Upcoming Toronto Art Shows

Every now and then, I do a web search to see what’s coming up in the Toronto arts scene. While things are currently slow, the following exhibitions caught my eye.

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ABOVE: Geogria O’Keeffe, From the Faraway, Nearby, 1937, oil on canvas, 35.9 x 40.1 inches, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Size Matter: Steve Driscoll and Finn O’Hara

McMichael Canadian Art Collection (opens March 11, 2017)

Juxtaposing the urban with the rural, Size Matters will be the first exhibition in in a public gallery for Toronto artists Driscoll and O’Hara.

Georgia O’Keeffe

Art Gallery of Ontario (April 22-July 30, 2017)

Organized by Tate Modern and making its only North American stop at the Art Gallery of Ontario, this retrospective contains more than 80 of Georgia O’Keeffe’s works and looks like a hit in the making.

Artifact by Deborah Samuel

Gardiner Museum (May 1 – 31, 2017)

Running as part of the Contact Photography Festival, Artifact consists of twelve 20 x 24 inch black and white prints by Santa Fe artist Deborah Samuel. As transformation is the central theme, what the viewer sees changes depending upon their distance from the wall.

Anishinaabeg: Art & Power

Royal Ontario Museum (opens June 17, 2017)

Containing art produced over the last 200 years, this show will highlight the artistic evolution of the Anishinaabeg peoples while exploring their life, traditions and sacred stories.

CHIHULY at the ROM

Last Sunday, I visited the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) to see a selection of works by famed glass artist Dale Chihuly. Here are some of my thoughts on the exhibition.

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ABOVE: Dale Chihuly, Persian Ceiling, 2012, installation

BELOW: Dale Chihuly, Float Boat, 2014, blown glass and wooden boat

I like all types of art for all types of reasons, and often, what I like wouldn’t fall into anyone’s definition of beautiful. That said, I do appreciate aesthetics, and sometimes, I like an artwork for it’s beauty alone. One artist whose work I do consider beautiful is Dale Chihuly. He’s currently showing at the Royal Ontario Museum, and last weekend, I stopped by for a look.

I really enjoyed this show, and I loved the fact that photography wasn’t just allowed, it was encouraged (Instagram, here I come). What I didn’t love was the price of admission. It was way too steep.

If you’ve heard about the exhibition and are debating whether or not you should go, I highly suggest you do (if you can afford to). It isn’t overly intellectual, but it is jam packed with eye-candy, and based upon the reactions of the people I saw there, it’s a real crowd pleaser.

CHIHULY is at the ROM until January 2, 2017.

Current/Upcoming Art Shows in Toronto

There’s never a shortage of things to do in Toronto, especially if culture is your thing. That said, if you’re in the city this winter/spring, the following shows look promising.

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ABOVE: Diane Arbus, A young man and his pregnant wife in Washington Square Park, N.Y.C., 1965, gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 inches (sheet), private collection, Toronto, copyright © The Estate of Diane Arbus

BELOW: Aude Moreau, Waiting for Landing, 2015, digital print, 28 x 42 inches, collection of the artist

Outsiders: American Photography and Film 1950s-1980s

Art Gallery of Ontario (March 12 – May 29)

A selection of art misfits – including Diane Arbus, Kenneth Anger and Nan Goldin – comes to the AGO this month. Given the current state of U.S. politics, this show promises to be more relevant than ever.

Angell Gallery’s 20th Anniversary Exhibition

Angell Gallery (April 9-23)

Not a lot of info available on this (no artists listed), but I’ll give this gallery the benefit of the doubt and expect a good showing.

Aude Moreau: The Political Nighfall

The Power Plant (January 30 – May 15)

If you dig panoramas and cityscapes (I do), then this exhibition is for you. Several cities, among them Toronto and Montreal, are included.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Royal Ontario Museum (November 21, 2015 – March 20, 2016)

The world’s longest-running nature photography competition comes to Toronto with 100 stunning photos. You don’t have to be an art junky to love this.

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.