QUEBEC ARTIST YOAKIM BÉLANGER’S NEW PAINTINGS ON METAL, TO BE HUNG AT THOMPSON LANDRY GALLERY, COMBINE ABSTRACTION AND FIGURATION
Yoakim Bélanger’s Red (photo: Thompson Landry Gallery)
JUNE 18 TO JULY 7 The word “convergence” springs to mind when contemplating the works of Yoakim Bélanger. The merging of colour and texture, of medium and subject, of figuration and abstraction are evident in his latest large-scale efforts to be shown at the Distillery District’s Thompson Landry Gallery. The Montreal-based artist uses found pieces of aluminum and oxidized steel for his canvases. His brushwork, sensitive to the scratches, chips and markings that have accumulated on the metal, brings forth images that highlight the expressive, evolving qualities of the human form. The works’ reflective surfaces mean that the viewer becomes part of the art, too, implicated in its creation—and interpretation—through the act of observing. —Craig Moy
• Thompson Landry Gallery, Distillery District, 416-364-4955; thompsonlandry.com
• Map and reviews
Nicolas Ruel’s Red Rocket is one of many photos capturing urban icons and the vitality of cities (including Toronto) at Thompson Landry Gallery
MARCH 21 TO APRIL 15 Familiar yet dreamlike, the photographs of Montreal-born artist Nicolas Ruel offer a fascinating look at the urban environments we sometimes take for granted. His intriguing juxtaposition of multiple prolonged exposures of iconic landmarks and city vistas is on full display in an eye-catching exhibition at Thompson Landry Gallery. Layers of metropolitan life grace Ruel’s signature large-scale stainless steel plates, where buildings, skies and streetcars intermingle in somehow ghostly, somehow futuristic, but always harmonious ways. In cities it’s easy to feel immersed in our surroundings. In his latest works, Ruel captures this feeling exceptionally well. —Anna Marszalek
>> Thompson Landry Gallery, Distillery Historic District, 416-364-4955; thompsonlandry.com
>> Map and reviews
Friday: the Nash Ensemble offers French classics as part of the Toronto Summer Music Festival
Friday, August 3
The Toronto Summer Music Festival continues to offer some of the best classical performances from around the world. Tonight, Britain’s Nash Ensemble takes the Walter Hall stage with a program of French fare by Debussy, Ravel and Franck.
See the earth from a different perspective at Thompson Landry Gallery, where Guy Laiberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil, presents Gaia, a new exhibition of photographs he took while on an 11-day voyage in outer space.
The Irie Music Festival returns for another year at Nathan Phillips Square with a showcase of reggae, salsa, soul and African music. The weekend-long event’s opening night features soca sensation Fay-Ann Lyons, as well as an exhibition with the works of Caribbean artists. (more…)
Guy Laliberté’s photograph Algérie, au sud de Alger, Sidi Bakhti
AUGUST 2 TO SEPTEMBER 3 See the world from a new perspective this month as Thompson Landry Gallery presents photographs of the earth from far, far above. In September 2009, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté became Canada’s first private space tourist, spending 11 days in the International Space Station. The result of his trip is an indoor-outdoor exhibition, titled Gaia, featuring 90 arresting images of natural and man-made landscapes shot from orbit. Through Laliberté’s wide-angle viewpoint it’s easy to see how climate change has affected the environment, and to envision in particular how the decline in water resources will impact us in the future.
Amélie Desjardins' Close Your Eyes
SEPTEMBER 22 TO OCTOBER 10 There are many messages in Amélie Desjardins’ materials: an exploration of the products of nature and humankind’s industry in shaping them, the allure of adventure, and even its underlying risks. You see, the canvases of Desjardins’ works at Thompson Landry Gallery are pieces of wood salvaged from shipwrecks and collapsed bridges in Southeast Asia, Japan and Oceania. Upon these planks she places photographs of forests, seascapes and birds in flight that are seductive yet subtly foreboding, too. Harvested, returned to nature, then reclaimed by Desjardins, the wood has been on a journey equal to the artist’s own
Winter’s on its way out; it’s time to get a head start on exploring. Guide yourself with our specialized itineraries, or contact one of Toronto’s many tour operators to delve deeper into this multifaceted metropolis. And don’t forget to check out previous Yours to Discover posts, here: Day One, Day Two.
Thompson Landry Gallery
TAKE A LOOK
Gallery-going made easy.
This city has a reputation as being staid and somewhat conservative, but when it comes to
the creative arts, it’s actually quite adventurous.
For proof, one need but stride down Queen Street—west of Trinity Bellwoods Park are numerous galleries operating on the leading edge
of the contemporary art scene. Among the area’s major denizens are Angell Gallery, conceptualist-leaning Clint Roenisch Gallery and photographic specialist Stephen Bulger Gallery. In recent years, the Museum
of Contemporary Canadian Art has become a major creative locus, thanks to its consistently well-curated shows and a new partnership with the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.
Straight in the opposite direction, the Distillery Historic District hosts an equally varied mélange of artists and craftspeople. Within its restored industrial buildings you’ll be introduced to top Quebecois painters at Thompson Landry Gallery, internationally renowned contemporary works at Corkin Gallery and Clark and Faria, and even Israeli artists at Julie M Gallery. Local artisans sell their creative ceramics, jewellery and more at many other boutiques and studios here. You can even print your own images at photography hot spot Pikto.
Gallery Gevik and Feheley Fine Arts
Further north, posh Yorkville hosts many longstanding fine-art houses, the majority of which represent well-established painters and sculptors whose works have gained significant recognition. Keen to see recent pieces by Ed Bartram or Stephen Hutchings? Head to Mira Godard Gallery. Love the imagery crafted by Norval Morrisseau or Haida artist Robert Davidson? Kinsman Robinson Galleries has it in spades. Or find a new favourite at Loch Gallery, Feheley Fine Arts, Gallery Gevik and many more.
For an insider’s view of the West Queen West scene, look no further than an Art InSite tour with effervescent expert Betty Ann Jordan. And partaking in a Yorkville Art Walk offers a great primer of that district’s top galleries.
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.
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 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.