Current & Upcoming Exhibitions

In Brief:

Complexities & Cloth | January 15-February 3, 2018 | 1st Floor Hallway | Free 

Analog Shift | January 15-21, 2018 | 1st Floor Hallway | Free 

365 Days of Canadian Design | January 15-February 3, 2018 | 2nd Floor Hallway | Free

Furthest Boundless | Nicole Collins | January 18-March 18, 2018 | Koffler Gallery | Free

L’esprit de l’escalier | January 18-March 18, 2018 | Stairwells | Free

WE LOOK AT ANIMALS BECAUSE | 2018 | Critical Distance | Free

Living Things | Mural on Shaw Street | Free 

Upcoming Exhibitions:

At the Hallway Galleries

With over 9,350 square feet of space, the Hallway Galleries occupy the hallways and stairwells of Artscape Youngplace, on (and between) three floors of this beautiful 100-year-old building. Open seven days a week with free admission. Rent the Hallway Galleries for art exhibitions.


First Floor Hallway Gallery

Complexities & Cloth

Dani Ortman

January 15-February 3, 2018

Hours: Monday – Sunday 8am – 9pm | Opening Reception: Tuesday January 16 | 6-9pm

Complexities & Cloth looks at the detailed process involved in crafting woven textiles, while opening a dialogue with the fabrics of our time. Through the lens of hand weaving you are invited to take a closer look into the process of making cloth. Where each thread is calculated to bend over and under one another, creating the structural bonds that form our fabrics. Observing that within these bends of interwoven lines, lays the potential for delicate pattern work. Let your eyes indulge in the elegant subtleties of hand woven cloth, while your mind considers the complexities of how it was made. The designer and maker Dani Ortman brings a slow and thoughtful approach to crafting textiles. Designing contemporary patterns, thoughtfully sourcing yarns, hand dyeing colours, and weaving each piece on a traditional floor loom. She produces textiles that encourage the value of cloth be re-considered, as the precious commodity that it is.

Analog Shift

Darin Montgomery, Rachel Illingworth, Robyn Luk

January 15-21, 2018

Hours: Monday – Sunday 8am – 9pm

Analog Shift is an interactive display that serves as a promotional tool for Fin, a Seattle based design brand, as well as commentary on virtual reality. Images of Fin’s actual showroom are viewed through a View-Master highlighting that physical objects are needed to create a virtual environment.


Second Floor Hallway Gallery

365 Days of Canadian Design

Joy Charbonneau

January 15-February 3, 2018

Hours: Monday – Sunday 8am – 9pm | Opening Reception: Tuesday January 16 | 6-9pm


365 Days of Canadian Design: An exhibition of 365 images of contemporary Canadian design taken from a year long investigative project by Joy Charbonneau. On January 1st 2017, Charbonneau started a social media account for Instagram under the name @marianadesigncanada. For every day of 2017, Charbonneau discovered and posted furnishings, ceramics, textiles, objects, and illustrations from over one hundred makers and designers from across the country to promote and celebrate Canadian design culture. Special thanks to KPMB Architects who made this exhibition possible.

Third Floor Hallway Gallery

Coming soon. 


At The Koffler Gallery

Nicole Collins: Furthest Boundless

Curated by Mona Filip

January 18 – March 18, 2018 | Koffler Gallery

Hours: Tuesday to Friday 12 PM – 6 PM, Saturday & Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM, Closed Mondays & Statutory Holidays

Winter Opening Reception: Thursday, January 18, 2018 | 6–9 PM | FREE

In a major, new mixed media installation complemented by a series of recent paintings, Toronto artist Nicole Collins delves into the emotional territory of loss as she explores the human struggle between grief and acceptance, gravity and grace.

Developed for the Koffler Gallery, Furthest Boundless is inspired by two concepts of Ancient Greek philosophy: Aphelion – the point on the orbit of a celestial body that is furthest from the sun – and Apeiron – the boundless, the origin for all that is. At the centre of the installation, a monumental deconstructed painting built out of woven and knotted nets of materials, pigments and wax faces a delicate video that responds with ephemeral movement and gesture to its static presence. The immersive environment is completed by an atmospheric sound piece based on traditional shape-note singing.

Driven by an impulse to repair, Collins’ visceral paintings attempt to suture, layer and preserve the damaged. This new work further strives to dismantle and reconfigure the painted surface, pushing against the physical limits of materials lifted from stretchers and sculpturally re-envisioned. Engaging the potent vocabulary of the colour black, Collins evokes the accumulation of all colours, the darkest shadows, the burnt remains, the fertile soil, creating poignant works that consider both frailty and resilience. Holes, rips and indentations in the fabrics create permeable layers that disperse yet hold together the whole, materializing absences.

Through painting, video and sound, Furthest Boundless articulates a personal response to a universal experience, reflecting a collective search for meaning in loss.

Nicole Collins has exhibited extensively since 1994, including solo exhibitions at The University of Waterloo Art Gallery (2013), The Art Gallery of Ontario (2013) and The Embassy of Canada in Tokyo (2001) and group exhibitions in Toronto, Hamilton, St. Johns, New York, Miami, London and Zurich. Her work has been featured online and in magazines, newspapers and books including the major survey Abstract Painting in Canada (Roald Nasgaard), the 3rd edition of A Concise History of Canadian Painting (Dennis Reid), Carte Blanche, Volume 2: Painting, and The Donovan Collection Catalogue. Collins is an Assistant Professor in the Drawing & Painting program at the Ontario College of Art & Design University (OCADU) and she lives in Toronto with her husband artist Michael Davidson and their daughter. Collins’ work is represented by General Hardware Contemporary in Toronto.

L’esprit de l’escalier

Curated by Letticia Cosbert

January 18-March 18, 2018

Hours: Monday – Sunday 8am – 9pm | Opening Reception: Tuesday January 16 | 6-9pm

L’esprit de l’escalier is a new audio installation by CCC, located in the North and South stairwells of Artscape Youngplace.

The work uses the premise of a stairwell moment to examine the relationship between ideas of death, sleep, loss and preservation—all the words you wish you’d said and all the thoughts you wish you’d documented. Based on six short essays written, recorded and produced by CCC and voiced by Abigail Whitney and Stella Isaac, the audio piece reworks these texts into a discordant array of thoughts that roam from one topic to the next, attempting to regain their focus.

L’esprit de l’escalier was commissioned by Koffler.Digital and developed in conjunction with Nicole Collins: Furthest Boundless, also opening January 18, 6-9 PM at the Koffler Gallery.

At Critical Distance


Featuring Quratulain Butt, Khaled Hourani, Maha Maamoun, Smriti Mehra, Huma Mulji, Ed Panar, Alex Sheriff, and Andrea Luka Zimmerman

Curated by Toleen Touq and Nahed Mansour

January 25-March 25, 2018

Hours: Thursday–Sunday from 12–5 pm | Opening Reception: Thursday, January 25th | 6–9 pm

In partnership with South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC), Critical Distance is pleased to present We Look At Animals Because, an exhibition that gazes on animality. Through the lens of spectatorship, the show explores the shifting ways in which animals are regarded, represented and accorded meaning in post-industrial landscapes. Exhibiting photographs, video, works on paper, and sculpture, the featured artists reveal the nuanced, complicated and unexpected paradoxes that mark our relationships with cosmopolitan animals.


Suite 302 at Artscape Youngplace | 180 Shaw Street | Toronto | Ontario | M6J 2W5

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Gallery hours are Friday–Sunday 12–5 pm and by appointment through November 26th. Office hours by appointment only.
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Critical Distance is a not-for-profit initiative and space devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial practice in Toronto, Canada, and beyond. Part gallery and publisher, part professional association and community, CDCC is an open platform for diverse curatorial practices and perspectives, and a forum for ideas on curating and exhibition-making as ways to engage and inform audiences from all walks of life. For more info, visit our website or social media pages, linked above.

image: Sarah Nasby, Living Things (Dorothy Hafner vessel, kombucha, lines pattern), 2017

Living Things (Dorothy Hafner vessel, kombucha, lines pattern)

2018 | Billboard on Shaw Street

In partnership with Artscape Youngplace, Critical Distance is pleased to present the Fall 2017 Billboard on Shaw, featuring work by Sarah Nasby, curated by Lauren Fournier.

Fermentation requires vessels to hold and contain its transformative processes. In her Living Things series, Toronto-based artist Sarah Nasby takes vessels designed by women throughout history and re-stages them in light of fermentation as both a practice and a metaphor. Here, a vessel designed by Hungarian-born American designer Eva Zeisel is filled with kombucha, a fermented tea. Nasby graphically interprets the vitality of the kombucha tonic and the undulating design of Zeisel’s pot with her own squiggle pattern, creating a work that is both elegant and excessive in its form. The objects become living things in more than one sense: vessels that we live with, and vessels containing living, bubbling matter.

Sarah Nasby works primarily in sculpture and drawing. She received an MFA from NSCAD University and a BA from the University of Guelph. Her work has been shown recently in Para//el Room at DNA Artspace, London; Taking [a] part at Mercer Union, Toronto; Who’s Afraid of Purple, Orange and Green? at the Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina. She lives and works in Toronto.

Lauren Fournier (Regina, Saskatchewan) is a writer, curator, artist, and PhD candidate currently based in Toronto. She has exhibited her work across Canada and in Berlin, Athens, and Houston. Her writing has been published in Canadian Art, Magenta, Kapsula, Milkweed, Canadian Journal of Woman Studies, The Journal of Comparative Media Arts, and West Coast Line. Recent curatorial projects include The Sustenance Rite at the Blackwood Gallery and Out of Repetition, Difference at Zalucky Contemporary.

This project is presented as part of Fermenting Feminism, Critical Distance’s Fall exhibition curated by Lauren Fournier and featuring Sharlene Bamboat, Hazel Meyer, Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint, Sarah Nasby, Kayla Polan, Walter Scott, and Agustine Zegers.

On view Friday–Sunday 12–5 pm and by appointment in Suite 302 at Artscape Youngplace from September 14–November 26, 2017.

Sarah Nasby is grateful for the support of the Toronto Arts Council for her work in this exhibition. Critical Distance is a not-for-profit initiative and space devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial practice and inquiry in Toronto, Canada, and beyond. Part gallery and publisher, part curators’ association and network, CDCC is an open platform for diverse curatorial practices and perspectives, and a forum for ideas on curating and exhibition-making as ways to engage and inform audiences from all walks of life.