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10 Contemporary Art Galleries In Montreal
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10 Contemporary Art Galleries In Montreal

Picture of Eleanor Cunningham
Updated: 9 February 2017
Set in the historical and industrial city of Montreal, these art galleries showcase both established and emerging international and local artists. Each of these galleries, both private and public, work closely with their artists and curators, and embody a dedication to supporting their local community. Set in a variety of historic and contemporary buildings, these galleries provide a unique and fresh perspective on contemporary art in Montreal.

SBC Gallery Of Contemporary Art

The aim of the SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art is to educate the public about the current issues and discourses in contemporary art and culture. With its diverse programme in visual and media arts, the gallery presents a wide range of exhibitions and projects. SBC offers unique opportunities of exchanges and interactions between various artistic organizations, cultural producers, artists and the public, and places specific emphasis on research, exhibition curator-ship, and printed and electronic publications. SBC is a non-profit exhibition centre run by the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Arsenal Gallery

Arsenal Gallery is set in a converted shipyard complex, housing a gallery (Division Gallery), a private collection (Collection Majudia), an artist studio, a video projection room and a rental space. The original shipyard was constructed by Augustin Cantin, an ambitious entrepreneur from Upper Canada. This immense 83,000 square foot building, along with an engine foundry and sawmill, was operated by Cantin and later his son. This industrial space served as a shipyard, constructing and servicing commercial sea vessels. Today it showcases contemporary art by local and international artists.

DHC/ART

This exhibition space is housed in a converted historic building in the heart of Old Montreal. The DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art is a private foundation showing temporary exhibitions and projects which reflect the global nature of art today. First opened in 2007, this space aims to present art in both on-site and off-site settings, occasionally delving into the public realm. The foundation’s goal is to present two exhibitions per year, as well as a programme of special screenings and talks, while also building an inclusive education and outreach programme for the general public.

Darling Foundry

The Darling Foundry Visual Arts Centre is a contemporary art space which seeks to promote art and artists within the city of Montreal. The centre is set in an iconic building that exudes the city’s industrial history. Conceived by the architects In Situ, Darling Foundry officially opened in 2002. The centre gets its nickname, ‘the snake,’ from the elaborate ventilation system visible on its roof. Its interior retains a strong industrial character and the first gallery reflects Situ’s approach where art must interact with its surroundings. The second gallery is more traditional, allowing the works to take centre stage in the space. This space also hosts artist studios, along with production workshops.

Yves Laroche

Since it opened in 1991, Yves Laroche Galerie d’art has showcased artists working in the avant-garde within contemporary art. It supports both internationally established and emerging artists rooted in the underground worlds of tattooing, graffiti, comics, cartoons, pop art, illustration and surrealism, expressing a diverse mix of cultural influences. The gallery was originally set in the Old Port of Montreal, later relocating to its current location at the junction of the Mile End and Little Italy. Since this move the gallery has gained a higher reputation, and has participated in several international art fairs.

Parisian Laundry

Opened in 2005, Parisian Laundry is an unconventional gallery space representing current Canadian and international artists. The industrial building of the gallery is set in the historical neighbourhood of St. Henri in Montreal. Its exhibition programme is divided throughout the three exhibition spaces including the gallery’s former mechanical room, a two story concrete box known as the ‘Bunker’, this space is an ideal stage for media works and projections as well as site-specific installation, sculpture and sound projects.

Musee D’Art Contemporain De Montreal

The Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal was founded by the Québec government in 1964 and houses contemporary works by artists from Montréal, Québec, Canada and around the world. First opened in 1965, it was originally set in a temporary space at Place Ville-Marie, moving throughout the years to different locations in Montréal. The museum is part of Canada’s only cultural complex devoted to both the performing and visual arts. The museum’s permanent collection comprises nearly 7,600 works, including the largest collection of art by Paul-Émile Borduas. It also stages numerous multimedia events, performances, contemporary music, videos and films.

Joyce Yahouda

Joyce Yahouda specialises in fostering up-and-coming talent, developing and representing the careers of young artists through special talks and presentations about the art market and gallery management. The gallery reflects the diverse critical engagement in art today through solo and group exhibitions, with featured works covering a broad range of media including painting, drawing, performance, photography, installation, sculpture and video. The gallery also hosts a number of special events including performances and screenings. Gallery director Joyce Yahouda is also a member of the consultation committee at the Conseil des Arts de Montréal and has served on the artist books acquisitions committee of the Bibliothèque et Archives Nationale du Québec.

Art Mûr

Founded in 1996, Art Mûr is one of the largest private galleries in Canada, hosting seven large exhibition spaces. The gallery represents over 30 artists, with practices ranging from painting and sculpture to new media and performance art. It has undertaken a number of critically acclaimed projects including Art Fiction (1996), Memento Mori (2011), Mens-moi / Please Lie to Me (2011) and Baliser le territoire : Manifestation d’art contemporain autochtone / A Stake in the Ground: Contemporary Native Art Manifestation (2012). Art Mûr also collaborates with young independent curators and directors of Canadian museums.

Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery

The Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery is situated in the campus of Concordia University, one of Québec’s most culturally diverse universities. The gallery has a permanent collection of over 1700 works of Québécois and Canadian art, reflecting the presentation and critical investigation of Canadian and International art. Presenting six to seven major exhibitions annually, the gallery focuses primarily on the examination of contemporary art but also occasionally investigates practices and issues from the past from a contemporary viewpoint.