contact toronto 2016

15 must-see photography shows at Contact 2016

The Contact Photography Festival in Toronto is celebrating its 20th birthday this year. For two decades, it has been showcasing local and internationally based artists at venues across the city. From gallery walls to unconventional outdoor installations, Contact brings us some of the best photographic work from around the world.

Here's what you can check out at this year's Contact Festival.


contact photography 2016

Ever Young (BAND Gallery, April 28-May 29)
Travel to Accra, Ghana through James Barnor's photography. This exhibition at the BAND (Black Artists' Network in Dialogue) Gallery lets you see how life in Ghana changed during Barnor's long career.

contact photography 2016

Public Exposures: The Art-Activism of Condé + Beveridge (401 Richmond, May 14-June 25)
Toronto-based photographers Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge use their artwork as a form of activism to highlight various social, economic and political issues related to unions, workplaces and the environment. See a large-scale retrospection of their work at 401 Richmond.

contact photography 2016

Field Trip (McMichael, March 5-June 5)
Sarah Anne Johnson's solo show at the McMichael opened in March, but it's on through Contact as well. In it, she takes viewers to modern day music festivals and explores what they mean to youth.

contact photography 2016

Object Relations (AGO, April 28-July 31)
Well-known German photographer Thomas Ruff is having his first solo North American museum show during Contact and you can see how he works with negatives and found photos at the AGO from April 28 to July 31.

contact photography 2016

Counterpoints: Photography Through the Lens of Toronto Collections (Art Museum at the University of Toronto, May 6-July 30)
Head to the newly named Art Museum at the University of Toronto and explore the history of the 19th and 20th century through 100 photographs - by a number of renowned artists - sourced from 20 private collections.

Contact 2016

Hypnagogia (Arsenal Toronto, May 6-June 25)
Photographer Alec Soth explores the stage between wakefulness and sleep - known as hypnagogia (and can include things like lucid dreaming). Hop out of bed and get lost in this solo show at Arsenal Toronto.

Contact 2016 Angela

Scotiabank Photography Award - Angela Grauerholz (Ryerson Image Centre, May 4-August 21)
Scotiabank Photography Award-winning Angela Grauerholz will takeover the Ryerson Image Centre until August 21. She'll also be giving three lectures if you'd like to learn more about her work and process.


Contact 2016 Suzy Lake

Performing an Archive (Georgia Scherman Projects, April 29-June 4)
Renowned Canadian photographer Suzy Lake's solo show at Georgia Scherman Projects features work from her residency in Detroit, Michigan. It explores the city's rise and fall as well as her family's history in this once booming urban centre.

Contact 2016 Internet

Internet Mountains (Gardiner Museum, May 1-31)
See how Canadian artist Clive Holden's contemporary photographic work intersects with ancient clay pieces from the Gardiner Museum's collection. This exhibition is on until the end of May.

Contact 2016 Maddin

Ransom Notes from the Lavender Underground (Drake Hotel, April 27-June 22)
Guy Maddin is a celebrated Canadian filmmaker and artist, and in this exhibition at the Drake Hotel - in partnership with TIFF - you can immerse yourself in Maddin's layered collage work.


Contact 2016 Drake

#DrizzyDoesUTSG (UofT, May 1-31)
The popular @uoftdrizzy Instagram account is getting its own art show. Instead of holing up at UofT Scarborough, the collegiate Drake will venture to the school's St. George campus where he'll appear on 15 11 × 17" posters.

Contact 2016 Dysturb

#Dysturb (Kensington Market & Chinatown, May 1-31)
You can view this installation by simply walking through Chinatown and Kensington Market. When you do, you'll see massive images captured by photojournalists from around the world. These wall-size photographs depict various on-going issues and force you to confront them.


Contact 2016 News

2015 National Pictures of the Year by News Photographers Association of Canada (IX Gallery, April 23-May 27)
Check out images from some of Canada's best photojournalists. This exhibition highlights work from the News Photographers Association of Canada's National Picture of the Year competition finalists and winners.

Contact 2016 Jayscale

Jacob Gils & Jayscale Duo (Struck Contemporary, April 22-May 22)
At Struck Contemporary, you can see Instagram superstar Jayscale's soaring rooftop photography alongside Jacob Gils's more impressionistic work.

Contact 2016

We Soon Be Nigh! (LE Gallery, May 6-28)
Do you think about the apocalypse a lot? You might after Brendan George Ko's show at LE Gallery, which uses real-life images and scenes from pop culture (think disaster movies) to look at the end of the world as we know it.

Images via the Contact Festival: Sarah Anne Johnson, Zombie Dance (2015); James Barnor, Ginger Nyarku Featherweight boxer with Coronation Belt (1953); Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge, Linda, (1981); Sarah Anne Johnson, Yellow Dinosaur (2015); Thomas Ruff, press++0145 (2015); Stephen Waddell, Lakeside (2011); Alec Soth, Park Hyatt Hotel, Tokyo (2015); Angela Grauerholz, La bibliothèque (1993); Suzy Lake, 507 Drexel Avenue, Frederick Schneider, 1890 (2014/16); Guy Maddin, Keyhole (2007); Clive Holden, INTERNET MOUNTAINS 28 (2014); @uoftdrizzy; Dysturb in NYC; Peter Power, Innu Swing (2014); Jayscale, Adelaide (2015); Brendan George Ko, Nine Eleven (The Marker) (2001-2011). Top photo by @jayscale..

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