Louis Boudreault’s Al Capone and Steve McQueen
SEPTEMBER 19 TO OCTOBER 12 Whereas celebrities gathered this month on TIFF’s red carpets, Thompson Landry Gallery puts notable figures in a different light. In his Wanted exhibition, Montreal artist Louis Boudreault presents mixed media portraits of 19th- and 20th-century luminaries. Naturally, figures such as Steve McQueen, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash were very desirable to their fans and followers; the catch is that they were also sought-after by the law. Boudreault’s subjects all spent time in prison; his works are in fact artistic mug shots, and like real mug shots, the portraits play to a craving to see our boldface “betters” taken down a peg. Yet the artist reveals the fault of that yearning, too: included among his subjects are political prisoners like Nelson Mandela and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whose images reflect not the shame of incarceration, but the nobility of a just cause. —Craig Moy
• Thompson Landry Gallery, 6 Trinity St., 416-364-4955; thompsonlandry.com
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Bill Burns’s Hou Hanru Hear Us (photo: courtesy of MOCCA)
SEPTEMBER 6 TO OCTOBER 26 The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art finds itself at a crossroads. For nearly 10 years it has been a hub of the Queen West Art and Design District, presenting challenging visuals in a useful though relatively small space. But like many things in Toronto, MOCCA’s home will soon be razed to make way for condos. The museum’s search for a new facility provides an opportunity to reflect on its principles and purpose; its latest exhibition, titled TBD, asks the question “What is a contemporary art gallery?” The manifold “to be determined” answers are provided by 70 jury-selected proposals submitted by architects—considering the interrelations between art, audience and gallery—as well as works and “community engagement activities” by artists known for their incisive examinations of the culture industry. —Craig Moy
• MOCCA, 952 Queen St. W., 416-395-0067; mocca.ca
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BY CRAIG MOY
Daniel Faria Gallery is one of Bloordale’s numerous contemporary art spaces
The Yorkville stretch of Bloor Street gets much of the press, but farther west, a formerly industry-focused part of the strip is booming, too, thanks to an influx of art galleries, inventive restaurants and more.
1 Lofty design shop Julien Armand specializes in ultra-stylish seating, including pieces by Gispen and Pedrali. Lighting and other accessories are also available, to provide even more inspiration for contemporary space-sprucing. 213 Sterling Rd., 416-534-5665; julienarmand.com.
2 With a name that nods to the area’s industrial roots, Scrap Metal Gallery displays edgy and eclectic artworks collected by owners Samara Walbohm and Joe Shlesinger. The converted warehouse also hosts occasional performance works and other events. 11 Dublin St., 416-588-2442; scrapmetalgallery.com.
3 Canadian artists make up the majority of the exclusive roster at Daniel Faria Gallery. Among them are well-known iconoclast Douglas Coupland and Toronto-based photographer Chris Curreri, recently shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award. 188 St. Helens Ave., 416-538-1880; danielfariagallery.com.
Each September, Toronto goes entirely movie mad (not to mention star crazy) as TIFF calls “action” on the country’s biggest celebration of cinema. BY CRAIG MOY
I’ve always had a bit of a conflicted relationship with the Toronto International Film Festival.
Mainly: I’m not particularly fond of crowds, and TIFF definitely attracts an abundance of people, all clamouring to catch a glimpse of visiting celebrities and score tickets to the buzziest new movies. Then again, those movies are the upside for me, the other side of the coin. I love movies, and the festival has them in spades. This year’s lineup boasts more than 200 films, many of which are world or North American premieres, representing everything from awards-season prestige pictures to timely and compelling documentaries to debuts by emerging Canadian directors to insane though crowd-pleasing thrillers and action flicks.
[Check out some of our most-anticipated TIFF 2014 offerings in the gallery below.]
Alex Colville’s To Prince Edward Island (© A.C. Fine Art Inc.)
AUGUST 23 TO JANUARY 4 After the output of the Group of Seven, Tom Thomson and Emily Carr, the works of Alex Colville are arguably Canada’s most recognizable. But where The Group depicted the country’s wild expanses, the late Nova Scotia-based painter captured figures and objects in scenes that, despite their seeming ordinariness, are characterized by an atmosphere of latent unease. The Art Gallery of Ontario is currently displaying more than 100 of Colville’s distinctive pieces. Composed with a draughtsman’s deft eye for detail and proportion and a storyteller’s sense of tension, the archetypal images are accompanied by thematically associated works by the likes of Wes Anderson, Alice Munro, Stanley Kubrick and Sarah Polley—as well as contributions from writer Ann-Marie MacDonald, electronic music Tim Hecker, cartoonist David Collier and others, created specifically for the exhibition—that make plain Colville’s significant impact on contemporary culture. —Craig Moy
Gallery photos by Craig Moy
• Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648; ago.net
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