Fall Art Shows Toronto

10 must-see art shows in Toronto this fall

Fall art shows in Toronto might get overshadowed by Nuit Blanche in the weeks leading up to the all night art event, but rest assured there are plenty of opportunities to get your art fix in Toronto this fall without playing at being an insomniac. Aside from the obvious big names on now at the AGO (i.e. Ai Weiwei's phenomenal multimedia collection of work and David Bowie's closet), art lovers have countless options coming up or on exhibit already, from David Cronenberg's TIFF take-over to a lesbian haunted house. Here are here are 10 must-see art exhibits in Toronto for fall 2013.

Edward Burtynsky | Nicholas Metvier Gallery | Sept. 5 - Oct. 12
Edward Burtynsky's latest body of work, in which he turns his lens away from the more predictable topic of oil consumption to the human relationship with water, is his most accomplished yet. His huge colour photographs are stunning as ever, but it's the sensitivity with which he handles his subject that's so compelling. From nearly abstract images to the big-money crowd shots for which he's become famous, the Toronto-based photographer is at the top of his game. If you can't make the exhibition, the Jennifer Baichwal-directed film Watermark gives the Manufactured Landscapes treatment to Burtynsky's latest work.

Micah Lexier: One, and Two, and More Than Two | The Power Plant | Sept 21 - Jan 5
Recently opened at The Power Plant, Toronto-based artist and curator Micah Lexier's exhibition is separated into three parts (from which the exhibition takes its name): One, Two, and More Than Two. While One showcases works including Self-Portrait as a Wall Text, working documents, and video, Two features collaborations including Lexier's work with writers Christian Bök, Derek McCormack (with whom he custom minted 20,000 coins), and Colm Tóibín. Finally More Than Two (Let It Make Itself) sees Lexier work with literally one hundred other Toronto artists/duos/collectives, showcasing the artist's high regard for the talents of the Toronto art community and the power of collaboration.

Landslide: Possible Futures | Markham Museum (Markham) | Sept. 21 - Oct. 14
While it's a trek for those situated downtown, this exhibit from the creator's of 2009's brilliant Leona Drive project taking place in Markham's 25-acre, open-air museum is not to be missed. Beyond just exploring the changing nature of the culturally diverse place that is Markham, one of Canada's fastest growing cities, the sprawling multimedia collection will probe suburbs around the world. A ton of programming is planned, from film screenings to artist talks, which is all listed on their website. The whole thing is free, and complimentary bus rides from MOCCA will be offered on Saturdays between Sept. 22 - Oct. 12.

Animal Stories | Gardiner Museum | Oct. 10 - Jan. 12
Here's one for the animal lovers: Animal Stories will span four centuries of critters in visual culture through both illustration and ceramic art. Through the ages animals have acted as muses to human artists working in all disciplines and cultures from Asian porcelain craft to children's book illustrations to contemporary art, and this exhibition aims to draw the lines between them all. And yes, there will be pug art. Where my pug lovers at?

Lesbian Rule: Kill Joy's Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House | 303 Lansdowne / 1302 Queen St. W. | Oct. 17 - 30
Need Halloween plans? Allyson Mitchell's AGYU Off-Site exhibit Lesbian Rule aims to frighten with "Rug-hooked, crocheted, and paper maché'd constructions are womb-like wonders for visitations of the undead lesbian community, who are hell-bent on remaining nightmarishly non-assimilated". See their website for tour information.

Carbon 14: Climate is Culture | Royal Ontario Museum | Opens Oct. 19
Produced in partnership between Cape Farewell and the ROM, this art-meets-science exhibit explores what is likely the most pressing issue facing the globe today: climate change. Three years in the making, the exhibit's strength is the degree to which it places climate change within the cultural sphere, something that's rarely done on newscasts focusing on melting arctic ice caps and CO2 emissions. Exploring how artists engage with a contemporary issue of this magnitude is both fascinating and instructive.

Art Toronto | Metro Toronto Convention Centre | Oct 25 - 28
The 14th Toronto International Art Fair will span four days this year at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, with over tens of thousands of expected visitors converging to eyeball about 200,000 square feet of art. As always, the list of galleries and international artists exhibiting at the art fair is expansive and impressive, and some of the price tags will be in the half a million dollar range.

Elaine Stocki | Stephen Bulger Gallery | Oct. 26 - Nov. 3
Fromer Grange Prize nominee, Winnipeg-based multidisciplinary artist Elaine Stocki is one of Canada's bright lights in the field of photography. Her staged photographs that probe issues related to the construction of gender and the complications of class and race are both visually stunning and typically haunting. Often shot from jarring angles, as if from the margins of the frame, one needs to dwell in front of her images for a while before their subtly critical nature starts to make sense. It's time well spent.

The Cronenberg Project | Various Venues | Nov. 1 - Jan. 19
TIFF is honouring Toronto filmmaker David Cronenberg this fall in a way that's only fitting: TIFF's plans are so big and so bold they're difficult to explain and could be called ambitious, borderline outrageous, dazzling, and, well, weird. The retrospective will probe Cronenberg's future obsessed aesthetics as his oeuvre is documented, reflected, and explored in a variety of media including a display of Cronenberg film relics and props at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and an art exhibition at MOCCA including specially commissioned films.

Michael Wolf | Bau-Xi Photo | November
Wolf's pristine photographs of urban landscapes — often showing unsettling views of seemingly endless windows, balconies, and the rigid grids of city topography — arrive at Bau-Xi Photo this November. Wolf's large format chromogenic prints (most are mounted at 48 x 60 inches) are technically dazzling and offer a glimpse at scenery both familiar and altogether alienating. Exact dates TBA.


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