Everyone with nerve endings knows it’s freezing out. And with government-issued cold weather warnings sanctioning my impulse to stay indoors, gallery-going is more appealing than ever. A pair of worthwhile shows to kick off the year and stave off the January chill below…

Andy Patton, The In Vain Coloured Oriole and Other Paintings, at Birch Contemporary; Through January 20, 2018

Andy Patton

These text-based paintings are pure poetry, in the literal and visual sense. Patton’s sensitive and sometimes cryptic words are rooted in classical Chinese calligraphy. The words and images become hypnotic, while inviting the viewer in for a meditative moment as their phrases unfold.

 

Salon V Annual Holiday Show, at Project Gallery; Through January 20, 2018

IMG_2196

Project Gallery is one of the best spaces in Toronto to catch emerging artists on the rise. Their annual group show displays hundreds of works, hung floor-to-ceiling in classic European salon style. This energetic install is overwhelming in the best sense, and provides for intriguing dialogues between works. By showcasing numerous pieces by gallery artists such as Sara Pearson, Cathy Daley, Callum Schuster and Tessar Lo, the exhibition offers a more in-depth look into their oeuvres than the typical group show usually provides.