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Michael Snow

Hot Art: Ryerson Image Centre Opens

SEPTEMBER 29 TO DECEMBER 16 Ryerson University has long been recognized as one of Canada’s premier nurturers of the “image arts,” with degree programs in film, photography, and even photographic preservation and collections management. It’s fitting, then, that the school’s newest marquee site should be the Ryerson Image Centre. Among other things, the downtown destination houses the nearly 300,000-print-strong Black Star collection of 20th-century photojournalism, as well as a 4,500-square-foot gallery for the display of contemporary visuals. The centre’s debut exhibition, titled Archival Dialogues: Reading the Black Star Collection, features new works interpreting that famous assemblage of imagery by such leading Canadian artists as David Rokeby, Vera Frenkel and Michael Snow.

Hot Art: Symbolically Canadian at the Textile Museum

Grant Heaps’ Stag

MAY 23 TO SEPTEMBER 30 The icons of our country have long been ingrained in its citizens through the arts. You’ll see that first-hand in the latest exhibition at the Textile Museum of Canada, which presents functional and artistic quilts, mats and other household articles that comprise a compendium-in-cloth of our national history, community traditions and personal connections to the land we live in. Augmenting the display, dubbed Dreamland: Textiles and the Canadian Landscape, are diverse works by 10 contemporary artists, including Douglas Coupland, Michael Snow, Barbara Todd and Grant Heaps—whose Stag wall hanging, we think you’ll agree, could only have been made by a Canadian.

Weekend Roundup: July 20 to 22

Friday: Speed-the-Plow satirizes the movie industry (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Friday, July 20
Expect cracking dialogue and fierce satire this evening as Soulpepper Theatre Company performs David Mamet’s Speed-The-Plow. The play examines the lives of two American film producers while dissecting the relationship between art and commerce.

The Toronto Summer Music Festival returned earlier in the week and brought with it a full slate of concerts, master classes and lectures for classical music lovers. Tonight, the acclaimed Borodin Quartet presents Music of Russia, a program of string quartets by Russian composers, including Borodin, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky.

Once again the Harbourfront Centre becomes of a cultural smorgasbord of music, dance, international fare and more as the Hot & Spicy Food Festival occupies the downtown waterfront. The festival kicks it up a notch with exciting competitions like tonight’s Taco Takedown—where you decide which taco reigns supreme—and the annual Iron Chef competition, held over the weekend and concluding Sunday afternoon. (more…)

Where in Toronto: Bright Lights, Big Reindeer

The Swarovski tree and giant reindeer at the Toronto Eaton Centre (photo by Rasheed Clarke)

Each week, our intrepid interns reflect on life and times in the big city.

It’s amazing how Toronto residents go nuts at the first sight of snow. All it took was a few flakes falling yesterday morning for #snow to become a local trending topic on Twitter. That dusting didn’t really stick around, but the imminent arrival of the white stuff (along with the much-maligned early sunset) means it’s the time of year to test the power grid with millions of twinkling lights at the city’s festive displays. (more…)

Hot Art: Canada, Conceptualized

The University of Toronto Art Centre's portion of "Traffic"

TO NOVEMBER 28 Individual works of art often defy definition, so when it comes to taking stock of an entire genre, comprehensiveness is key. Thus, the major survey exhibition titled Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965–1980 gathers a whopping 70-plus pieces by homegrown artists including Michael Snow, Lisa Steele and Jeff Wall. The sprawling show groups its subjects by city across four galleries: Justina M. Barnicke Gallery features Montreal-based artists; Doris McCarthy Gallery highlights Toronto; Halifax is represented at Blackwood Gallery; while Vancouver and the Prairies are found at the University of Toronto Art Centre. It’s a highly ambitious undertaking that succeeds in charting the development of an artistic field that continues to be a wellspring of visual expression in this country.

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.

January Editor’s Picks: Art

Origami in the style of Masahiro ChataniON NOW Even if you’re all thumbs—or, perhaps, because of this deficiency—it’s easy to appreciate the skill needed to conjure intricate cranes, frogs, flowers and boats out of single pieces of paper. This month the Japan Foundation offers an even more impressive showcase of three-dimensional objects in its Origamic Architecture exhibition, which renders historical and contemporary buildings from around the world in folded and cut paper. Combining a traditional art form with modern design, the survey pays tribute to late Japanese artist Masahiro Chatani—all featured models are originally of his design—but adds a Toronto twist, with many of the pop-up-style pieces freshly crafted by local folders.

Slap-sole shoes<br>photo © 2009, Bata Shoe Museum

Slap-sole shoes

ON NOW If you gawk at the six-inch stilettos worn by today’s “well-heeled,” just wait until you see the extraordinary and extreme footwear comprising On a Pedestal: From Renaissance Chopines to Baroque Heels, the latest exhibition at the Bata Shoe Museum. Assembled from a diverse group of world-renowned institutions—including London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the Livrustkammaren in Stockholm, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Bata itself—the unique display examines elaborate platform and heeled shoes as expressions of wealth and status in 16th- and 17th-century Europe. Of particular interest: a flamboyantly embellished pair of slap-sole shoes, and Venetian chopines sporting platforms that are more than 50 centimetres high.

Michael Snow's SSHTOORRTY

Michael Snow's SSHTOORRTY

ON NOW Art lovers and cineastes find common ground in Recent Snow: Works by Michael Snow, a survey of the Toronto-born artist’s latest video and film installations at The Power Plant. Though successful in many disciplines, Snow’s most consistently innovative efforts have been in the arena of avant-garde cinema. Experimenting with both structural and narrative techniques, these works—2005’s SSHTOORRTY and two brand new films among them—investigate the interplay between artifice and reality, rewarding the keen viewer with a multilayered cognitive and sensory experience.

December Editor’s Picks: Art

Irish chain quilt

An Irish chain quilt

ON NOW For many people, quilts bring to mind notions of warmth and an embracing comfort. But upon viewing the array of coverlets displayed at the Textile Museum of Canada, you may find another term to be equally fitting—art. Kaleidoscope: Antique Quilts from the collection of Carole and Howard Tanenbaum, gathers 43 delicate blankets from Canada, England and the United States in a prismatic show of colour and craft, exposing the rich quilting tradition of the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries through styles including the pixel-like honeycomb pattern, the log cabin technique with its Canadiana influence, and everyone’s favourite, the “crazy quilt.” Among the most impressive examples: a double Irish chain quilt, comprising 2,965 postage stamp–sized pieces exquisitely stitched into a vibrant diagonal grid.
—Jenelle DaSilva Rupchand

Celebrate 30 years with Gallery 44.

Celebrate 30 years with Gallery 44

DECEMBER 3 TO 19 Shutterbugs have cause for celebration as unique photography centre and production facility Gallery 44 marks its 30th anniversary. Since 1979 the not-for-profit gallery has displayed the works of more than 750 Canadian and international artists in 240-plus exhibitions; this month, the gallery’s Wall to Wall show and sale collects excellent images that span its three decades of existence. Commemorate the occasion by picking up Gallery 44’s newest book, Emergence: Contemporary Canadian Photography, which examines photographic art and its ongoing evolution in this country.
Jessica Napier

Michael Snow's SSHTOORRTY

Michael Snow's SSHTOORRTY

OPENS DECEMBER 11 Art lovers and cineastes find common ground in Recent Snow: Works by Michael Snow, a survey of the Toronto-born artist’s latest video and film installations at The Power Plant. Though successful in many disciplines, Snow’s most consistently innovative efforts have been in the arena of avant-garde cinema. Experimenting with both structural and narrative techniques, these works—2005’s SSHTOORRTY and two brand new films among them—investigate the interplay between artifice and reality, rewarding the keen viewer with a multilayered cognitive and sensory experience.

ON NOW Get creative with your gift-giving this season by picking up eye-catching artwork and other visual ephemera at these unique shops and galleries.

Toronto Antiques on King

Toronto Antiques on King

>> A miscellany of paintings and works on paper is augmented by decorative pottery, sculptures, hand-crafted jewellery and even functional wood pieces at venerable Arts on King.

>> With reasonably priced canvases from dozens of emerging artists, Art Interiors offers an affordable alternative to the more traditional gallery experience.

>> Queen West’s Magic Pony is a mecca for whimsical designer toys and limited-edition prints from the likes of Junko Mizuno and Nicholas Di Genova.

>> Find the perfect coffee-table tome for the graphic designer or (m)ad man in your life at Swipe Books.

>> Toronto Antiques on King houses under one roof a variety of quality vendors who traffic in everything from estate jewellery to Canadian historical art to unique knick-knacks.