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10 must-see art shows in Toronto this spring

Posted by Aubrey Jax / April 1, 2014

EvaMust-see art shows in Toronto this spring might pose a bit of a challenge to you, oh lover of patios, cold brews, and park hangs - but the weather is finally fine, and it's time to do a little spring cleaning inside your retinas, and, dare I say, focus your mind on something other than your frantic list of reasons to wait until April before giving up on life forever. Not that you made that list. Eat the list. Read this list instead, and try to hit as many of these killer shows as you can. Want more? There's also a bus tour of public art works on Sunday, April 27: learn more and reserve your seat here.

Here are 10 art shows you'd regret missing this spring if you were already dead.

Michael AwadMichael Awad - The Entire City Project 2014
On now at Nicholas Metivier Gallery is Michael Awad's solo photo exhibition focused on Toronto, captured through the "hybridized cinematic cameras" he crafted himself and strapped to his vehicle. The results are DIY time lapse stills of the city. It's a unique concept that's turned into an admirable success story, the latest results of which you can see now. You have until April 19 to catch up on the project.

Eva Koťátková
Czech artist Eva Kotátková's first solo exhibition in Canada begins at Scrap Metal Gallery this Thursday. Working with drawing, collage, installation, sculpture, and performance, Kotátková builds strange and playful objects, and interacts with them (that's a shot of her work in the image at the top of this post). The show runs from April 3 to June 28.

VersoMax Lupo - Objects of Note
This month at VERSO Gallery Max Lupo is obsessed with the power of objects like vintage telephones (check it out), typewriters, and strange inventions that are hard to put a name on right away. Do objects have healing powers? Can they react to their users? Do they contain ironic elements and are they laughing at us, or with us? The exhibit is up from April 5 - 27. Performances will happen Saturday April 5 from 4-6 pm, Saturday, April 12 from 1-4pm, and Sunday, April 27 from 1-4pm.

Scott Conarroe - China
This week at Stephen Bulger Gallery you can take in some phenomenal looking new work by Scott Conarroe, shot while he was in China (all the photogs are heading to China these days). If that isn't enough (and this lens has me addicted), check out some of his Rails series photos online. Gorgeous work. The exhibit is up from April 5 - May 3.

Francis BaconFrancis Bacon / Henry Moore
The Art Gallery of Ontario will host a massive Francis Bacon and Henry Moore exhibition starting this weekend, featuring over 60 works by the two British artists, both major players in the postwar art scene exploring bleak existentialism and the distortion of reality and human form. While Moore's less brutalizing works will balance Bacon's dread, it'll still be dark for a spring show (take some Gravol before bed the night after this one). The show runs from April 5 - July 6.

Vanessa MalteseVanessa Maltese
In Vanessa's Maltese's understated paintings and geometric sculptures, lines, patterns, colours, and architectural elements (this describes a lot of art, but bear with me) make for rare abstracts that are compelling to spend time with - just see it for yourself. Winner of the 2012 RBC Canadian Painting competition ($25,000!), her solo show at Cooper Cole runs from April 10 - May 10.

Glenn Priestley - Yonge Street
If you're a fan of our history posts, you won't want to miss this exhibit. Odon Wagner Contemporary will showcase Glenn Priestley's depictions of the changing face of Toronto's Yonge Street. You can preview some of the works online here. The opening is April 10th, and then you have until May 3rd to stop by.

Toronto art showContact
This year marks the 18th year of Contact, the largest photography festival in the world, where you can take in public installations showcasing the work of over 1,000 photographers in galleries and spaces across the city, plus attend films, lectures, and workshops. The fest launches May 2nd at MOCCA, who are presenting In Character: Self Portrait of the Artist as Another with works by Bill Burke, General Idea, Rafael Goldchain, Rodney Graham, Yasumasa Morimura, Shelley Niro, Cindy Sherman, and my personal favorite, Sophie Calle from May 1 - June 1. Look out for our full preview.

Mitsuo KimuraMitsuo Kimura
Mitsuo Kimura was one of the artists who participated in the Sanko mural at Queen and Claremont. If you're a fan of psychedelic Toronto illustrator Alex Mackenzie, prepare to feast your eyes. Kimura's ultra detailed psychedelic paintings might just start the first rumblings of a seizure - and then you'll want more, naturally. Read an interview with Kimura in Juxtapoz here. His show at Le Gallery opens May 9th and runs until May 31 (don't miss the Tristram Lansdowne show opening June 6th, either).

Angela GrauerholzAngela Grauerholz
German born, Quebec based photographer Angela Grauerholz's ghostly black and white images make one think of the strained world of Béla Tarr. There's a sadness lurking in her landscapes, interiors, and portraits, but they're not without their comforting qualities, too. Her show at Olga Korper Gallery opens June 5 and is up until June 28.


IAIN BAXTERCommunicating Vessels
Okay, one more -- especially since this one pulls us so far out of downtown. IAIN BAXTER&, Luis Jacob, Roula Partheniou and Judy Radul (three generations of Canadian artists working with familiar objects and defamiliarization) will show at Blackwood Gallery for one month this spring. If you're not able to get out to Mississauga, make this on your calendar: there's a free Contemporary Art Bus Tour April 27 from 12-5pm (more info here). The exhibition runs from April 16 - May 11.

Francis Bacon photo via thisrecording, Vanessa Maltese photo via Studio Beat, Eva Koťátková photo by Haupt & Binder



Lisa Deanne Smith / April 1, 2014 at 10:59 am
Of course I'm biased, but I'd also recommend 'Generations of Queer: Robert Flack / John Greyson / Elisha Lim / Kiley May'
March 12 to June 28, 2014

230 Richmond Street West (Street level)
Graeme / April 1, 2014 at 04:53 pm
Also biased, but we've got Taka Sudo, a great young artist in from B.C. for a solo show titled "Kinetic Moments" opening April 10, and running until the 27th. More details up on / April 1, 2014 at 09:52 pm
We'll be checking these out.
Starving / April 1, 2014 at 10:38 pm
Kathleen Wynne where's my money?
Shameless Self Promotion / April 2, 2014 at 11:31 am

Christian McLeod: PARTiCLE COLLiSIONS -
read more about the show at
by Steve Rockwell.
Francis / April 2, 2014 at 10:56 pm
2013's best art shows:
L / April 6, 2014 at 02:36 pm
Lonsdale Gallery has two shows running simultaneously, opening May 1st (one of them is a Featured Exhibit in the CONTACT Photography Festival!). Check out Joan Kaufman's CONTACT show "Cloud Cover" and a duo exhibition of sculpture by Baltimore artist Keith W. Bentley and Washington, D.C. painter Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann on the upper floor of the gallery. Meet the artists at the public reception, Thursday, May 8 from 6 – 9 pm.
Torianna / April 11, 2014 at 08:37 pm
Emerging artists, meet Moments.

Moments Art Gallery 2 years of trading, is an exciting commercial art gallery; Established in Toronto in May 2011. Providing emerging and established artists with space and exposure to place their work in today's contemporary corporate and domestic environments.

Moments Art Gallery is known to be an art hub for emerging artists. Artist without studio space and financial strength to continue their passion of art . Everyday hand full of new but very talented artist use Moments art Gallery as their studio space, Everyday they are provided paint, canvas and all necessary essentials in order to prepare them for their own opportunity to exhibit within our gallery space.

Opened by the founder and director, Hamid Kouchak; with experience over 10 years as an artist and art collector himself. Hamid is very grateful to be able to provide this opportunity for emerging talent within Toronto art community as he has been involved locally and internationally for many years.

Moments Art Gallery encourages all aspects of creativity in the art world through promotion, and exhibition.

The creativity and determination of the new wave of Canadian and international artists, wishing to be exposed and accepted by the world art market motivates us. Moments Art Gallery will continually present exciting, dramatic and provocative works of art in Canada and to the worldwide art market.

Gallery hours Monday to Saturday 11am-6pm

Check out for more!
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Gary Rush / May 16, 2014 at 01:48 pm
scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival is in full swing in Toronto! ReConstruction now on at the Elaine Fleck Gallery is intended to be seen in person! And there is lots to see in the art and design district this month and we hope to see you! — at The Elaine Fleck Gallery.
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