OPENS FEBRUARY 4 The vibrant ceramic art scene of contemporary Israel draws inquiring eyes to the Gardiner Museum. Its latest exhibition, From the Melting Pot into the Fire, presents almost 40 pieces that examine the myriad issues faced by the Jewish state and its citizens, from the reconciliation of religious traditions indicated in Martha Rieger’s My Melting Pot vessels to the concept of borders—physical and psychological, territorial and personal—evident in Anna Kirzner’s Free Space. Taking cues from pottery’s historical (read: communal, functional) origins while seeking modern, artistic self-expression, each piece offers a unique perspective on matters that shape both individual and collective identity.
TO FEBRUARY 25 Even if you’re all thumbs—or, perhaps, because of this deficiency—it’s easy to appreciate the skill needed to conjure intricate cranes, frogs, flowers and boats out of single pieces of paper. This month the Japan Foundation offers an even more impressive showcase of three-dimensional objects in its Origamic Architecture exhibition, which renders historical and contemporary buildings from around the world in folded and cut paper. Combining a traditional art form with modern design, the survey pays tribute to late Japanese artist Masahiro Chatani—all featured models are originally of his design—but adds a Toronto twist, with many of the pop-up-style pieces freshly crafted by local folders.
TO FEBRUARY 27 Toronto’s premier space for fine photography broadens its focus across time and space—more than 140 years and 9,984,670 square kilometres, to be precise—with O Canada, an exhibition of approximately 75 vintage prints depicting landmarks, personalities and events from this country’s past, such as Montreal’s Expo ’67, shown in Sam Falk’s A Fair Way to Celebrate Canada’s Centennial. Collected and presented by Stephen Bulger Gallery, these images reflect the history not only of a nation, but in their analogue formatting and evident wear, that of the photographic medium itself.