Douglas Does Toronto

I recently visited the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and the Royal Ontario Museum to see their Douglas Coupland exhibitions. Here is a quick review.

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ABOVE: Douglas Coupland, Permanent Press Landscape, 2011, acrylic on canvas, collection of Miriam Shiell Fine Art, as seen at the Museum on Contemporary Canadian Art

BELOW: Douglas Coupland, Slogans for the 21st Century, 2011-2014, prints on watercolour paper laminated onto aluminum, Courtesy of the Artist and Daniel Faria Gallery, as seen at the Royal Ontario Museum

If you live in Toronto, chances are you’ve come across the name Douglas Coupland in your travels. That’s because his art is everywhere this winter. Over the past two weekends, I took in two of his shows, one at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, the other at the Royal Ontario Museum. Here’s what I thought:

Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art – price $0 (I made a $5 donation)

Make no mistake, this is a distinctly Canadian show. Even more so, it’s distinctly rural. That’s okay. In fact, it’s pretty cool. From modern takes on old Canadian masters, to large scale installations, this was by far my favorite of the two venues.

Royal Ontario Museum – price $16 (I paid an extra $7 to see the Wildlife Photography Exhibition)

Unlike its sister show, the art here is more international – and urban – in scope. I liked a lot of what I saw, but I liked it more as a complement to the MOCCA show than I did as a stand alone exhibition.

Conclusion

Owing to a drastic shift in themes, it actually makes sense to put the work in two venues. Just make sure you visit both. To see only one, is to miss out on the bigger picture.

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Must See Art Shows in Toronto this Winter

One of the best things about living in a big city is the art. With that said, if you’re in Toronto this month (and next), the following shows will likely be stellar.

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ABOVE: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1981, acrylic, oilstick, paper collage and spray paint on canvas, 96.25 x 72 inches, The Broad Foundation, © Licensed by Artestar, New York

The Bad News: If you’ve ever been to Toronto, you know it can get really, really cold in January/February.

The Good News: There is a lot of great art to look at.

Stay warm, and go to the following shows:

Douglas Coupland

Daniel Faria Gallery (January 22 – March 21), Royal Ontario Museum & Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art (January 31 – April 18)

Seems like Coupland will be all over the city this winter. Maybe I’ll read another one of his books before I go.

Kent Monkman

Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporian (January 30 – February 28)

This guy can paint, and his piece in the Art Gallery of Ontario is outstanding. Here’s hoping he brings his ‘A’ game.

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Art Gallery of Ontario (February 7 – May 16)

Probably the biggest exhibition to hit the city this year. Of all the shows in 2015, I’m looking forward to this one the most.