Press Release: MOCA Toronto Announces 2020 Programming

Featuring a solo exhibition of work by acclaimed artist Mika Rottenberg, and major new commissions with Carlos Bunga, Shelagh Keeley and Megan Rooney MOCA also announces new programme partnerships and initiatives for 2020

TORONTO, December 3, 2019 The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto (MOCA/the Museum) today announced its 2020 calendar as it begins a second full year of programming at the historic Tower Automotive Building in Toronto.


MOCA’s 2020 programme features major exhibitions by Portuguese, Barcelona-based artist Carlos Bunga, Canadian artists Shelagh Keeley and Megan Rooney, Argentine-Israeli artist Mika Rottenberg and American artist Sarah Sze.

Working across sculpture, installation, drawing, painting, photography and moving image, each artist assembles and elevates everyday materials to engineer experiences that are both monumental and intimate. Playing with the construction and undoing of systems in space, these artists explore a broad range of themes from memory and ephemerality to consumption and transformation.

For his first exhibition in Canada, Bunga is producing two major site-responsive works inspired by the simplicity of the Museum’s architecture and the rhythm of its interior columns. With A Sudden Beginning (2020), Bunga will simultaneously underscore and challenge the structure’s physicality. Bunga’s work will be on view in two parts on two floors from February 5–summer 2020 and February 5–May 10, 2020 and is curated by Adjunct Curator Rui Mateus Amaral.

Megan Rooney

Megan Rooney, “Fire on the Mountain” (detail), 2019.

For Rooney’s first major solo exhibition in Canada, the artist will transform a floor of the Museum by enveloping it in a large-scale mural, making use of all the facility’s original walls. This temporary site- specific environment will become home to characters and scenarios composed from ubiquitous household materials, found objects, stuffed fabrics and paint. HUSH SKY MURMUR HOLE (2020) will be on view February 5–April 12, 2020.

Shelagh Keeley

Shelagh Keeley, Film still from “The Colonial Garden / Jardim Do Ultramar Lisbon”, 2016.

Keeley’s installation An Embodied Haptic Space will combine a series of her tarp paintings from 1986, a film projection from 2016 and a new ephemeral wall drawing created at MOCA over the course of several weeks in January 2020. As in the visceral, site-specific  installations she has been producing for over 40 years, Keeley’s wall work balances the speed and rigidity of digital photography with the slowness and freedom of drawing. At the root ofbthis installation are photographic traces of MOCA’s building pre-renovation. Keeley’s work will be on view February 5–May 10, 2020.

Sze’s work Images in Debris (2018) marks the launch of MOCA’s “The City is a Collection,” a new series initiated to present major contemporary artworks from private art holdings from within the Toronto community. Images in Debris is one in a series of monumental, immersive, mixed-media sculptures where light, movement, images and architecture coalesce into a single, precarious equilibrium. Sze’s work is on loan from Audrey and David Mirvish and will be on view February 5–May 10, 2020.

Sarah Sze

Sarah Sze, “Images in Debris”, 2018.

MOCA is pleased to announce it is re-establishing its former long-standing relationship with Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival to present an exhibition to coincide with the opening of the Festival in May 2020 and remaining on view through July 2020. Exhibition details will be announced early next year.

Committed to forming institutional partnerships that forge links between and within cities, MOCA will feature a solo exhibition by acclaimed artist Mika Rottenberg that includes the video installation Spaghetti Blockchain (2019), a work co-produced by MOCA and the New Museum, New York.

Rottenberg’s latest video installation considers the continually evolving relationship between humans and the material world, weaving imagery from disparate sources: Tuvan throat singers; surreal interiors of the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva; the mechanical harvesting of a massive potato farm in Maine; and an imagined factory with tabletop vignettes for producing ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response). Mika Rottenberg’s work will be on view June 10–September 20, 2020. The exhibition will be presented in partnership with Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC), where it will be on view in fall 2020.

Artistic Director November Paynter said, “Partnerships with museums and institutions like the New Museum and MAC advance MOCA’s community-minded mission and build on existing relationships such as those with Akin, Art Metropole, Association of Arte Útil, Canadian Art magazine, Evergreen Brick Works, Jameel Arts Centre (Dubai), Mophradat Foundation (Brussels), Ontario Science Centre, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Biennial of Art, the University of Toronto and many others.”

MOCA concludes 2020 with MOCA-GTA. Presented in two chapters, this group exhibition curated by Adjunct Curator David Liss will showcase some of the most engaging and relevant artwork being produced by artists who come from and/or live in the Greater Toronto Area today. MOCA-GTA will be on view from September 2020.


Free Friday Nights

Beginning February 2020, MOCA will introduce Free Friday Nights. MOCA’s programme and exhibitions will be free of charge every Friday from 5 pm to 9 pm. Free Friday Nights is made possible with support from the Hal Jackman Foundation. “We’re proud to be able to make this museum accessible to a diverse group of people, especially younger audiences for whom an admission fee can be a barrier to engage in MOCA’s various programmes,” said Victoria Jackman, Executive Director, the Hal Jackman Foundation.

For more information on upcoming programming, visit

Please note: MOCA galleries will be closed January 6February 5, 2020, for exhibition installations. Our on-site café Forno Cultura will remain open for normal hours. As of February 5, the Museum’s hours will be 11 am–6 pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and 11 am9 pm on Fridays. MOCA is closed Tuesdays. “Art in Use moves to Floor 1 and will be free to the public all year long.


About MOCA Toronto

MOCA Toronto is motivated by the principle that museums and their programmes are culturally and socially beneficial to the diversity of communities they serve. MOCA supports and promotes forward- thinking artistic experimentation and provides a community space for enrichment, discourse, collaboration and creativity. Working across all contemporary art forms, MOCA’s programmes empower local artists and engage the Toronto art scene while contributing to the international art community and scholarship.

MOCA is a not-for-profit charitable organization. The evolution of the Museum is made possible through a unique alliance with Castlepoint Greybrook Sterling Inc., public sector funders, private donors, members, sponsors and a network of cross-sectoral partners.

Key on-site partners bolster the museum experience, including a café by Forno Cultura and a shop by Art Metropole. Additionally, MOCA is home to over 30 artist studios facilitated by Akin and the offices of the Toronto Biennial of Art.


2020 Support

Special thanks to the generous patronage of exhibition Lead Supporters, the Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation and the Lindy Green Family Foundation. Thanks also to other Tomorrow of Contemporary Art campaign donors who help make possible MOCA Toronto’s 2020 programming.

Carlos Bunga: A Sudden Beginning

Contributing Supporters: Barry and Debra Campbell, and Elisa Nuyten and David Dime With additional support from: Barbara and Dougal Macdonald


In-kind Supporter: Farrow & Ball

Mika Rottenberg

Foundational Supporter: The Schulich Foundation

Contributing Supporters: Elisa Nuyten and David Dime and Liza Mauer and Andrew Sheiner


Annual Corporate Supporters Signature Partners: BMO Presenting Partner: TD Bank

Lead Sponsor, Public Programmes: Scotiabank Supporting Partner: Torys LLP


Foundation Supporters Hal Jackman Foundation


Government Supporters MOCA




Media Contacts

For additional information, Libby Mark or Heather Meltzer at Bow Bridge Communications, LLC, Toronto: +1 647-544-8441, New York City, +1 347-460-5566;

Image Captions

Megan Rooney, Fire on the Mountain (detail), 2019. Acrylic, pencil, pastel, wall paint on wall 800 × 1,700 cm (315 × 669 1/4 inches). Courtesy DREI, Cologne.

Shelagh Keeley, Film still from The Colonial Garden / Jardim Do Ultramar Lisbon, 2016. Thanks to the Museu Coleccao Berardo, Lisbon, Portugal and IFA Stuttgart, Germany.

Sarah Sze, Images in Debris, 2018. Mixed media: mirrors, wood, stainless steel, archival prints, projectors, lamps, desks, stools, ladders stone, acrylic paint. Dimensions variable. © Sarah Sze. Courtesy the artist; Victoria Miro, London/Venice and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York/Los Angeles.