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Charles Pachter

Hot Art: Pieces at Large

Norval Morrisseau's Tales of the Story Tree is one of a variety of works now displayed at the Elmwood Spa

Who says masterpieces live only in galleries? This month it’s easy to appreciate art in non-traditional spaces. Until April 23, guests enjoying a day of relaxation at the Elmwood Spa are treated to Copper Thunderbird: The Art of Norval Morrisseau, a private exhibition featuring Tales of the Story Tree and other vibrant paintings by one of this country’s most beloved Aboriginal artists. Nearby, diners at the Windsor Arms Hotel’s exclusive steakhouse, Prime, can strike up ample conversation about the Canadian pop-art works by Charles Pachter—from his Queen of Canada to famed depictions of the country’s flag—that hang on its walls. Of course, the city also has numerous public art installations that can be admired without ulterior motive. Michael Snow’s Toronto Eaton Centre geese piece, known as Flight Stop, is particularly notable.

October Editor’s Picks: Art

A panel from Charles Pachter's <em>Hockey Knights in Canada</em> (photo by Carlton Parker).

A panel from Charles Pachter's Hockey Knights in Canada.

ON NOW To outsiders, the fanaticism with which Canadians embrace the game of hockey may be hard to understand; conversely, the sport is so ingrained in our collective identity that we rarely stop to question it. Attempting to find meaning in this fixation, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art presents ARENA: Road Game, a group show featuring Hockey Knights in Canada by Charles Pachter, plus related works by an artistic all-star team including Graeme Patterson and Tim Lee. No mere paean to a national pastime, the exhibition offers a deeper examination of hockey’s significance in contemporary culture, touching on everything from notions of hero worship to the controversial role of violence on the ice.

<em>Laterns, Singapore</em> by Nicolas Ruel (courtesy of Thompson Landry Gallery).

Laterns, Singapore by Nicolas Ruel.

TO OCTOBER 18 Quebec artists continue to gain an audience in Ontario courtesy of the Distillery Historic District’s beautiful Thompson Landry Gallery. Yet, in a sense, the gallery’s latest exhibition has an international flavour, as Montreal-based photographer Nicolas Ruel presents 8 Secondes, a new series of images that depict the world’s great cities through multiple eight-second exposures. Evoking a dreamlike dynamism, these photos are all the more impressive for being printed on stainless steel—the medium’s light-reflecting surface lends further animation to the already vital works.

Edward Burtynsky's <em>SOCAR Oil Fields #3, Baku, Azerbaijan</em>.

Edward Burtynsky's SOCAR Oil Fields #3, Baku, Azerbaijan.

OCTOBER 8 TO 31 Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky has long been renowned for capturing the almost unimaginable scale of heavy industry’s impact on the natural environment. His sweeping images of manufactured landscapes—at once striking and repulisive—are widely collected and have been the subject of essays, books and even a documentary film. At Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Burtynsky’s vision is distilled in an exhibition focusing on his decade-long study of oil fields and refineries from Alberta to Azerbaijan. Through these meticulously composed images, he depicts the visual duality—and implies the moral one—arising from our continuing exploitation of a resource that is equally valued and maligned.