It has been a tough year for the arts, but many museums and galleries across Canada are open again to the public, showcasing the work of the country’s best artists from the past and present. From colourful multimedia installations in Saskatoon to surrealist landscape art on display in Montreal, don’t miss these five exhibitions taking place throughout fall and winter.
Jean Paul Riopelle (1923‑2002), Paysage, 1971, acrylic on lithograph mounted on canvas, 160 x 120 cm. Collection of the Charest family. © Estate of Jean Paul Riopelle / SOCAN (2020). Photo Archives Catalogue raisonné Jean Paul Riopelle.
Hooper Bay region of southwest Alaska, Yup’ik, mask, early 20th c., wood, driftwood, spruce root, pigment, watercolour, nails, cotton thread, 73 x 71.4 x 15 cm. Glenbow Museum, Calgary. Inv. AB 1129.
Riopelle: The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures —Trace Jean‑Paul Riopelle’s artistic evolution through his surrealist paintings that drew inspiration from the landscapes and Indigenous communities of Canada’s North. The exhibition includes nearly 110 of Riopelle’s works, including paintings and sculptures, and examines the influence of his hunting and fishing trips during the 1970s into the north and far north of Quebec and Canada.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, November 21, 2020 – March 21, 2021
Zadie Xa and Benito Mayor Vallejo, Moon Poetics 4 Courageous Earth Critters and Dangerous Day Dreamers, 2020, digital collage. Courtesy of the artists.
Moon Poetics 4 Courageous Earth Critters and Dangerous Day Dreamers —Through her colourful multimedia installations, inspired by fields including ecology, ancient religions and science fiction, Vancouver‑born, London‑based artist Zadie Xa examines complexities such as interspecies communication and ancestral homelands. Her work is influenced by experiences within the Korean diaspora and the cultures and environment of the Pacific Northwest.
Remai Modern, Saskatoon, until February 21, 2021
Uprising: The Power of Mother Earth —Métis visual artist Christi Belcourt’s touring retrospective features more than 30 of her creative depictions of the natural world, with works from the early 1990s to today. The exhibition also features her collaborative work with Isaac Murdoch, an Anishinaabe knowledge keeper and visual artist, which includes images that champion restoring a balance between humans and the natural world.
McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, until February 2021
Photo: Hannah Vijayan
Wildlife Photographer of the Year —Marvel at one hundred images from the world’s best nature photographers, reflecting the astonishing diversity of flora and fauna across our planet. It began as a magazine competition in 1965 with only 361 entries and has evolved into one of the most prestigious international photography awards. This year’s exhibition includes the work of four Canadians and will be on display at the Royal Ontario Museum – the exclusive Canadian venue for the exhibition, which is owned by the Natural History Museum in London, U.K.
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, November 21, 2020 until May 2, 2021
J.E.H. MacDonald, Frontispiece and title page, Stories of the Land of Evangeline, Grace McLeod Rogers, Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1923. National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
Group of Seven: Graphic Design —This group of painters, draftsmen, printmakers, illustrators and teachers defined a new art movement shaped by Canadian landscapes, but the majority of the group’s original members began their careers as graphic designers. Celebrating the group’s 100th anniversary, this exhibition features graphic design items by the Group of Seven, including books, brochures and posters.
National Gallery of Canada, Until January 3, 2021