toronto art shows winter

The top 10 art shows in Toronto for winter 2016

Winter art shows in Toronto are generally indoor affairs that let you escape the cold. From a massive art Artist Project at Exhibition Place to solo exhibitions from emerging artists, there's a ton to choose from if you're looking to expand your artistic horizons this season.

Here are my picks for the top art shows happening in Toronto this winter.

Kent Monkman: The Rise and Fall of Civilization (until Jan. 10, Gardiner Museum)
This is Kent Monkman's largest installation to date, and since opening in October, it has won much acclaim. Like much of Monkman's work, it carefully explores the relationship between Indigenous and European cultures by depicting imagery from the 19th century when settlers nearly drove the North American bison population to extinction.

Peter MacCallum: Skyline Series, 1979-1992 (until Jan. 16, Diaz Contemporary)
Take a look back at Toronto's past through MacCallum's photographs of the skyline. You'll get to see how the city changed over the past 36 years, especially from the perspective of Queen West -- that's where MacCallum took his first three photographs in this series, between 1979 and 1980.

Bite Me (until Jan. 23, Coldstream Fine Art)
Erin Rothstein, a Montrealer who's currently based in Toronto, creates hyperrealistic paintings of food. Satiate your craving for art by checking out her solo show happening right now at Coldstream Fine Art.

Complex Social Change (until Jan. 24, Doris McCarthy Gallery)
This incredibly relevant exhibition, happening on the University of Toronto Scarborough campus, is an import from the University of Lethbridge. Considering the very public protests and debates happening at universities across North America, this is a show that'll give you lots to think about before it closes in late January.

Midnight Bloom (Jan. 8-30, Angell Gallery)
For this solo show happening Angell Gallery, Toronto-based artist Erin Loree will debut her newest abstract paintings. Her canvases are often filled with heavy coats of paint and a bright colour palette; you can't help but to be drawn into her work.

The Map and The Territory (Jan. 17-30, Red Head Gallery)
The Red Head Gallery, located inside 401 Richmond, is celebrating its 25th birthday this year. In January, it's presenting an exhibition that looks at "scientific art and artistic science" through the work of smART map-maker Ron Wild and Stephen Morris, a University of Toronto physics professor well-known for his research on icicles. Bonus points for Michel Houllebecq fans.

Come Up To My Room (Jan. 21-24, Gladstone Hotel)
Now in its 13th year, the Gladstone's immersive Come Up To My Room (CUTMR) brings visitors inside the hotel's storied suites. Each room and hallway is decked out by a different artist/designer in this massive celebration of installation-based work.

Dialogue & Duration Performance Art Festival/Symposium (Jan. 29-31, Katzman Contemporary)
Katzman Contemporary is dedicating January to three performance art events. To cap off the month, the gallery hosts a weekend festival and symposium featuring work by various artists, including a 24-hour video performance streamed between Canada and cities around the world.

Song Dong's Communal Courtyard (Jan. 30-July 17, AGO)
Multidisciplinary artist Song Dong will convert the AGO's Signy Eaton Gallery into a maze made up of 100 vintage Chinese wardrobe doors. This immersive installation is inspired by Beijing's communal living spaces and is supposed evoke a sense of our "contemporary urban experience."

The Artist Project (Feb. 18-21, Better Living Centre)
The Artist Project isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it serves as a safe introduction for those looking to get a glimpse at this city's burgeoning contemporary art scene. Outside of the commercial work, be sure to visit the UNTAPPED Emerging Artist section, which features 20 of Canada's notable up-and-comers.

What did I miss? Add your most-anticipated winter art shows in the comments.

Photo from last year's Artist Project.

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