There's no better way to exercise both your mind and body in wintertime than to go gallery hopping - brisk walks along windy streets interspersed with periods of brisk stimulation in art spaces that seem warm and cozy by comparison. Here's what you can discover during the chilly season.
the mind of a mad German genius
At this time of year you need something more substantial to heat the brain. Try these screenings of the fantastic films of off-the-cliff director Werner Herzog accompanied by photos by his director of photography, Beat Presser , at the Goethe-Institut (163 King West). It runs to February 28. 416-593-5257.
a spaniard who will light up your life
By mid-February, Toronto the Grey can be a bit bleak and stark. Enter Gaston Bertin , a Spanish artist who makes colourful paper constructions, photographs them in soft focus and then papers the gallery walls with the prints. At Gallery TPW (80 Spadina), opening February 19 and closing March 27. 416-504-4242.
AGO UNVEILS THE NEW LOOK
Yes, the long-awaited redesign in a long line of redesigns for the Art Gallery of Ontario will soon be revealed. Hotshot international architect Frank Gehry , who grew up quite close to the gallery, has said he wants it to be "as good" as his other projects, including the singular Guggenheim in Bilbao. We'll see January 28. 416-979-6648.
Photographer Edward Burtynsky captures the scars we create on the earth's surface. From mining tailings turning creeks blood red to beached freighters being dismantled by Bangladeshi workers at low tide, his large-scale images are awesome. At the AGO (317 Dundas West), January 24 to April 4. 416-979-6648.
rap-blues, Black History and Zines
The Hart House Art Committee is putting on a killer education series from January to March. Check out performance artist Nicole Stamp in bassTEXT, January 23, 9 pm; TEXTmessage for spoken word and music to celebrate Black History Month, February 6, 9 pm; and a zine fair called subTEXT for indie art books, March 10, noon to 2 pm. Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (7 Hart House Circle, U of T). 416-978-8398.
the snowy grounds of the McMichael, where you can pretend you're in a Group of Seven painting
And while you're there, make sure you go inside and see the exhibition of works by Inuit photographer Peter Pitseolak , who shot his friends and family in a documentary, matter-of-fact style. And it'll make you stop bitching about how cold it is in Toronto, because you could be in the Northwest Territories. The Peter Pitseolak show runs February 7 to May 2. 1-905-893-1121.
A knockout nonagenarian
One of Canada's greatest and liveliest living landscape painters, Doris McCarthy , is getting a gallery named after her, and to kick it off there's a retrospective of her work from 1946 to the present. It's definitely worth the trek to Scarborough to meet the artist at the opening February 11, from 6 to 9 pm. Doris McCarthy Gallery (University of Toronto at Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail), February 11 to March 28. 416-287-5649 or 416-287-7007.