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July Editor’s Picks: Art

A fragment from the Book of War (image courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority).

A Book of War fragment (courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority).

ON NOW Toronto’s temple of historical preservation, the Royal Ontario Museum, offers visitors a religious experience with its display of the priceless and controversial Dead Sea Scrolls. Fragments from eight of these 2,000-year-old antiquities comprising the sacred texts of ancient Israel—including a portion of the Book of Genesis and the non-biblical Book of War—are certain to have you kneeling at the altar of cultural inquiry. Equally intriguing are the more than 200 artifacts of Jewish, Hellenistic and Roman provenance—from ossuaries and coins to fragments of the Herbrew Second Temple—that contextualize the scrolls, their discovery and their enduring significance.

The <i>Aphrodisiac Telephone</i> by Salvador Dalí and Edward James (© Salvador Dalí Fundacio, Gala-Salvador Dalí/SODRAC 2009).

The Aphrodisiac Telephone (© Salvador Dalí Fundacio, Gala-Salvador Dalí/SODRAC 2009).

ON NOW In his 1924 Surrealist Manifesto, André Breton defined the artistic and philosophical movement as representing “pure psychic automatism.” As an art form, its defining works express just that, and are therefore open to myriad interpretations. The Art Gallery of Ontario offers one such perspective in Surreal Things, a major exhibition that examinines how the increasing pressures of consumer culture both informed and conflicted with surrealist art during its zenith. Expect to contemplate whimsical and strangely disarming works like the Aphrodisiac Telephone by Salvador Dalí and Edward James, plus works by many other modern masters.

<em>Anne</em> is one of the intriguing works by Junko Mizuno, now showing at Narwhal Art Projects.

Anne is one of the intriguing works by Junko Mizuno, now showing at Narwhal Art Projects.

ON NOW Vibrant colour reigns at three summer exhibitions.

1. Layering both acrylic and oil paints allows Libby Hague to add dramatic texture to her nature scenes, displayed through July 18 at Loop Gallery.

2. The cutesy characters and iconography of Japanese manga are given a gothic twist by Junko Mizuno. Her paintings hang until July 26 at Narwhal Art Projects.

3. All month at Meta Gallery, New York–based artist Alex Grey examines humanity and anatomy—among other things—in his psychedelic, neo-surrealist works.

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