ordinaries,” an exhibition assembled from found documents that opens at Arprim on January 16 at 5 p.m.


How do screens mediate contemporary life? Oakville Galleries open a group exhibition based on this question on January 18, which features work by Hadley and Maxwell, Marisa HoickaJohnny Forever and Oliver Husain, among others.


At the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery,  An Te Liu’s restrained, Modernist-inspired sculpture goes on view in “In Absentia,” with an artist’s talk on January 16 at 7 p.m., and Shirin Neshat’s Soliloquy, a dual projection video that ruminates on gender and culture opens on January 16 at 8 p.m.


The University of Waterloo Art Gallery opens two exhibitions that push quotidian objects and source materials to their limits. Michelle Bellemare’s large sculptures of seemingly banal household objects takes on a dark humour in “When push comes to shove,” while Dave Dyment uses a moment of television history as a point of departure in “Addendum to the Tommy Westphall Universe.” Both open on January 15 at 5 p.m.


Charles Stankievech continues his extensive and research-heavy investigations into military forms and state security. Titled “Monument as Ruin,” the exhibition features new work including video, photography and sculpture, and it opens at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre on January 15 at 5 p.m.


Akram Zaatari’s first Canadian solo exhibition, organized and circulated by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, goes on view at the Carleton University Art Gallery. Opening on January 19, the exhibition looks at the personal archive and political resistance in times of war.


Ron Benner, known for his garden installations, is installing three mixed-media photographic installations at the McIntosh Gallery. Opening on January 15 at 7 p.m., the three installations each focus on a question posed by the artist, from Why is the Tomato to Blame? to Wh…? Visitors can likely expect few fixed answers.


AKA Artist-Run reunites Maggie Groat and Barbara Hobot in a continuation of a past exhibition that opened last summer at the Elora Centre for the Arts. Picking up on ideas of imagination, association and truth, Untitled (new visions) opens on January 23 at 8 p.m.


At Western Front, Toronto-based duo Life of a Craphead (Amy Lam and Jon McCurley) premiere Bugs, their new feature-length film, on January 16 at 7 p.m. On January 15 at 6 p.m., Macaulay and Co. Fine Art present “Pre-Existing Work,” an exhibition by Walter Scott, best know for his humorous Wendy comics.


“Anatomica,” opening at the Dalhousie Art Gallery, takes a deeply interior turn: contemporary art that engages with anatomical studies. Although the artists share a topic of interest, their mediums diverge—from knitting to carving. The exhibition opens on January 15 at 8 p.m.


The city sees an incredibly busy week of openings. This is largely due to Villa Toronto, which officially launches at Union Station’s Great Hall on January 16 at 6 p.m. Plenty of offsite exhibitions, talks, performances and screenings take place from January 16–23. Just before Villa Toronto begins, Susan Hobbs Gallery opens an exhibition of Oliver Husain’s work on January 15 at 7 p.m. Gallery 44 delves into issues of visibility in “The Disappeared,” which opens on January 16 at 6 p.m.

The Ryerson Image Centre opens two complimentary exhibitions that plumb the relationships between women, photography and glamour on January 21 at 6 p.m. Mercer Union continues their well-received talk series with a lecture by Maeve Connolly on artists and the future of public service television on January 21 at 7 p.m. Opening at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery and the University of Toronto Art Centre on January 15, curator Sarah Robayo Sheridan pulls from the galleries’ recent acquisitions to look at signs and symbols.

“Tempermental,” a group exhibition opening at the Doris McCarthy Gallery, attempts to reconsider queerness and contemporary art, and the inherently political nature of these topics. Opening on January 15 at 5 p.m., the exhibition begins with a performance by Brendan Fernandes that starts at 5:30 p.m.


Ursula Johnson’s “Mi’kwite’tmn (Do You Remember)” continues its travels, this time opening at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery. Considering questions of ancestry and identity, Johnson’s work opens on January 17.


The first two parts of “Geometry of Knowing,” an expansive four-part exhibition split between two galleries, open at both the SFU Gallery in Burnaby and the Audain Gallery in Vancouver on January 15. Taking a broad approach to learning, the first two parts feature artists including Neil Campbell, Lawren Harris, Camille Henrot and Brian Jungen.


In Emily Carr’s paintings and Edward Burtynsky’s photographs, destruction and environmental erosion take on a darkly seductive edge. From oil fracking to logging, Carr and Burtynsky both focus on landscape, but refuse the landscape tradition of leaving human activity outside the frame. Travelling from the Vancouver Art Gallery, “A Terrible Beauty” has an opening reception at the Kelowna Art Gallery on January 16 at 7 p.m.


In “Sedimentary Antiquity,” Kevin Conlin unites the worlds of ceramics and amateur palaeontology, creating vessels that capture fossils and traces of life. Opening at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, the exhibition reception begins with a special performance that merges musical theatre and poetry at 7:30 p.m. on January 15.

Our weekly must-sees, published each Thursday, are selected from press material sent to at least two days prior to publication. For listings of art exhibitions, openings and events visit

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