I don’t know whether to take this seriously or not because it falls into what I call the questionable category of sociology as art, but the Art Gallery of Ontario is mounting the touring exhibition David Bowie is, from September 25, through to November 27, 2013.

The show which consists of more than 300 items is on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London where it enjoyed a record breaking run. The items on exhibit include 50 stage costumes, lyrics, music videos, short films and album art among other objects. The New York Times described the show as, “united in sound and vision in a way that is rarely seen in a museum.”

It also includes clips from movies in which Bowie has acted. Bowie started out as an art student before he became a rock star and was in the business of constantly reinventing himself. Along the way he experimented with Surrealism, German Expressionism, Music Hall, mime and Japanese Kabuki performance.

It promises to be a full blown multimedia experience. If you are still in doubt as to who Bowie is think of Canada’s most famous astronaut Chris Hadfield when he sang, “Ground control to Major Tom,” that was Space Oddity, a David Bowie song which still receives regular airplay.

For those of you who aren’t really interested in shape-shifting rock stars, the AGO is also presenting The Great Upheaval: Modern Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, from November 30, 2013 to March 2, 2014.

This exhibition focuses on the incredible amount of creativity that flowered in Europe during the years leading up to and through to the end of the First World War. This was the time in which Expressionism, Futurism, Dada and Cubism took hold and flourished and paved the way for that even greater upheaval, Abstraction. The exhibition includes work by Brancusi, Cezanne, Chagall, Duchamp, Kandinsky, Leger, Matisse, Modigliani, Mondrian and Picasso.

Autumn 2013

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