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Must-See New Art Exhibits Across Canada

Photo: orfamay on Instagram 

This spring, Canada is truly shaping up to be an art lover’s dream. With so many intriguing exhibits hitting the most stylish and creative cities across the True North, there’s no need to jet off to Europe or book a weekend trip to the Big Apple if you are in an artsy mood. In the season to come, Canada’s finest galleries and museums are set to welcome an eclectic mix of modern and contemporary art.  As legendary artist Pablo Picasso once said, “the purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” Prepare to dust off your soul and add some artistic flare to your spring with a visit to one of these exhibits. 

VANCOUVER 

Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, Vancouver Art Gallery

Open until May 6th at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg is the first major retrospective of Murakami’s paintings to be shown in Canada. Showcasing three decades of the Tokyo-born artist’s career—from his well-known paintings of the 1980s to new, never before seen works—this exhibition pays homage to the history that has guided Murakami’s practice. With more than 50 paintings and sculptures to be displayed, The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg highlights Murakami’s uninhibited imagination and creative output spanning from the cultural references of folklore to popular culture.

TORONTO 

Mitchell/Riopelle: Nothing in Moderation, Art Gallery of Ontario 

Also running until May 6th, Mitchell/Riopelle: Nothing in Moderation at the AGO is an exhibition dedicated to exploring the relationship between two influences of abstract painting, American Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) and Canadian Jean Paul Riopelle (1923-2002). As romantically involved talents, Nothing in Moderation is meant to encourage visitors to compare and contrast the paintings of Mitchell and Riopelle in order to reveal how their relationship impacted their techniques and styles during the considerable 24 years they were together. Through more than 50 selected works, the exhibition takes a unique look at the blending of romantic partners through the lens of art. 

MONTREAL 

Mnemosyne: When Contemporary Art and the Art of the Past Meet, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

On display until August 6th, this spring and summer long exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts pairs contemporary Canadian art with the works of the Great Masters in a visually stimulating experience. Entitled Mnemosyne for the Greek goddess of memory, When Contemporary Art and the Art of the Past Meet is based on the approach of art historian Aby Warburg in his publication Mnemosyne Atlas. Here, the aim is to focus on the visual dialogue of images and how they interrelate. This stylistic and thematic interplay is said to pave the way for timeless aesthetic comparisons, both renewing ancient art in the contemporary context and re-establishing contemporary works in a larger historical framework.