C'est l'été, muthaflowers! Time to kick off your shoes, soak up the sun, make love in the meadows and skinny dip in the streams! If you find yourself at loose ends between all that nookie and natation, take the occasion to go and see a few of the gallery shows on view this season. Here are five standouts that are not to be missed.
1. Nicolas Baier at Galerie Division
Well toot my flute and call me Nancy. That Nicolas Baier is some kind of wonderful. What he can do with paint, canvas, and a liberal sprinkling of particle theory is magic, plain n’ simple. His new exhibition - Baier’s first to include paintings – draws creative inspiration from the work of revolutionary physicists Peter Higgs and Jean-Pierre Luminet. What really goes on inside the Large Hadron Collider at a sub-atomic level? Is the shape of our universe a finite dodecahedron? Flip your flops down to Galerie Division and give these cosmic quandaries a ponder. (Until September 7)
2. NEXT at Arsenal Montreal
Joe Reihsen 
Ah, to be young and bright and at the top of your game. Better yet, to be young, bright and at the top of your game in today’s international art market. With record-breaking sales at auction and galleries worldwide vying for names with crowd-drawing potential, works by hot, anointed young artists are being snapped up faster than you can say “Wyatt Kahn” (haven’t heard of him? You will, soon enough.) The 19 international artists selected for Arsenal’s NEXT exhibition range in age from a precocious 25 to 38, and are all on the precipice of becoming the art world’s next big thing. When you make your way to NEXT, keep your eyes peeled for works by Brie Ruais, Joe ReihsenPeter Sutherland, Nate Lowman and Jamie Angelopoulos. Future you can then brag that you saw these wunderkinds way back when, before any of your friends had ever heard mention of them. (Until September 7)
3. Playlist at Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran
Speaking of exciting young artists doing exciting contemporary things, I reccomend you hop, skip and jump on over to Antoine Ertaskiran’s gallery in Griffintown to check out the new summer group exhibit, Playlist. Five hella cool Canadian artists, including Montreal’s own Dominique Pétrin and Marc-Antoine K. Phaneuf, strut their stuff in the most colourful, fresh and flipped out way imaginable. A total trip, fer shur. (Until July 26)
4. Robb Jamieson's Self Help at Galerie Laroche/Joncas
Robb Jamieson, It's Only a Head Injury, 2014
Man, it is all about the young bloods this season! Well, so be it. I for one would be happy to see more of Robb Jamieson’s sassy wit and wile in galleries all across this (sometimes terribly staid) country of ours. Jamieson’s multi-media meditation on self-help hucksterism is at once incisive and brash, comedic and poignant. Go and commune with his bronze gherkin (no, that is not a euphemism) at Laroche/Joncas today. (Until July 12)
5. Music – Quebec: From Charlebois to Arcade Fire at the McCord Museum
Delphine Delair 
You like audio guides? Enjoy public head-bopping? Well, have I got the exhibit for you. The McCord’s Music – Quebec: From Charlebois to Arcade Fire takes you on a melodious journey through Quebec’s musical history, from the 1960s onward. You got yourself some folk, you got yourself some rap, and hey – you’ll even find yourself getting down (museum-style) to a bit of yé-yé and disco. From Gilles Vigneault to Samian, the McGarrigle sisters to Rufus Wainwright (keepin’ it in the family, y’all), these artists span the passion, protest and particularity that have all come to shape this prodigious province. (Until October 13)

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