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January Editor’s Picks: Art

Origami in the style of Masahiro ChataniON NOW 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.

Slap-sole shoes<br>photo © 2009, Bata Shoe Museum

Slap-sole shoes

ON NOW If you gawk at the six-inch stilettos worn by today’s “well-heeled,” just wait until you see the extraordinary and extreme footwear comprising On a Pedestal: From Renaissance Chopines to Baroque Heels, the latest exhibition at the Bata Shoe Museum. Assembled from a diverse group of world-renowned institutions—including London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the Livrustkammaren in Stockholm, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Bata itself—the unique display examines elaborate platform and heeled shoes as expressions of wealth and status in 16th- and 17th-century Europe. Of particular interest: a flamboyantly embellished pair of slap-sole shoes, and Venetian chopines sporting platforms that are more than 50 centimetres high.

Michael Snow's SSHTOORRTY

Michael Snow's SSHTOORRTY

ON NOW Art lovers and cineastes find common ground in Recent Snow: Works by Michael Snow, a survey of the Toronto-born artist’s latest video and film installations at The Power Plant. Though successful in many disciplines, Snow’s most consistently innovative efforts have been in the arena of avant-garde cinema. Experimenting with both structural and narrative techniques, these works—2005’s SSHTOORRTY and two brand new films among them—investigate the interplay between artifice and reality, rewarding the keen viewer with a multilayered cognitive and sensory experience.

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