There’s dozens of worthwhile art happenings across the country this week, including a big all-night art party, some Guy Maddin filmings at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, a survey of a key Quebec painting talent and more.
September 28: Openings for “Beneath a Petroliferous Moon,” Bill Burns, “The Names of Things,” and Ruth Cuthand and Megan Morman at the Mendel Art Gallery, 950 Spadina Crescent East, Saskatoon
This fall exhibitions opening at the Mendel covers a lot of ground. Very topical and featuring a strong array of artists is “Beneath a Petroliferous Moon,” focusing on contemporary art that deals with oil and the oil industry; it includes works by Brian Jungen, Jimmie Durham and Cal Lane, among other national and international talents. The wit and curiosity of Toronto’s Bill Burns will also be on display as his Bird Radio continues to tour, and Ruth Cuthand, who recently had an acclaimed solo survey at the Mendel that is itself now touring, curates work by craft-oriented prairie artist Megan Morman.
September 29: First day of “Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965–1980” at the Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver
Some might say that “Traffic,” which has been touring Canada for the last few years, is returning to its spiritual homeland (or at least a spiritual homeland) with its arrival in Vancouver this weekend. It certainly is an excellent exhibition, tying together a great deal of research from curators across the country into an illuminating, informative package—memorable enough to just edge out (or complement) some other great events in the city this week, like Western Front’s conference on art and the Internet and the opening of “State of Mind: New California Art Since 1970” at the Belkin Art Gallery.
September 29 at 7:03 p.m. to September 30 at sunrise: Scotiabank Nuit Blanche at various locations in Toronto
Receiving more attendance in one evening than most Canadian museums and galleries do in a year, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche remains a juggernaut on the audience numbers front. And for good reason. Besides offering a more public context for viewing art, contributors this year include Douglas Coupland, Trisha Brown, Janet Cardiff and Daniel Barrow, among 154 other artists.
September 29 at 7 p.m.: Opening for “Winnipeg Now,” including an artist panel at 8 p.m. and Guy Maddin filmings at 10 p.m., 11 p.m., 12 a.m. and 1 a.m., at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, 300 Memorial Boulevard
There’s a real (and deserved) regional-pride moment happening in Winnipeg right now; joining “My Winnipeg” at the Plug In, which opened earlier this month, is “Winnipeg Now” at the WAG, meant to be “a measure of what art-making looks like in this city in 2012.” Curated by Meeka Walsh, editor of Border Crossings magazine, and Robert Enright, a professor and critic long associated with the same publication, the artist list certainly looks like a who’s who: Guy Maddin, Sarah Anne Johnson, Marcel Dzama, and Shawna Dempsey and Lori Millan are among those included. As a bonus, the exhibition includes sessions of Maddin filming his Scéances project.
October 3 at 6 p.m.: Openings for Pierre Dorion and Janet Biggs at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 185 rue Ste-Catherine Ouest, Montreal
Key Canadian artist Pierre Dorion is honoured at the MACM with a critical overview of his paintings. It brings together over 60 major works produced since the mid-1990s, including a series recently created specially for the exhibition. Also opening are works by Brooklyn-based artist Janet Biggs, known for her video, photography and performance pieces that revolve around an exploration of extremes, both geographical and physical. The latter is also part of “Montréal / Brooklyn,” a contemporary art event initiated by Centre Clark.