OPENS SEPTEMBER 11 The veneer of civility that has historically cloaked the use of political violence is exposed at Georgia Scherman Projects, where Anitra Hamilton offers a must-see solo exhibition. Her new Humpty Dumpty series of uniformed military officers with shattered-eggshell heads, exemplifies this notion on both a superficial and—in the reassertion of a beloved nursery rhyme’s grim underpinnings—subtextual level. Alongside other pieces by Hamilton from the past 20 years, these works highlight a career spent scrutinizing boundary-enforcing constructs like hierarchy, territory and ownership.
OPENS SEPTEMBER 17 Works of art invariably hold significance for their creators; those by Judi Michelle Young are not only imbued with her personal history, they illuminate an important and oft-overlooked aspect of Canada’s past. At the Canadian Sculpture Centre, Young’s Just Us/Justice exhibition assembles sculptures that incorporate both Eastern and Western concepts to narrate the experience of a “head tax” family, born from one of the many Chinese workers who built Canada’s railroads in the late 19th century, but who then had to pay the government to remain here. Young is specially positioned to examine this subject—in 1899, her father was one of the earliest Asian workers to be granted Canadian citizenship.
ON NOW If Canadian achievements are arguably underrepresented when it comes to cataloguing the international history of design, then those of Quebec have been largely ignored. Consider this: Quebec in Design, the latest exhibition at the Design Exchange, is the first ever large-scale showcase of the province’s long and fascinating design tradition. With two major components—the first examining the work of interior decorators in the 1930s to the whiz-bang wonder fostered by Expo ’67; the second a study of innovations from the 1970s to the present day—the survey employs such objects as François Dallegret’s Lumikiik lamp to reveal the vital role design has played in the enhancement of Quebec’s cultural identity.