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Big Things are on Display at the ROM


Earlier this week we told you about the Royal Ontario Museum‘s massive new exhibition. Literally titled “Big,” the show—opening November 3—draws from the ROM’s permanent collection of 50,000 textiles and costumes to demonstrate the huge impact that simple cloth can have. Dozens of historically important artifacts were chosen for their relations to big fashion (such as couture by John Galliano for Dior, Yves St. Laurent and Alexander McQueen), big events (textile innovations that inspired the Industrial Revolution), big messages and much more. Check out the gallery below to get a glimpse of some of the ROM’s most prominent pieces, then visit the museum to see for yourself how big they really are.

All images courtesy of the Royal Ontario Museum

Hot Art: Bigger is Better at the ROM’s Textile and Costume Gallery

André Édouard Marty’s La Vie en grand air wall hanging (photo: Royal Ontario Museum)

STARTS NOVEMBER 3  The Royal Ontario Museum dips into its enormous collection of artifacts to bring a “big” new display to its Patricia Harris Gallery of Costume and Textiles. Uniting pieces from across time and around the globe, the exhibition features among its many eye-catching visuals a Christian Dior coat-dress that took more than 500 hours to produce, and a 1925 woodblock-printed wall hanging (pictured above) that beautifully emulates the style of historic woven tapestries. In all, it comprises a major showcase of large sizes, huge events, massive scope and grand-scale innovation.  —Eva Voinigescu

Know Your Secret Agent: TIFF Debuts Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style

When you’ve been saving the world for five decades, you’re bound to get noticed. Just so with Bond, James Bond. The character created by Ian Fleming and portrayed by the likes of Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Daniel Craig has become much more than a simple action hero. He’s also a cultural icon, having influenced everything from fashion to cars to cocktails, while continuing to have a major impact on the way blockbuster movies are made.

Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style delves deep into some of the most notable aspects of the British spy’s cinematic legacy. Opening October 26 (and on display through January 20) at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, the sprawling exhibition assembles a vast quantity of artifacts, imagery and ephemera from the 22 existing Bond films in six themed sections: the display opens in MI6 Headquarters, where 007 receives his marching orders from M, his boss and father/mother figure, while a later section on Foreign Territories depicts the far-off lands where the secret agent inevitably ends up; a gold-obsessed vignette pays homage to Goldfinger, arguably the most popular Bond film, as well as The Man with the Golden Gun; technophiles will get a thrill walking through gadget-laden Q Branch; haute couture is the focus in the exhibit’s casino-oriented room; and the series’ most famous evildoers, henchmen and femmes fatale step into the spotlight in the rogues gallery of Villains and Enigmas.

Check out our photo gallery, below, for a glimpse of what to expect from the “shaken not stirred” show.

Of course, you wouldn’t expect a celebration of the 20th century’s most successful super-spy without a retrospective of his on-screen exploits. During Designing 007’s nearly three-month stint in Toronto, TIFF also presents the full slate of Bond films, beginning with 1962’s Dr. No and running up to 2008’s Quantum of Solace (the 23rd Bond movie, Skyfall, opens in major theatres on November 9). Cinephiles can also look forward to an appearance by John Glen, director of all five Bond films from the 1980s. He sits down with TIFF’s head of film programmes, Jesse Wente, on December 10.

Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style runs from October 26 through January 20 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Timed-entry admission is $15.

All photos by Craig Moy except where noted.

Hot Art: The AGO Welcomes Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait as a Tehuana (Diego on My Mind) (image © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust/Artists Rights Society)

OCTOBER 20 TO JANUARY 20  Experience the vibrant yet highly intimate artistry of two of Mexico’s most celebrated 20th-century painters as the Art Gallery of Ontario presents a major showcase of works by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Kahlo’s highly autobiographical works exemplify her dedication to indigenous tradition, her controversial political leanings, and her volatile relationship with her husband Rivera, himself a prominent activist and founding figure of the Mexican school of painting. Among the 75 key pieces on display are Kahlo’s Self-Portrait with Monkeys and Rivera’s Flower Festival: Feast of Santa Anita—Eva Voinigescu

Hot Art: The TIFF Bell Lightbox Celebrates 50 Stylish Years of James Bond

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale (photo © 2006 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.)

OCTOBER 26 TO JANUARY 20  Britain’s most famous secret agent, James Bond, has taken his license to kill all around the world—from Jamaica in Dr. No to Istanbul in Skyfall, the newest entry in the hugely popular film series. Now the Bond brand arrives in Toronto as the TIFF Bell Lightbox hosts Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style. This sprawling exhibition examines the ever-stylish spy’s ongoing cultural impact through costumes, sets, props like Oddjob’s steel-rimmed hat from Goldfinger, and even a December 10 appearance by John Glen, director of five Bond movies. To accompany the show, TIFF also offers screenings of every 007 film from the past half-century.  —Eva Voinigescu

Hot Art: New Visions at the BMO 1st Art! Show

One half of Mika Goodfriend’s prize-winning diptych, Benoit et Suzanne, Reynald et Marylda

OCTOBER 3 TO 28  Discover the next generation of Canadian image-makers today, as the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art hosts the 10th annual BMO 1st Art! Exhibition. Composed of the best jury-selected works by visual arts students at post-secondary institutions across the country, it’s a showcase of innovative emerging talent, including Quebec-based photographer Mika Goodfriend and Ontario painter Sarah Beattie. Goodfriend, a Concordia University student, earned the competition’s top prize for his diptych Benoit et Suzanne, Reynald et Marylda, which will be added to a renowned BMO corporate art collection that also includes works by Kenojuak Ashevak, Emily Carr, Paterson Ewen and more.

Hot Date: Ontario Science Centre Journeys Beyond the Stars

OCTOBER 3 TO JANUARY 1  Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to live on the moon, or to see an asteroid hurtling through space? The Ontario Science Centre seeks to satisfy your curiosity with its exhibition Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration, which displays a collection of artifacts and models to illustrate the past, present and future of interstellar inquiry. Through interactive simulations utilizing ultramodern technology, visitors are invited to examine the possibility of “exoplanets,”
walk the surface of a virtual Mars, witness “spaceplanes” in development and more.

Hot Art: World Press Photo’s Global Lens

Yasuyoshi Chiba’s Agence France Presse image of the Japanese tsunami’s aftermath is one of many at the 2012 World Press Photo exhibition.

OCTOBER 3 TO 24  It’s safe to say that quite a lot transpired during the year that was 2011: the Arab Spring begat major political change in the Middle East and North Africa; the Occupy Wall Street protests sought to unite the “99 per cent”; Japan was devastated by an earthquake, tsunami and nearly a nuclear meltdown. The common thread of these events and others? They were all captured by intrepid international photojournalists, whose best shots are on display as part of the annual World Press Photo exhibition. The dozens of prize-winning images reveal the full range of human experience, and remind us of the recent history that continues to shape our present and future.

Hot Art: Relive History at the Market Gallery

B.T.A. Griffiths' The Death of Captain McNeale at the Battle of York (image courtesy of the City of Toronto)

MARCH 3 TO SEPTEMBER 8 This year marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812, which pitted American forces against British colonial troops. Toronto, then known as York, was the site of fevered combat as the war continued in 1813—the Battle of York saw the Americans capture our sylvan settlement and subsequently put it to the torch. The Market Gallery commemorates this skirmish with a Book of Remembrance, which records the names of soldiers who died in battle, plus a display of rare battlefield artifacts, plus first-person accounts of the fighting, custom-designed maps and a newly acquired painting, The Death of Captain McNeale at the Battle of York by B.T.A. Griffiths, that depicts a dramatic scene from the struggle. The exhibition marks the first of many events in Toronto marking the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

Hot Date: Behold the Genius of da Vinci

Da Vinci's mechanical lion, with his famous The Last Supper in the background

OCTOBER 13 TO MARCH 18 The science of art and machines are on display at the Ontario Science Centre, and who better to lead the tour than Leonardo da Vinci? Figuratively speaking, of course. Leonardo da Vinci’s Workshop features 20 scale models of the Renaissance man’s inventions, including his Mechanical Lion, Great Kite and Aerial Screw. Visitors can use touch screens to investigate the famed codices in which da Vinci sketched his designs, and see what his paintings would have originally looked like without restoration. Ontario Science Centre, $17 to $25; call 416-696-1000 or visit here
for passes.

Hot Art: Approachable Project

Reinvention by Stev’nn Hall

MARCH 3 TO 6 Two hundred independent and emerging artists gather this month for The Artist Project Toronto. Accessibility is paramount at this annual exhibition, which encourages both novices and seasoned collectors to interact directly with creators. Ask Stev’nn Hall how he achieves the mystifying effect of his photo-based works, or find out how movement informs the paintings of Lysanne Pepin. Visitors can also walk down Installation Alley to see immersive large-scale works, experience the digital revolution at the Video ArtBox new-media display, and learn what inspires participants in a series of art chat seminars. Exhibition Place, Queen Elizabeth Building; call 416-960-3680 for more information.

Hot Date: Auto Show’s Hot Wheels

Mercedes Benz at the Canadian International Auto Show

FEBRUARY 18 TO 27 Rev your engines—the annual Canadian International Auto Show drives into town. Amidst the latest vehicles from manufacturers like Mercedes Benz, visitors can also peruse an exhibit honouring the classic Chevrolet Camaro, and check out fuel-efficient autos, too. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, adults $20, children $7; call 905-940-2800 for further details.