Depth in dead of winter
Opening Illusion of Process: As the constant presence of climbing cranes and concrete-lined craters readily indicates, this city is in a constant state of becoming. At the Art Gallery of York University, a new show from Miles Collyer, Marvin Luvualu Antonio and Maggie Groat offers their view of the perpetual impermanence that haunts the urban experience. For Antonio — born in Russia, he was transplanted to Ethiopia, London and finally Toronto, all on his own, as a13-year old — the creep of bricks-and-mortar change barely begins to tell the tale. At the opening this week, he’ll perform his work Death Is a Tunnel in a sand pit surrounded by chains: an illusion-shattering gesture of our Trump-imperiled progress if there ever was one. Opening Jan. 19, 6 to 9 p.m. at the AGYU, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St. Free bus service leaving OCADU, 100 McCaul St., at 6 p.m.
Leopold Plotek: No Work, Nor Device, Nor Knowledge, Nor Wisdom: Plotek, a Moscow-born, Warsaw-raised, Montreal-based painter who learned at the knee of renowned Plasticien painter Yves Gaucher, makes works that defy “both modernist traditions and contemporary art market pressures,” according to curator E.C. Woodley, which is a roundabout way of saying that Plotek couldn’t care less what anyone thinks of his work. I’m not certain the claim to swimming upstream here is borne out in the work, which is undeniably masterful abstraction, though far from devoid of reference. The better question is not whether Plotek lives outside convention but how, if roughly, he fits within it. Opening Jan. 19, 6 to 9 p.m., Koffler Gallery, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw St.
Ongoing Winter White: A two-week quickie, this lovely little group show is sparsely conceived but fully felt as it runs the gamut from photography (Robert Mapplethorpe, Lynne Cohen, Barbara Steinman, Leslie Hewitt) to abstract painting (Ron Shuebrook, Gerald Ferguson) and absurdist conceptual noodling (Kelly Mark, Ken Nicol). At Olga Korper Gallery, 17 Morrow Ave., until Jan. 28.
February, with Nick Bastis, Srijon Chowdhury, Silke Otto-Knapp, Hayley Tompkins and Barak Zemer: It’s never too early to look past the postholiday malaise and at Roberta Pelan, this little charmer of an exhibition gets full marks for its future dreaming. February chooses to exult in its depths, whether with the gorgeous, gauzy watercolour greys of Silke Otto-Knapp’s The Conversations (2016) or Nick Bastis’s Treble, a tiny turned-brass object left adrift on the white floor. At Roberta Pelan, 263 Adelaide St. W., Suite 320, until Feb. 11.